IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HISTORY AND HISTORICAL FICTION?

Anyone, liberal or conservative, who freely uses large-scale collective nouns when speaking pejoratively is a possible gateway to fascism. Why? Because negativity directed at a group presumes to reduce individual human beings to some lowest common denominators based on prejudice.

‎”If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.”

Here’s a “good” teacher, part-fiction, part-fact: C. S. Lewis, author of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (and others). Fact because this is a real human being. Fiction because by far his biggest influence on the world, and in particular the world of children, is exerted in countless ways, each day, as new kids discover the chronicles of Narnia.

Two points to make.

Firstly, is there any real difference between fictional and historical, when it comes to the characters? Today’s biography is tomorrow’s mythology.

Secondly, is it meaningful to refer to a literary character as a “teacher” if they’re not shown teaching anything?

I suppose that’s a difference between clickbait and content. The former spins words and arbitrary tropes into the appearance of content, denuded of that which might be substantial (i.e. controversial or challenging) – a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down; especially if the medicine dissolves into sugar anyway. The latter weaves words and apposite tropes into an authentic, substantially original end result (i.e. by default, challenging) – a spoonful of medicine helped down by as little sugar as writing quality needs, to go down.

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