The Is Fiction The Art Of Living? Essay

1009 Words Jul 30th, 2016 null Page
As humans, we often we look into mirrors - both literal and figurative - to find a reflection of ourselves. That reflection, however, is typically vastly different from how we are perceived by others: our friends; our families; our enemies. In the same way, we read literary fiction and find a reflection glaring back at us, a reflection that imprints in our psyches the fantasies we long to find as truths in our lives. Yet collectively, our readings of literature produce in each of us vastly different reflections, representative of the vastly different fantasies that are derived from our individual perceptions and interpretations of the world. It is this variance in reflections of the world drawn from reading and writing literature that Varga Llosa advances as the art of fiction. “Is Fiction the Art of Living?” characterizes literary fiction as an art form that begs the question of truth. In an initially critical manner, Varga Llosa demonstrates the grounds on which the Spanish banned works of fiction during the Inquisition period. He notes that the “Holy Office… established what in its eyes was a law without exception: novels always lie, they always present a false view of life.” He then quickly concedes that there was a truth and understanding of fiction held by the Spanish Inquisitors: it is in the nature of literary fiction to lie. In conceding this point, however, Varga Llosa qualifies the point of view held by the Spanish Inquisitors, advancing the idea that “through…

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