[DWJ] characters losing their memories

Roger Burton West roger at firedrake.org
Tue Jan 15 11:59:52 EST 2008

On Tue, Jan 15, 2008 at 02:01:00PM +0000, Joe wrote:

>Oh, I don't know. Just because something's made up, doesn't mean it isn't true 
>- so why should it be any less true just because there are two layers of 

I'm trying to pin it down.

I think it's that the work explicitly identifies the primary story as
fictional (by labelling it fictional within the context of the frame
story), thereby rubbing one's nose in the synthetic nature of the story
in a way that mere impossibility does not.

Even then, I don't particularly mind if it's done at the _beginning_ of
the book - "Here's a story my grandmother told me when I was little",
say. It's when it's suddenly sprung on one at the end - or, worse, when
speculation about the level of fictionality becomes part of the
metastory, as in the recent television series _Life on Mars_ ("has he
really travelled in time or is he just hallucinating while unconscious
in hospital") - that I find it objectionable.


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