Sunday, January 17, 2010

Other People's Words

John Dufresne (one of my favorite writers - read him!) describes fiction as "a lie that tells the truth." It's an excellent metaphor, and the reason we so often find pieces of our lives buried in stories about people who never existed. For instance, this bit of honesty from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:

When my son, Ian, died at El Alamein-- side by side with Eli's father, John - visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said, "Life goes on." What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't. It's death that goes on; Ian is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever. There's no end to that.