Francine Prose on Blurring the Real and the Make-Believe

Interview excerpt from The Weeklings:

Part of [the] issue that bothers me is the fear that what will come out of all that merging and blurring is some sort of essential distrust of the imagination, which is always there, in a way. That is, if the person makes it up, it’s not as good as if the person at least pretends it’s true. And that leads to the sort of thing like how can Flaubert write from the point of view of a woman, or how can someone presume to imagine his or her way into a character who is in every surface way different from the writer. Well, that’s what fiction has always done.  But if you start to say, “Memoir good, fiction bad,” that’s going to become more problematic, and more despised, really. And I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I think that people who have no imagination have always had to rage at people who do.

For the full, read this.


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