Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Truth or Fiction

If we had to vote for truth or fiction we would probably vote for truth. If the vote were between truth and lies, there would be no question, we would vote for truth.

However, fiction and lies are not synonyms. They would be if the fiction was about real people. If the fiction is about imaginary people then they might be more truth in the novel than in the biography.

I am going to quote a few paragraphs by two great American women novelists of the 20th century.

“Pa Kurtz was slight and wiry, all muscle and bounce. His wife had avoirdupois to spare and her leisurely walk was what is known in common parlance as a waddle” (Star Across the Tracks, Bess Streeter Aldrich, copyright 1949, pg. 18). She is the heroine in the story.

“A door opened at the back of the hall, letting in light, and a woman came through it, a country lady of immense size and immense charm. She advanced with a stately swaying motion, shifting her great weight from foot to the other with patient humorous determination that did not mask her fatigue. Her white apron billowed before her, and her bright pink knitted cardigan, buttoned up over her bosom to her chin, strained at all her buttons with desperation but success, holding fast, but showing spotless white petticoat at all the interstices” (The Heart of the Family, Elizabeth Goudge, pg. 17).

Then there are the women in Botswana of the books The Ladies No.1 Detective Agency.

Descriptions of this kind of real people would be considered insulting even though they might be accurate.

No comments: