The Lifespan of a Fact

I have been reading the above book that clearly is about crossing the border between truth and fiction.  In many ways, John D’Agata echoes thoughts I have had for a long time about various artists’ disdain for the way the world is and their lack of concern with whether what they present is related to the real world.  Up  is not down whether an artist says so or not. Now I know that most if not all factual material is affected by the way we see it, but that is no reason to deliberately change real information to suit a story when the real information is just as good, and in fiction you can do a great deal, but in non-fiction dramatic or written or filmed, if you are going to leave the facts behind, then you need to tell the reader that is what you are doing.  Mike Daisey is just the latest perpetrator of this and D’Agata justifies Daisey’s stance.  There’s a lot more to talk about here.

Mike Daisey: This American Life, James Fallows – Atlantic Monthly, The Actual Monologue

John D’Agata: New York Times review of the book, Poynter Institute response to the dishonesty of the book

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Author: Jeremy Solomons

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