April 25, 2012

Truth and fiction

I was surprised to read a report in The Guardian that mirrors almost exactly a key plot development in Peter Temple's The Broken Shore.

In the book an Australian police unit try to arrest some youngsters in a car, but it goes wrong ... I won't add any spoilers here. The story in The Guardian echoes not just the event but the placating noises made by the police commissioners and the calls for police sanctions from prominent members of the Aboriginal community. Were the book not four years old you'd think Temple had read the headline and just copied it out ...

I guess this happens more often than one thinks. I know from my own experience that I've written something and a while later I've seen a similar incident on the news (or a similar plot development in something I've read or seen) ... and the feeling is one of both smugness and bitterness. Smug because in a sense you've 'predicted' the event; bitter because your moment of insight has been stolen by someone else (to include, possibly, God ... )

They say (or at least Christopher Booker does) that there are seven basic plots. Appallingly, maybe that's true in life, too.

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