: I was utterly charmed by the game=playing of
: making Luisa Rey fictional. It does not
: actually follow that her reading of
: Frobisher's letters makes him and Ewing
: fictional. Real artifacts may be inserted
: into fictional narratives.
Yeah, I'm aware that a fictional character could read a real book or something like that, but unpublished letters? I can still conceive of this. Perhaps there is, within the context of Cloud Atlas, a real scientist named Sexsmith, who upon dying was found to have some unpublished letters among his effects, and the author of Half Lives worked that into his or her novel. Perhaps it's a novel based quite closely on 'reality'. But it bothers me somehow, seems contrived or something. There is also a reference in Half Lives to the restored ship, the Prophetess, making the Pacific Journal too seem like part of an elaborate fiction. Even if Adam Ewing, Frobisher, and Sexsmith are real within the context of the fiction, Luisa Rey is not and she has the birthmark. That seems rather odd. Maybe it's not bad; I don't know; it certainly makes for something easier to talk about than I find in many novels.
I think it's not bad. It's interesting, and I would like to sort all that out. I wonder if some sort of picture of overlapping circles or an arabesque of lines could be drawn showing how the stories connect. I don't have a real problem with Luisa Rey reading letters which mention a journal about a journey on a boat which appears in her own fiction. Perhaps I need to discard Mitchell's extra textual comment, but that's easily done.