'But this is just FICTION, you know, it's not REAL, it's a story, they're FICTIONAL CHARACTERS…'
Look, we all know that. Nobody is rattling wardrobe doors trying to get into Narnia. (OK maybe once but I was young.) Nobody is breaking into a discussion about the postal service going ‘I know, right? Damn owls… where is my Hogwarts letter?’ Nobody thinks Oliver Twist was a historical figure. (Good name for a male exotic dancer, though.)
Everybody knows. The stuff has a label on it. Like so…
Very necessary and important label! You know, like other important labels we have.
But of course, nobody ever reminds you ‘IT’S FICTION!’ because they think you don’t know.
They think you shouldn’t care because it’s fiction, or that it’s not important because it’s fiction.
Jane Austen, knowing where it was at since 1787:
'It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.'
We all know it’s fiction. (As a group we tend to read pretty well.)
It’s not that we don’t understand. It’s that we don’t agree.
We know it’s fiction, and we think it’s important.