For most people, life means believing narratives as wishful as the fairy tales that Soering was in thrall to. We hold that heartfelt deeds will make a difference; stories starting with a meet-cute will, by the logic of plot, end well. We find ourselves in hard-strummed songs; we cherish characters in books and shows for seeming like real people, though our sense of what is genuine is shaped largely by what we watch and read.
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