Carlos Fuentes’s Diana: The Goddess Who Hunts Alone is a fictionalised account of a torrid relationship with actress Jean Seberg. The authenticity of the relationship has been questioned. It is a odd though passionately written book, set in the years immediately after 1968. Subsequent reading of J. Edgar Hoover’s targeting of Jean Seberg and her sorrowful ending deepens the intensity of the tragedy.
In the collaboration that takes place between writer and reader, my reading of this story is affected by a memory of a torrid but doomed relationship. The memory adds colour and augments the sense of participation. This is of course the case with any good fiction that is able to tap into shared emotional states. It is one of the reasons to read.
Fuentes, writing in praise of the novel:
I find, in all great novels, a human project, call it passion, love, liberty, justice, inviting us to actualize it to make it real, even if we know that it is doomed to fail. Quixote knows he fails, as do Pere Goriot and Anna Karenina and Prince Myshkin. But only through the consciousness, implicit or explicit, of such failure, do they save, and help us save, the nature of life itself, human existence and its values as lived and proposed and remembered by all the ages, all the races, all the families of humankind, without alienating themselves to an illusion of unending, certified progress and felicity.