Celebrity Paradoxes

A few weeks back Kottke posted a piece about the idea of celebrities not actually existing in their own movies.  I think this is a fascinating question about the fictional worlds which we view.  Except for a few notable exceptions (“Oceans Twelve” was my thought, just as it was in the Kottke piece) we are to assume that the actor who is portraying a character is a non-existent entity within the film worlds he or she is acting in.  If this is not the case than characters like Jason Bourne or Tony Stark just happen to pretty much be identical twins to Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. (well at least in their film portrayals).

The easy solution to such paradoxes is to simply ignore them and not actually bring attention to the idea.   Most films do this, and we, the audience, suspend our disbelief for the hour and a half of our watching.  Still it is a fun little thing to think about.

In a like contemplation of fictional paradoxes, I wonder about authors existing within their own works.  I know, from having read much of his material, that Stephen King has no qualms with suggesting his own existence in his novels (going so far as to write himself as a full character in the Dark Tower Series).  There is also the example of Jonathan Safran Foer in “Everything is Illuminated” in which he portrays himself as a completely fictional aspect.

Do these paradoxes suggest that almost all movies or novels are actually portrayals of alternate worlds?  Or is it just the simple nature of fiction that allows us to get by with it?

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~ by Nathaniel on May 28, 2010.

One Response to “Celebrity Paradoxes”

  1. […] is something that has fascinated me for quite a long time  now, and I have written about it several times in the past on this […]

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