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Behind the Fiction, Past
A Fiction Column
By Michael G'Francisco

Is Death “Truth or Fiction”

We can be moved by what we know does not exist, namely the situations of people who are killed in fictional stories. This is called an emotional response to fiction, which is an irrational conclusion. Does are emotional response to death in a story mean that we believe “death” is real or just an “out of body experience?”

Some philosophers argue that our apparent emotional responses to a fictional character death is only make believe, while others claim that existence beliefs aren’t necessary for having emotional responses to a character’s fiction death in a story because it is only creating an “illusion”.

Past generations of fiction readers have lived and died in thought in fiction novels. We, that’s the present generation, are no different. Can we, take to heart that the content of the consciousness is actually an ultimate reality?”

The question that begs to be answered is, “When we die, do we wake up in the morning?” Certainly, the watchers of these “living dead cannibalism television programs must believe they do. That’s probably the only way there popularity can be explained.

Scientists, yes there are a few, believe they are beginning to pierce the surface of reality. Their theory is each person awakes each morning in the present and that our minds are at the threshold of deciding to go forward into an unknown future. Einstein set this thinking in motion with his theory that space and time aren’t absolute realities.

Is nonfiction better suited than fiction to capture the complexities of today’s world? Some major magazines (Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, & Esquire) have announced they will stop or scale back publishing fiction on a regular bases.

To quote the literary editor of Esquire, Adrienne Miller, “We’re in a dark cultural moment. I think people seem to feel more comfortable with nonfiction. The tragic theme here is that literary fiction has very limited cultural currency now. Fewer and fewer people seem to believe fiction is still essential for our emotional and intellectual survival.”

Publishers are on the fence of which is on top, fiction or nonfiction. But, cultural tends also be dangerous because of the market factors. Book publishers often find nonfiction more financially lucrative when they publish themes du jour, such as political books and low-carb diet books.

“Life after Death” has become one of the largest scientific studies of the day. It‘s a controversial subject which has, until recently, been treated with widespread skepticism.

Death is a depressingly inevitable consequence of life, but now some scientists believe they may have found some light at the end of the tunnel. Certain evidence has been uncovered that awareness can continue for at least several minutes after clinical death which was previously thought impossible. It refers to some cardiac arrest patients recalled seeing a bright light or a golden flash.

Estimates have suggested that millions of people have had vivid experiences in relation to death, but the scientific evidence has been ambiguous at best. Hallucinations or illusions might play an important part in these studies.

Have you had such an experience? Interesting theory. Personally, I think it’s a walk on the wild side.


Now, go softly into the night. mgf

Comments always welcome

2015 Past Columns