I want to think about this some more.
Say I invite ten people to a party and then ask them to write a description of the party.
Now say I take an excerpt from each description to write an eleventh description.
Now I have a fiction because the eleventh person doesn't exist.
But it does seem problematic if I give citations for those excerpts.
With or without citations, I have a description from ten points of view.
But much fiction by a single author is written from multiple points of view.
And fictions have been written by multiple authors. Shakespeare worked once or twice with some partner. Dumas notoriously had some partner.
If the ten people contradict each other, it calls into question the reality behind the story.
What is this thing so far? I admit it doesn't quite seem to deserve the name of fiction.
What if a twelfth person who wasn't at the party reads the description and adds a line or two of his own. What now?
How close can a story stick to reality and still be fiction?
Does that matter? Can it be a novel whether fiction or not?
How close does In Cold Blood stick to reality?
Of course, the clearly fictional part makes up the most of Lincoln in the Bardo.
I offer no conclusion to all this.
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