Saturday, 1 December 2012

'Telling stories is really telling lies'

I used to collect wee scraps of writers' quotes that I liked and paste them into a book. I found this snippet I cut out years ago from BS Johnson:

"Life does not tell stories. Life is chaotic, fluid, random; it leaves myriads of ends untied, untidily. Writers can extract a story from life only by strict, close selection, and this means falsification. Telling stories is really telling lies."

And I love this:

"The novel is a form in the same sense that the sonnet is a form; within that form, one may write truth or fiction. I choose to write truth in the form of a novel."


Kim Ayres said...

Everything is true, for a given definition of truth.

Nothing is true for a given definition of truth.

This is the philosopher's dilemma ;)

nmj said...

ha, i think maybe writer's dilemma too, in a way! nice to see you here, btw.