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Monday, Jan 28, 2002

of fiction

"Deceit as a way of life is ubiquitous. Animals hide, mimic, change color, play dead to avoid predators; people disguise themselves, hallucinate, dream, forget and lie to avoid reality, but unlike animals they also lie to themselves. That writers are liars is a commonplace, but the truly achieved writers (or artists) are the ones one who deceive themselves so well that they can pursue a lie that becomes true in spite of its implacable falsity: Picasso's revisionist version of the human face; Joyce's belief in the incomprehensible dream language in "Finnegans Wake" and so on."