As one who at times endeavors to write a factual account of some sort or another, I find myself hampered by the negativity of the undertaking.
How so, you say, when the subject might be happy memories, an inspiring tale of obstacles overcome, an account of nature’s glories?
Because, by definition, what is being written is a negative.
It is NON-fiction.
To write about imaginary events and people is considered a noble pursuit, and the product is given an affirmative name of its own – Fiction.
But seek to tell the truth and your efforts are cast in a negative light. It’s nonsense, and that opinion is nonnegotiable, and it’s time to stop being nonchalant about this. Instead, be chalant.
In this age of science and rationality, is it more honorable to describe what isn’t true than what is true.
A different word than nonfiction is needed. How about “truth”? Or “reality,” as in ‘I wrote a reality book?’”
Don’t you see? Factual writers have, by definition, been reduced to second-class status, unlike other creative and productive workers.
Do first-basemen play non-baseball?
Is the woman replacing the brake linings on your aging Chevy a non-mechanic?
When you prepare a delicious meal for your loved one it would be awful to have to say, “Here’s your non-dinner my non-sweetheart.”
Let’s call the purveyors of fantasies what they are – liars. Every one of those writers is creating untruths, events that never happened, people who never existed.
And this crowd of scoundrels is being allowed to call it’s corrupt and misleading creations by an affirmative name.
Better that “fiction” should be called “untruths” or “lies” or “falsehoods.”
The book columns should be required to write headlines that trumpet “the latest beautifully written lies” from well-known novelist Gompers Filch.
And that’s the truth.