'Quixote,' Colbert and the Reality of Fiction - NYTimes.com

I enjoyed this and found it persuasive:

'Quixote,' Colbert and the Reality of Fiction - NYTimes.com

I'm puzzled, though, by one long sentence that appears to express an important idea:
“In fact, the common notion of objective reality that most of us would recognize today and the one on which Professor Rosenberg’s defense of naturalism rests — as that which persists independent of our subjective perspectives — is mutually dependent on the multiple perspectives cultivated by the fictional worldview.”
I suppose that what he means is that what we think we know "independent of our subjective perspectives," that is, what we take to be testable "reality" outside of our optical or other illusions, depends on our ability to assume other, different points of view. Even, in the case of Pasteur for example, the point of view of a germ cell, or for Darwin the point of view of any animal with an urge to mate. Or for a sociologist, the point of view of a person in a different culture or a different social situation from one's own. And that ability to imagine oneself as different "selves," that is, with different possible narrative points of view, is what fiction teaches us.

Now that is an important idea. I'm just not sure that it was the idea William Egginton meant to convey.
(The image above, of course, is Pablo Ruiz Picasso's famous drawing.)

1 comment:

Dirk van Nouhuys said...

Boy, there sure are lot of thought-demanding questions both in Egginton's essay and in your response. It would take days of looking up and brain and sentence cudgeling to respond usefully.