The Gospels? You couldn’t make it up
The Gospels? Such great literature you couldn’t make it up. Except it is important that they were made up. All history contains a kernel of truth enwrapped in the many-coloured cloaks of fiction. For in the mirror of history it is ourselves we inevitably see dressed in period costume. Only fiction can tell us the deepest truths about human nature and our experience of the world. Sociological surveys – there were 225 cases of marital infidelity in St Petersburg in 1885 – do not do the job. Anna Karenina does. Fiction is the wife of fact.