Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Morality of Fiction Writing

In the Wall Street Journal, Alexander McCall Smith, author of the well-known No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mystery series, discusses the moral responsibility of fiction writers:

Writing is a moral act: What you write has a real effect on others, often to a rather surprising extent. ... I suspect that many of us continue to experience fictional characters and events as being, in some way, real. This is because the imaginative act of following a story involves a suspension of disbelief, as we enter into the world it creates. ... Stories have an effect in this world. They are part of our moral conversation as a society. They weigh in; they change the world because they become part of our cultural history. There never was an Anna Karenina or a Madame Bovary, even if there might have been models, but what happened to these characters has become part of the historical experience of women.

1 comment:

Serena said...

Great post and its very true. I often come away from fiction, when it is well developed and written, with a sense of knowing those characters intimately as if they were real.