I’ve never fully understood the huge concern people have with spoilers… Maybe because I’m one of those people who prefer the journey to the destination.
Anyway, I’m the event that others might be upset, here be spoilers:
Only a very über short thought.
It is so strange and amazing that a book, describing entirely fictional characters, set in a world which has never existed, experiencing events that are outside of our own experiences can cause sympathy.
Sympathy, true sympathy, is the creation in us of a genuine real emotion in response to what we read. And what we read is not real.
It is, for me, one of the most bizarre, mind-blowing and awesome features of literature. I am moved by Heathcliff howling into the night for Cathy; I am moved to tears by Conor’s grief for his mother in A Monster Calls; my heart is fit to break with King Lear‘s.
And non-fiction does not affect me the same way. I can empathise with real people, I can recognise and rationalise historical events and emotions in non-fiction writing but I must confess I neither truly feel nor care in the same way.
Perhaps this says more about my mental state than anything else!