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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

entry arrow12:06 PM | The Kindness of Fiction

[reposting from the king of nothing to do]

Unlike history, fiction can proceed with confidence.

For example: a few years ago we were living on a Thames barge, and on the boat next door lived an elegant young male model. He saw that I was rather down in the dumps, a middle-aged woman shabbily dressed and tired, and he took me on a day-out to the sea, to Brighton. We went on all the rides and played all the slot machines. We walked for a while on the beach, then caught an open-top bus along the front. What happiness!

A few days later he went back to Brighton, by himself, and walked into the sea until it had closed over his head and he drowned. But when I made him a character in one of my books, I couldn’t bear to let him kill himself. That would have meant that he had failed in life, whereas, really, his kindness made him the very symbol of success in my eyes.

~ Penelope Fitzgerald, “Why I Write” (excerpt), from The Afterlife

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