multiple time-lines, without borrowing science iiction’snmuch more relaxed view of motivational verisimilitude.nEven more brilliantiy Nabokov, in Ada, invented a wholennew world for his narrator-heroine and narrator-hero; likenDoris Lessing and Anthony Burgess, among others, henfound it necessary to go all the way over to science fiction,nin order to set his characters free.nIt may seem irresponsible to advocate the abandonmentnof motivational verisimilitude in fictional characterization,nas it may be inferred I am doing here. But it does makensense. Paradoxically, real people surprise us all the time byntheir capacity to act “out of character,” to disobey thencurrently fashionable laws of psychological and socialnmotivation. People are nobler and more wicked than theynever are in novels. Sometimes they invent their ownnmotivational schemes and live by them; even, as in the casenof the great devisers of such schemes, Freud and Marx,nimpose them on millions of other people.nThe only true verisimilitude for sane and healthy humannbeings is surprisingness; it is the mentally sick who arenpredictable, and their predictability constitutes their mentalnsickness. What makes a long marriage possible, so that itsnparticipants do not die of boredom with each other, isnprecisely our capacity to reinvent ourselves and each other,nto play the storyteller with our lives and surprise ournaudience. It is the automatisms of our spouses that arenintolerable; the very thing that makes a novelistie characternbelievable is what makes a marriage impossible. No wondernthat the easiest kind of novel to write is one about divorce!nIn this sense the realist psychological novel can only benabout damaged people.nNot that complete people act randomly; rather, they arenautonomous, they make up their rules through a process ofnreflection and artistic synthesis that makSs perfect sensenafter it has come into existence and been explained, butnwhich cannot be predicted beforehand by psychological ornsociological laws. And the mechanisms of this freedom arento a large extent implicit in the classical artistic tools: in thenliterary field, poetic meter, dramatic role-playing, sacrificialnand performative action, mythic archetypes, and narrativenstructure, among others.nNarrative calls into play a number of basic humanncapacities. Vladimir Lefebvre, the brilliant mathematicalnpsychologist, has shown that we possess an inbuilt reflexivenoperator which enables us to regard ourselves and others asnplayers upon an internal stage, and to imagine not only thenpoints of view of those players but their point of view aboutneach other’s point of view. Out of this recursive feedbacknprocess comes our everyday ethical calculus and the gradientsnof possible action we express by the modal auxiliariesn”ought” and “should.” We do this very complex thing veryneasily, like seeing or speaking; it is wired in. Our panhumannpreference for the golden section, which is the fundamentalnproportion generated by any feedback process, is related tonthis operator.nAgain, narrative constructs a temporal sequence which innThere is a small Catholic college in the mountains of SouthernnCalifornia unlike anything in your experience.nIts students don’t read textbooks or take notes on lectures.nThey delight in vigorous and rational argumentsnwith each other and with their teachers.nMany of the teachers you know by name. Most ofnthem are dead. Newman, Einstein, Dante, Kant, Aristotle,nHomer, and the College patron, St. Thomas Aquinas,nare among the permanent faculty.nWith the help of their tutors, students at ThomasnAquinas College read the original works of these teachers.nWorks that are difficult but rewarding. They are thenbooks that made our civilization. They are the best.nBecause the students at Thomas Aquinas Collegenstudy the best, their minds grow free and strong. Likentheir teachers, they demand the whys of life. As theynfind them, the chiHing fog of skepticism lifts. And thenCatholic tradition emerges as the solid ground onnwhich the buildings of truth and happiness are erected.nYou can be part of this exhilarating community fornfour years. They may be the four most precious years ofnyour life.nFor information or to arrange a visit, CALL TOLL FREEnfrom the U.S. outside California: 1-800-634-9797.nFrom California and Canada: (805) 525-4417.nOr write: Thomas J. SusankanDirector of AdmissionsnBox 106nTHOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGEn10000 North Ojai RoadnSanta Paula, CA 93060nFinancial aid program • Bachelor of Arts degreenFully accredited, Western Association of Schools & CollegesnCoeducationalnnnMAY 1987 /17n