On the birthdays of fictional people

So, since I revealed the date in Time and Fevers, I can go ahead and be dorky and authorially weird, and say: Happy birthday, George. Hope it’s a good one; people are reading about you!

I wrote a previous post about how characters are and are not real people, and well, I suppose they’re real enough to have birthdays, though they tend to have them when it’s convenient or necessary and not otherwise. I don’t know the birthdays of all of my characters, although I could figure them out if needed. And since I am actually making all this up, I can designate birth dates that mean something: as in November 22, St. Cecilia’s Day, for Olivia, because Cecilia is the patron saint of music and music means so much to George. There’s some autonomy-stripping in there (especially if you add in JFK’s assassination, because who wants to be defined by significant historical dates?) but of course the day on which we’re born is not something we choose, even while we have the right to many more decisions in life.

You can bet that it wasn’t a random choice on my part to make George’s birthday April 30: Beltane, Walpurgisnacht, the pagan holiday of the coming of spring. (Also the day that Hitler committed suicide, which I suppose has resonance in the time-travel sense. Also a bunch of other things that you can look through here. International Jazz Day, for his love of improvisation?)

It’s bucketing down rain today, on top of all the spring flowers, and we may have a passing tornado: this is probably all appropriate as well.

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