June 30, 2017
I just came upon, and devoured, "The Education of Robert Nifkin." What surprised me is that while virtually all characters in this appear to be fictional, Clifton Fadiman was a very real fellow (indeed, as a lad I read his Mathematical Magpie anthology just a few years after it was published). Of course, fiction often contains cameos of real-world historical figures, but in this case the portrait is less than adulatory. What's up here?
(I see by a site search that my query about Fadiman has already been raised and partially answered — but only partially. Why recast Fadiman in so unprepossessing a light? That seems odd to me.)
P.s. My introduction to your work was via Lizard Music — still one of my all-time favorites several decades and multiple rereadings later.
First of all, how do you know whether virtually all the characters are fictional? Second, it is possible to have the same name and not be the same person. (And, I don't definitely remember, but I think the phrase, "no relation," may appear in the book). Thank you for devouring it. (For your further information, I was...well, I won't say a fan, but an appreciator of the widely known Clifton Fadiman. My identically named character is also a favorite of mine, but for quite different reasons.)