An inquiry into the nature of fictionalization through an examination of the mutual construction of author, character, and reader in the novel. What is the nature of literary being? Does an ontological crossing-over occur in the act of reading? If so, what conditions enable that passage? Where do we locate the foundational antithesis of flesh and word? To what degree is it possible to differentiate autobiography, memoir, and novel? We¿ll read Roth, Kenzaburo Oe, Coetzee, Elena Ferrante, Nabokov, and Barthes.