[The] conscious withholding from fictional persons of the conditions of their own invention means that whenever the verbal arts seem to ask us to imagine imagining, to picture the mental process of picture-making, it is only the enfeebled condition of daydreaming that we see, rather than the mechanisms of vivid imagining we are at that very moment ourselves practicing. This is especially striking in Hardy because the great philosophic issue underlying all his writings is the failure of persons to be able to imagine other persons in their full weight and solidity.
Scarry: Dreaming by the Book , p. 30