Monday, April 21, 2014

Authenticity versus Accuracy

Sarah, Rachel, and I had a conversation yesterday about the difference between authenticity and accuracy that clarified some of our debate about fiction versus non-fiction. A story, regardless of whether it is entirely fiction or non-fiction cannot ever be inauthentic. By nature, stories are an authentic creation or retelling of an event by an author. That being said a story can be entirely untrue or made up, and in the case of some of the books we’ve read, if there are parts that are made up then they may be inaccurate. I really liked this distinction because I think that, for me, it really highlighted the essential part of our debate of whether or not there are essential “true” events on which all of the books we’ve read are based. I think that we have to let go of that idea because if we all watched a videotape of what happened in, for example, Albanov’s adventure, or Krakauer’s ascent of Everest, and then were each asked to recount what we saw, we would each come up with something different. Perspective is such an integral part of all of the books we’ve read. It doesn’t matter whether another person on the adventure would have had a different opinion or even if the author outright lied, because they are speaking their truth about the event. That to me makes it plenty accurate.

1 comment:

  1. I like this comment because it deals with some of the frustrations I've been having. Who really cares? - is what I kept wanting to say to our debates about authenticity... Perspective is integral, interpretations are integral, without them we would not have a story. I would like to find the balance between being aware and critical and still immersing myself in the story and enjoying it. Right now I feel like I still get stuck either totally getting wrapped up in the story and forgetting to analyze it as I go or only thinking about how the narrative was constructed. Can I not do both?! It's a skill perhaps that I'm still working on...