Thursday, January 12, 2006

Well, I guess I ought to ...

... say something myself about the Frey business. But I haven't read his book. I have, however, done a spell in rehab -- honest! So I can say that one of the things that is impressed upon you in rehab is the importance of honesty -- with others and with yourself. What Michelle at It's Just My Day Job says in A million little lies is right on the money. But Frey's dishonesty would seem to be compounded by a fundamental betrayal of a key principle underpinning the recovery process. This is about more than a book.

1 comment:

  1. I have not read Frey's book. Had no interest before the fracas, far less (if that's possible) after it. My take is that you approach a book before reading based on roughly the sort of thing it's supposed to be -- novel, biography, history, textbook, and so forth. I grant writers a great deal of latitude, but I expect memoirists will be essentailly telling us the basic outline of their life or experiences. I trust, for example, that that is what Frank McCourt did in "Angela's Ashes." To take another example further afield, I trust that that is what Mencken did in his "Happy Days" and "Newspaper Days" books. If I find out later that it was mostly fiction, that diminishes the book for me. You may ask, "But why should that be so, if you found the book enjoyable on reading?," I can only say it is so, and apparently I am not the only person who thinks that way. I wanted to find out about that person's life, fully expecting some embellishments caused by flawed memory or the author's feelings about what happened to him. What I didn't want was fiction.

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