This morning, I walked into work completely anxious about having to appear in court to take the stand and testify about a case I knew nothing about. This, of course, lasted for only a flash of a second, until I realized that I am not, in fact, an Irish detective named Rob Ryan, but the same self I’ve always been. Rob Ryan resides in Dublin, in In The Woods by Tana French. I have never been to Dublin. Not physically, anyway. But it seems that when I am deeply immersed in a story, the lines between fiction and reality blur a bit, if only for fractioned moments.
This sort of thing, this novelimmersionosis, if you will, is not entirely uncommon, especially lately, since I’ve been listening to more audiobooks, and as the long winter sets in. The same thing happened while listening to the eerie The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (impressions forthcoming) though I actually never had a hold on where in time much of that novel took place. (I miss little things like that, sometimes, that I might otherwise have caught, had I been reading the text, since I’m listening while driving or walking most of the time.)
I have nothing particularly clever or insightful to remark upon this clumsy phenomenon, but I do wonder how many of the rest of you occasionally confuse your lives with the lives of the characters you’re reading about. Anyone care to admit to such a thing?