At the Guardian, A.D. Miller wonders why writers struggle to describe the “bonds” of friendship in fiction. What he finds is that close friendships are often difficult to “rationalize” because they limit access to common literary tropes:
Friendship denies writers the shortcuts they enjoy in the portrayal of other ties. A certain amount of invisible magic is implicit in romantic love, and there is always the fall-back rationale of sex. The axioms of psychoanalysis structure the way we read and think about parents and families. Fictional friendship lacks these conventions.