Sopranos Again

Watching the latest episode of the Sopranos (Wow, great!), I was reminded of the art lesson I quote from Muriel Spark in a recent entry—

Fiction is lies. And in order to do this you have got to have a very good sense of what is the truth. You can’t do the art of deception, of deceiving people so they suspend disbelief, without having that sense very strongly indeed

Her principle is demonstrated by Tony’s visits to the therapist. “My shrink,” he calls her. Well, you cannot go to a therapist and be as otherwise degraded as Tony Soprano, you cannot believe in therapy and disbelieve in homosexuality, the big theme of the latest episode. It is utterly implausible. But who cares? The therapy sessions are artistically necessary: they yield up Tony’s interior life in ways that this shrewd, grunting action figure would not otherwise allow us to see, they make him reflective and sympathetic, in short, make him a main character. So we all go willingly along with the lie.