Story 08 | 2013 | Fiction and Reality.

Filed under: story.english. — Tags: , , , — supernova @ 12:03 AM

Do you know Robert Langdon? You don’t? I am not impressed since this man is a respected historian and a Harvard professor.

If I ask the same question about Shakespeare you will feel insulted as you automatically think that I doubt your intelligence. Of course you know that Shakespeare was a great poet and playwright. Maybe you even know his birthplace.

I tell you something: You know Shakespeare as little as you know Robert Langdon. Just in case you – unlike me – are not crazy about these novels; Robert Langdon is a character created by Dan Brown who plays a chief part in four of Brown’s books. The film industry hired Tom Hanks to play this role.

Granted, there is some evidence for Shakespeare’s real existence. The church register in Stratford-upon-Avon mentions a person with this name and its graveyard hosts a tomb by the name of William Shakespeare. Until the present day theatres all over the world play “A midsummer night’s dream” or “Hamlet”. Still, we know nothing about the person William Shakespeare. His biographers are actually struggling to reconstruct his life.

Dan Brown did what most writers do. He equipped his protagonist with a biography and some personal features. At least it is known that Langdon suffers from claustrophobia and wears a Mickey Mouse watch. Do you know if Shakespeare avoided small rooms or if he wore jewelry? I mean straight from the horse’s mouth. Well, I don’t.

To make things worse I have to admit that I am in trouble when it comes to the definition of reality. When I think of Shakespeare or of Langdon the level of their reality appears to be the same. Apparently, even things we cannot see or touch can be genuine. At least I consider my thoughts reality; even if they deal with imaginary professors.

In the course of the following weeks I will claim that reality and fiction seem to overlap or at least that we cannot tell them apart as easily and clearly as one typically thinks. And we will see how much this is a fact in information technology.

Talk to you next Wednesday.