There's a thing, Are fictional people not real?
They reckon of course fictional people are real, "These fictional people are real because we all recognize them when we see them, and we make them even more real by constructing them and reconstructing them again and again, through reading and writing and talking about them, and then reading and writing and talking about them again, in an ongoing process."
Because I am a crazy person I sometimes freak out about real, and how many people do not appear to be it.
Like, am I real? Is there a minimum threshold of interactions that would keep me real? Can I stop being real while being physically alive?
(And I'm listening to Neverwhere
at the moment, so I know it's not just me who wonders this. Writers are a special kind of crazy that has more real-to-them people inside than is generally recommended.)
Sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by extras. ( Read more... )
Everyone has different story-of-you in their head, and it does not match the story-of-you you have in your own head, which if psychology has much of a clue probably doesn't match actual physical you that has done things on account of both Subconscious and Memory, plus Language and Discourse and Ideology and all the human things.
Even to ourselves, we are only the story of ourselves, retold and retold until we're fanfic of our own lives.
And despite our best efforts, that is true about every other person in our lives too. Even if we had watched all the moments of their life, the person we have in our head is a story-of-them that is not going to match their inside story or be an actual tape recording of what they did. And we can only infer who they are from what they did anyway.It's all stories! Stories all the way down!( Read more... )
But the other
way to cope with things, the one that does not involve freaking out, involves celebrating the stories. Stories are how we set about being people. Sandman and Hogfather and Doctor Who.
"We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?"
But the secret is, it's not just in the end, it is when you get down to it all the middle too.
And that's why it's awesome that we, plural, discuss the stories. We write them and rewrite them and bounce them around and crit and meta and just collaboratively make stuff up until we've made worlds. And if the worlds aren't so much good or fun or right yet, we keep going until we get a better one.
Which is pretty cool, really.( Read more... )
Poisonous stories that don't leave room for all the people that actually exist to be people, they very badly need revising. Especially if they're being peddled by politicians. Especially if they don't leave room to continue to be.
People are not just stories, they have physical constraints too, but the stories do so much to the physical world they're really pretty key. Or ugly key.
And this isn't just true of political fictions like the dole skiver or the housing benefit mansion. Those are built in mind worlds patched together from plausibilities drawn from deliberate fictions too. Each particular story may be a tiny drop, but added together over a lifetime it's a waterfall, and reshapes the world around it.
So stories are real, because we make them real, we construct them by reading and writing and talking about them, and they shape how we act and react.
The thing where most people don't consciously think about or notice this stuff, and think there is only one real and true and facts and the world is just exactly as they experienced it and no other way, that would be the other bit that makes me worry worry.
... zombie shuffling forward in a story they don't even know they're writing...
... *blanket* ...