Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - Numb to Fiction

Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - Numb to Fiction

Article excerpt

In the recent EastEnders cot-death cont rover sy, both side s behaved pret ty much a s you'd expect . The BBC-bashers denounced the 'offensive' suggestion that grieving mothers routinely steal other people's babies. The corporation itself used words like 'challenging' and 'sensitive' - before caving in to the criticism. Yet, surely the most (and possibly sole) interesting thing about the debate was the confirmation that we're in danger of becoming, in Philip Roth's words, 'numb to fiction'.

And in this, I'm afraid, television has only it sel f to blame .

Certainly, even at the posher end of TV, you're hard pressed to find any understanding that fictional characters aren't meant to be the responsible representatives of an entire social group. Take Newsnight Review . There, the panel judges virtually everything fictional simply by how virtuous it is - as if the point of it were not to create convincing individuals, but to respect contemporary pieties and to make sure the audience do too. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.