It’s raining analysis! Everyone seems to have a take on this hot button issue (lolz), but few are as smart as Ms. Ninja’s. Elisabeth de Mariaffi writes about the nature of truth and fiction in Macleans.
The entire weight of Cat Person, what made it resonate, was exactly the part that Nowicki says bears no resemblance to the truth—the dynamics between the pair, the bad sex, and the gut-punch ending, which “diverges completely from [her] reality.” It’s reasonable that Nowicki was taken aback to find the little details that matched. One wonders why Roupenian didn’t think to change them. In the end, do they even matter?
Fictional stories are not true stories. Fiction writers do not transcribe the truth, but rather use elements from life to create stories that feel Deeply True— so deeply true that they become universal. That resonance is what made Cat Person a success.