Great read here on Janet Malcolm’s new collection, which I will add to my reading list. Iphigenia in Forest Hills is still one of my all time favorites, as is The Journalist and The Murderer. But mostly I like this review because I appreciate any nonfiction writer who calls bullshit on the idea that there is some objective thing as “the truth.”
“…the fantasy that there are such things as facts that speak for themselves.”
“If, when we speak “for the material”, we are only ever speaking for ourselves, well then we might as well just speak for ourselves.
Lately I have taken this idea one step further — a step I have long resisted — and have decided to start writing fiction. Mostly this is because I’ve come to realize that the kind of facts that can be fact checked are of limited use for anything beyond the most quotidian.
“Journalism aims at accuracy, but fiction’s aim is truth. The writer distorts reality in the interest of a larger truth.” – John L’Heureux
Previous dwellings on this subject: Big Emotions, Small Stream: Why I’m Not a Journalist Anymore.