‘Ninja fav (and interviewee) Guy Gavriel Kay, writing at the Guardian, considers carefully whether novelists are entitled to use real people in their works. What a great writer this man is.
I’m not arguing, as Jonathan Dee did years ago, that this is a problem because of any failure of imagination. These works can be ethically troubling but some are superbly imaginative. My own net is cast more widely: this trend in fiction reflects a change in the way we address each other and the world. And it is happening, for the most part, by stealth. Most people – until very recently – haven’t even thought about this.
Do we value privacy in any real way? Thinking about blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace … all these suggest we value exposure rather more. And instead of challenging this transformation, as they are supposed to – certainly at the more thoughtful edges of the art – novelists are buying into it wholesale.