A Satisfactory Novel
Flann O'Brien (1911-1966), whose birthday is today, wrote:
[A] satisfactory novel should be a self-evident sham to which the reader could regulate at will the degree of his credulity. … Characters should be interchangeable as between one book and another. The entire corpus of existing literature should be regarded as a limbo from which discerning authors could draw their characters as required, creating only when they failed to find a suitable existing puppet.When I need a character for my novel, maybe I should just take one from Vargas Llosa or Juan Carlos Onetti, plug the character in, and keep on going.