Frozen lake and snowy trees. Photo by Mihaela Limberea

If authors are gods, sole and powerful creators of fictional worlds, they should be good gods. Even if characters are put through hell (and they should, if the book is to have any verisimilitude), there should be a meaning to their suffering. Poetic justice, if you will. It doesn’t necessarily mean a happy end. But something that makes senseHe who has a Why can endure any How, as Nietzsche put it.

This is what makes the Greek tragedies so powerful. The hero’s journey is tragic, yes, and we wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, to have to face those choices. But they find a meaning to their suffering, eventually, when all is revealed at the end.

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