Playing 'spot the novel' in a train I reflect that the informational density and order that gives fiction away even in a sentence is the outcome of simultaneously employing more perspectives than are possible for the author of non-fiction, who must forever be confessing lacunae of knowledge.

But it goes further than this: when a character in a fiction makes an observation even within a single perspective it contains information of a kind that is not available to a living mind. Characters in fiction know what they are doing and why to a much greater extent than we actually do in the flesh.

This super-rich perspectival vision permits the writer of fiction to create a microscopic texture of interconnection that supports the macroscopic level of interlinkage that we observe in the plot itself. There is less waste, more meaning, at every level, including that of self-knowledge. Hence the remarkable paradox that fictional characters seem as we read to possess a degree of present reality that exceeds that in our own minds.