Novel as Transcendent Consciousness

In the middle of _The French Lieutenant's Woman_, Fowles breaks through the veil of his story to speak directly to us, the reader. By puncturing the illusion of the story, he casts a light on the troupe of fiction to "create worlds as real as, but other than, the world that is".

I read those words some forty years ago when I was talking a marvelous course at college on quixotic literature. And, to this day, those words stay with me.

But it has only been recently that I have come to understand them more deeply.

Many are exploring the nature of consciousness, coming to understand that consciousness not only shapes our world, but is, perhaps, not even bound by our physical body.

These are heady thoughts, to be sure. But then, is that not the experience of a novel? Or any story, for that matter. Are we not, in the midst of the story, transported into the illusion that holds for a moment, our consciousness?

By so doing, we are transcending our own consciousness, merging with another world of consciousness that was created by an author.

A world with its own pattern language of meaning.

That is, after all, what consciousness is.