December 21, 2010

"Writing History"

A fascinating paper on the types of writing and the relationship between writing history and "truth" written by the sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein.  I was reading through my research for the novel yesterday and came across it.  I love how he interpolates from the report of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission to talk about history and truth. 

There's one line that describes so well what I'm trying to do in my fiction:

[Sach's third experiential truth] was an effort to look at one's subjective experience objectively, "in a truly unprejudiced way."

I love this because it encapsulates my attempts to capture what I've felt (because, really, what else can I know) and try to extrapolate to what others have felt.  Fiction writing is an attempt to take make one's subjectivity ~ the only thing we have, in the end ~ and make it objective.

No comments: