It is always fun to see what Wilson has to say about any topic. On the Origins of the Arts. A quote:
E. L. Doctorow asks,
Who would give up the Iliad for the “real” historical record? Of course the writer has a responsibility, whether as solemn interpreter or satirist, to make a composition that serves a revealed truth. But we demand that of all creative artists, of whatever medium. Besides which a reader of fiction who finds, in a novel, a familiar public figure saying and doing things not reported elsewhere knows he is reading fiction. He knows the novelist hopes to lie his way to a greater truth than is possible with factual reportage. The novel is an aesthetic rendering that would portray a public figure interpretively no less than the portrait on an easel. The novel is not read as a newspaper is read; it is read as it is written, in the spirit of freedom.
Picasso expressed the same idea summarily: “Art is the lie that helps us to see the truth.”