True Fiction

I am way too slow witted to respond immediately to something as insightful and complex and true as Laurie Anderson’s new album, Homeland. I picked it up only yesterday. And I’ve listened to it only twice.

But I have this to say:

I’ve often wondered about how applicable to our lives and our collective worldview is the familiar (practical) assertion that the way for a corporation (or a political party or a human) to get on successfully is to get control over “the narrative.” In the minds of pundits, this isn’t a question of honesty or truth or of art or of writing or even of storytelling really. It's just a matter of being-in-the-mediated-world (or at least of controlling perceptions in that world).
What gets me, is that this assertion is repeated constantly in a world where constructed narratives are so often otherwise dismissed for being untrue.

In the liner notes to the remarkable set of narratives that is Homeland, Laurie Anderson has this to say:

[Stories are] illusions. You can make them up. You can get a lot of people to believe them…. I mean you can actually start wars with stories. That’s how magic they really are.
Yeah. What we need is new stories—the ones that are true. Listening to Homeland, I’m reminded that this is what I care about, true fictions that make a difference.


Mylène said…
Fred, I was about to post a true story to BoxOcto, but now want to let your spare but true post stand alone for a while. So I'll do it later. Meantime, hope you'll scroll down to my post on The Deadwood Beetle. It was published as a Kindle edition this week, and it gave me a chance to thank you and Greg all over again for shepherding that book to fineness. I am so very proud of it.
Joni Rodgers said…
Laurie Anderson is awesome. I've loved her work since I was a teenager, and she's always been on my list of dream memoir clients. I hope she'll consider doing a book someday.
Fred Ramey said…
Thanks, Mylène.
Greg and I were and still are proud to have worked with you. The Deadwood Beetle is such a powerful novel....

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