“… present an account of impossible, improbable, or inconceivable phenomena as a commonplace narrative of objective acts and conventional emotions. Inconceivable events and conditions have a special handicap to overcome, and this can be accomplished only through the maintenance of a careful realism in every phase of the story except that touching on the one given marvel. This marvel must be treated very impressively and deliberately—with a careful emotional 'build-up' —else it will seem flat and unconvincing.”
To quote Kasper Gutman in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon,
|Modern golden copy|
Although they fought over a grimy package, paid for in blood and mayhem, in the end it is revealed as a fake. Ultimately, it is a copy that “proves” the validity of the original in the sense that one cannot make a copy of something that doesn’t exist. It’s a kind of physical prop metafiction.