Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More about David Carr's memoir and the genre of truth telling

John sent me this link this morning as I was heading out the door. It's an excellent NY Observer piece on David Carr's new book and what memoir really means. How knowable are our lives? To us? To others? Qualities of truth? I can't wait to read Carr's book - but I also found this piece excellent:

David Carr's Crash: Drug Rehab Memoir Remakes the Genre

His Own Heart of Darkness With a Reporter's Notebook

(From the juicy middle:)

The truth is out there, in other words, but it’s in pieces. And if we want to understand ourselves, our world, what happened, and what might, every effort must be taken to reconstruct it. This is the guiding principle of Mr. Carr’s book, and at a time when the idea that facts actually matter seems to have disappeared into the vortex of the Bush Administration, James Frey and Margaret Jones, it is, unmistakably, a rallying cry.

To quote a recent Pub Crawl interview with the documentarian Errol Morris, whose life’s work reflects a sustained preoccupation with problems of fiction and reality, “Saying the truth is subjective and unknowable—that everyone sees the world in a different way and hence there is no world—is radically different from saying there are endless impediments and obstacles to uncovering what the world is really like and what really happened.

“There are facts of the matter,” Mr. Morris says, “and one needs to actually pursue them.”

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