Do you know the real story of the 1800's, early 1900's or the 1970's? There is so much to unpack in the 70's alone. I’m no just talking about particular days or events but rather all that went into shaping those events. Most of which are never even thought about, much less articulated. There are thousands of not millions of stories to be told, from every imaginable perspective. Hair raising, blood curdling, stomach tied in knots and emotions frayed to the breaking point all coming just from the Single American perspective which I possess. There are other 70's perspectives which I couldn’t even begin to imagine, which are had by others from across town or from around the world.
No fantasy required. No fictional account necessary.
Here’s the key difference for me; fiction writers have to spend too much time setting the scene, illustrating the context, explaining nuances, invoking imaginary cues and noting personality and behavioral mannerisms. When all is said and done, what’s left is their single fictional fantasy, to which your imagination can run till its hearts desire is fulfilled. It’s still just a single perspective.
With all non fiction (even the most boring), there is a multiplicity of viewpoints that can and should be considered. There is rarely ever a consensus viewpoint towards a real world event. Any perception will be but a subset of the entirety. How many viewpoints of music in the 70's can one look at?
With fiction you get a story from a particular angle while with non fiction you get a story with endless possibilities of understanding. With fiction you have to talk with others to tease out the subtleties and nuances of their perspectives before you get multi-dimensionality. Which non fiction that multiplicity is built right into the story because every story has at least two sides.
Within story telling, you have to have frameworks and narratives. Which I believe is why I equate most journalists today with fiction writers. Rather than just telling the story and giving as much background and angles of perspective (you know-things like the human interest perspective), they instead attempt to lead their readers to preordained conclusions by framing the story into a narrative of their choosing (understanding). Thereby they make it the same as any one of a hundred single dimensional fantasy tale. True journalists let the story unfold and leave the reader to apply their own discretion and discernment to conclude the truth out of the myriad of possible conclusions.
There is certainly a much needed place for fiction but we’ve entered the realm of fantasy passed of as factual reason. This coupling with deconstructionism and relativistic thinking has left us unable to separate fact from fiction. Simply because so much of what is passed as fact is really just a fictional narrative meant to deceive.
Yes I know just how paranoid that sounds…and yet; do you disagree?
I think Ron Collins might agree.