The Interloper

Consider the classic story of Henry, a backwoods villager watching a theatrical performance, who leaps to the stage to save the heroine from the clutches of the villain and a horrible death. Of course Henry is mistaken if he thinks he can save the actress. She is not in danger; there is nothing to save her from. But the character she portrays is in danger and does need saving. Can Henry help her, despite the fact that he doesn’t live in her world?

— Kendall L. Walton, “How Remote Are Fictional Worlds From the Real World?”, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1978