So this happened

Posted May 11, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 2 Comments

The Completed Works of A.J. FikryDo you remember the scene in The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry (known as The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in the US) by Gabrielle Zevin where A. J. talks to a sales rep about the suspension of disbelief? In this scene they talk about how some novels require a suspension of disbelief. On one end of the scale you have literary fiction were everything is about real life situations, then three quarters of the way down the scale you have The Magicians with its references to magic and Fillory. At the end of the scale there is A. J. and his decision to adopt little Maya.

Do you remember this scene? I spent a sleepless night analysing this scene. Trying to understand the concept of ‘suspension of disbelief’ and what the author wanted to say on this topic. I’ve been enjoying The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry but this one scene really stuck with me. The only problem is, this scene doesn’t exist and I was analysing a scene that played out in my mind instead.

It got me wondering about this weird situation. Why would I be kept up all night wondering about a non-existent scene? That whole experience was odd and I’m not sure what to make of it. Do others have similar stories like this? It’s an entertaining story, worth sharing but I feel little a senile because of it.

My review of The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry will be out this week.

2 responses to “So this happened

  1. Violet

    Ha! I create whole worlds for the characters after the book is finished, so you’re not alone in imagining scenes. I have a LOT of trouble suspending disbelief, which is why I don’t get along with most genres. If the action isn’t realistic then my brain just smirks.

    I don’t think literary fiction is necessarily realist. I can think of a zillion authors whose work isn’t realist and which I’d categorise as literary fiction. For me, it’s the quality of the writing that makes fiction ‘literary’ – Umberto Eco, Will Self, Jeanette Winterson, Angela Carter, for example.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.