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29 November, 2008

Self reflection

It's fairly obvious, really: novelists are often able to report the thoughts of their characters, but it's extremely rare for a novelist to accurately depict those thought processes in a realistic way.

That's the central thesis of a fascinating lecture recently given by Will Self as part of BBC Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' festival: 'Naturalism and Sanity: Is the Mind Really as it's Portrayed?'.

It's fascinating not because Self is 'right' but because of its subtext: don't seek the comfort of social homogeneity; think for yourself.

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