Why Some Love Fiction Works

My mother often told me that I was able to read by the age of four or younger. I would read anything that was in front of me. It did not matter what it was. It was a street sign, it was an encyclopedia. I did not differentiate what I was able decipher. I deciphered all kinds of writing before enrolling into elementary school. I grew up seeking refuge in books on multiple occasions. In Ivory Coast, I grew up speaking French, but my parents came from former British colonies. They were English speakers in a French speaking country. They spoke English at home, while at work they spoke French. I understood English as a child, but I started actually speaking English when my grand mother moved in my parents’ house.

Anyway, I fell in love with the foundation series as a teenager. Isaac Asimov wrote the foundation series in his later years. To many, it is just a bunch of works of fictions, but to me it is more than that. The Foundation series is actually based on the Roman empire many centuries before its fall. The Scientist Hari Seldon is predicting the fall of the Galactic empire, and he also setting up humanity for the rise of another Empire. The Foundation series inspired Paul Krugman into becoming an Economist. He sought to predict the fate of a society through trend lines.

Recently I started watching Hallmark Channel, because I became fed up with the state of the American political discourse. Hallmark films plot is not very complicated. There is no need to think very much. The conclusion is always happily ever after. The story is quite simple. A heterosexuals meet for various reason, develop an attraction and finally declare their love for one another. It is nice and comfortable way of life, but reality is not that way. It is messy, complicated and occasionally tragic.

I love fiction because the narrative of a struggling artist is not appealing. It is hard to make a living as an artist, a writer. When one lives in a practical world, there are desires and realities. Realities are more painful than desires. Van Gogh became famous long after his death. He was the classical struggling artist, and most people do not want to end up like him.


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