“The English language uses the word ‘persona’ to signify a kind of mask or disguise, a pretended or assumed character. The word ‘person’, then, is bound up with questions of fictionality, disguise, representation and mask. To know a person, or to know who a person is, involves understanding a mask. In this respect, the notion of person is inseperable from the literary. This is not to say that ‘real’ people are actually fictional. Rather it is to suggest that there is a complex, destabilizing and perhaps finally undecidable interweaving of the ‘real’ and the ‘fictional’: our lives, our real lives, are governed and directed by the stories we read, write and tell ourselves.”

– Bennett & Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory, 4th ed., 2009.

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