There's cognitive dissonance involved in imagining a member of the Bush family as an ultimate object of desire, like the guy who stands in for W in Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, or W's father in Lydia Millet's George Bush, Dark Prince of Love.
Then again, I can see Darcy from Pride and Prejudice becoming a Tory Minister in later life. Joanne Rendell compares Darcy to Barack Obama, but that's just random. While Gordon Brown apparently imagines himself as Heathcliff -- say what?
Which fictional characters would you vote for, if they were running for office? Which fictional characters would you go on a date with? And when you love or hate a political figure, Obama say or Sarah Palin, how different is the process by which you formed this emotional identification from the process whereby you identify with the heroes or villains in a novel?
2 thoughts on “How Fictional Are Our Politicians?”
Our politicians are pretty damn fictional. They have to dumb themselves down for mass consumption.
Ethan Canin — “I think one of the battles for fiction writers is how much to invent or exaggerate. Politicians are already exaggerated. They’re bigger than life in every way – their appetites, their ambitions, their personalities, their failings, their magnetism. In a sense, they’re made for fiction.”
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