Fiction versus nonfiction

We all love a good novel, a compelling play, a movie that transports us to another world. Stories are the life blood of entertainment, and often of art.

One of the key elements of a work of fiction is that it is, indeed, fiction. There was no actual historical Hamlet, or Elizabeth Bennet, or Holden Caulfield. These people never existed, except in the mind of a brilliant author.

Of course there are also stories out there about real people. Stories about people like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Albert Schweitzer. These tales of challenge and accomplishment in the real world have their own appeal.

Yet it seems that as a general rule we prefer the fictional characters, the heroes who emerge from the fevered brain of an inspired author.

What is it about us that makes us more willing to recognize truth when it is contained in a story about made up people?

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