digression – r for real, f for fake

March 6, 2008

wow this story just keeps going.

““The biggest problem I see is you are sacrificing the biggest strengths from each of the genres,” said Edward Wasserman, Knight professor of journalism at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. “You are losing the veracity of journalism, and you are losing the imaginative license of fiction. You run the risk of ending up with something that is neither true nor interesting.”

James Frey. David Sedaris. Augusten Burroughs. Truman Capote. Norman Mailer. That bitch from last week who said she was gangsta but then not and everybody paid attention to her. That other bitch from last week who said she was raised by wolves but then not and everybody paid attention to her. Phillip Roth. Jack Nicholson. Professional Wrestling. “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.” “On The Road.Gangsta rap Woody Allen. “Curb Your Enthusiasm.Christopher Hitchens. Mumblecore. Michael Winterbottom.   the French New Wave. “Once.” Paris Hilton. Perez Hilton. “The Hills.” For that matter, all reality television, the dominant paradigm of mainstream entertainment. Other things that are interesting or popular or awesome or make a lot of money. Other things off the top of my head, or yours.

that’s not as good as the real opening to that movie, but he says, “all the stories i wrote were true, because i believed in what i saw,” and so i had to, sorry.

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3 Responses to “digression – r for real, f for fake”

  1. Jared Says:

    Aw, go groan alone. There’s a difference between 1) making a claim of reality in order to play with genre conventions or question modes of representation or whatever, and 2) making a claim of reality in order to make money by taking advantage of a widespread fetish of authenticity. A fetish that you rightly criticize. If James Frey had gone on Oprah and said “It was all an exercise in media hype. Got you, suckers!” we would have declared him a genius. Actually, we probably would have just assumed he was still lying, and we would have been right.

  2. songsaboutbuildingsandfood Says:

    sorry, i have been indisposed but i do have a response for you, coming soon (thanks for writing!)


  3. […] commenter jared wrote in with a comment and also reminded me that i never commented on his previous comment.  i feel bad! first, his previous comment, about my margaret seltzer post: […]


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