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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Friday, July 14, 2006

The Immorality of Facts

Sometimes I go on a bit. You wouldn’t have noticed.

Anyway one of my going ons is the difference between facts and truth. Truth is the essence of all great writing. Great writing aims to reveal the truth. I am not saying it succeeds, but it gives it a damn good shot. It’s like Kundera says, the sole raison d’etre of a novel is to reveal a hitherto unknown piece of human existence. Any novel which fails to do this, he states, is immoral.
Don’t you love it? Another guy to invite to your party.

But I am in agreement. Literature in whatever form you are working in is about truth. And the facts rarely (never) reveal that.

Here’s another gate crasher who promises to be the life and soul - Mr. Gardner again, “Telling the truth in fiction can mean one of three things: saying that which is factually correct, a trivial kind of truth, though a kind central to works of verisimilitude; saying that which by virtue of tone and coherence does not feel like lying, a more important kind of truth; and discovering and affirming moral truth about human existence - the highest truth of art.”

Whoh! Take a moment to wipe the sweat from your brow.

So you have to let go of the facts. There is nothing real about story or poem. They are fictitious in the way your waking hours are fictitious. Make it up folks. That’s the creative part. The writing - well that will get at the truth.

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