Locos: A Comedy of Gestures - Felipe Alfau,  Mary McCarthy (Afterword)

For some time I have been realizing more and more clearly the way which characters have of growing independent, of rebelling against their creator´s will and command, of mocking the author, of toying with him, dragging him through some unsuspected and grotesque path all their own, often entirely contrary to that which the author has planned for them. This tendency is so marked in my characters that it makes my work most difficult and places me in many a predicament.


Such rebellious spirits is shown in those people by a strong desire to become real beings. They often steal into persons I have met and assume the most extraordinary attitudes according to what they think true life is. They assume what in persons is called a pose and has often ended a promising friendship for me. For them reality is what fiction is to real people; they simply love it and make for it against my almost heroic opposition. As one of them says:


"Characters have visions of true life - they dream reality and then they are lost."


(...)

 

The result of this is a bunch of contradictory characters inconsequent as their author and just as clumsy in their performance. As their personality is a passing and unsteady thing that lasts at most a book´s length, they have lost respect for it and change it at will, because they have a faint idea that life is abrupt and unexpected.


(...)


By the end of this book my characters are no longer a tool for my expression, but I am a helpless instrument of their whims and absurd contretempts. In short, my characters have taken seriously the saying that "truth is stranger than fiction" and I have failed in my attempts to convince them of the contrary.