Saturday, January 8, 2011

Again, with the James Frey-

I'm in white as white can be (on all fronts) Bennington Vermont. I just asked my first question in a lecture. The subject was about responsibility in non-fiction. Poetic license. Truthy-ness. How much has to be true before you can market and sell something as "biography" something I don't want, or have the GI tract to process again. It's an old conversation. YET

There is real disagreement. What qualifies you to speak for a larger group under the singular? Rigoberta Menchu...I believe her license was true, and the the use of the passive voice, and particular linguistic and oral traditions are far away enough from my own to qualify her for to speak for an idea, a history, some people. James Frey/ his editors co-opting the experience of a disease...doesn't speak for a larger group. I do not believe he has his union card. I think there are addicts out there to write it better, say it better. Give them the cash.

be who you are ... what you are. If it didn't happen to you, but "wouldn't it be cool if it did, what would that look like?" exercise belongs in fiction...and have the brass ones to throw your hat in that arena.

When I give my time and money to someone's work..., there is an unspoken agreement. I take the responsibility of a reader and you take the responsibility of calling a spade a spade. A bio a bio, a novel a novel, an auto ethnography an auto ethnography. Don't cheat.

If a painting is sold as the product of a blind horse with a brush in its mouth, and I found out it was painted by a 43 year old man...I may feel violated.


we can just agree that all writing is half truths...and get rid of those little signs above the books...

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