Almost Real

Maureen McHugh has an excellent post about a local event featuring Dan Chaon and a psychoanalyst discussing his novel, You Remind Me Of Me (which I found beautiful but almost too sad, sad, sad). Sez she:

This seemed a strange thing to me. The characters in a book are manifestly not real. Someone (in this case, Dan Chaon) made them up. I really like psychological realism, but I think it’s an illusion, just like so much else in fiction. The suggestion of psychological complexity is a characteristic of mimetic fiction–meaning that if you want your story to feel real, you should also make the characters feel like they have a complicated psychological make-up. But characters that are as arbitrary as real people feel thin on the page, just as dialogue that is realistic feels strung out and boring. It’s all fake.

But wait! There’s more. Go read it.

Scroll to Top