(via canatime)

Fictitious non-Fiction

I read a quote on tumblr a while back that said something like “There is no such thing as fiction and non-fiction. There is only narrative.” For writers of both fiction and non-fiction, this is worth some meditation. We get it in our minds that non-fiction is about things that are real or true, and fiction is about things that aren’t real or true.

Now of course anyone who has ever connected to a novel would say that there are many things that are very true about that novel, things that reflect the reality of life as a human on Earth, even if those particular events never actually happened in precisely that way.

Also anyone who has ever done any non-fiction research knows that 90% of all non-fiction is a cocktail of misconceptions, generalizations, abstract wandering, inaccuracies and down-and-out lies. If it weren’t, we would have had the world figured out by now.

So if its not fiction or non-fiction, it’s just narrative. It’s just someone telling a story about how the whole thing looks from their angle.

In the Turkish language they don’t talk about fiction and non-fiction. There is a word for it, but it isn’t used very often and it certainly isn’t the broadest demarcation of writing the way it is in english.  

So why put up the mental barrier?

Maybe it’s time to break it down.



See the sunlight,

we ain’t stoppin’

Keep on writing

till the world ends

If you feel it,

let it happen

Keep on writing

till the world ends

A little encouragement for all you writers out there of theses and novels alike.

me after finishing a really good book

me: finishes book
me: slowly closes book
me: exhales slowly
me: inhales slowly

A Puzzle trying to Solve Itself

It ignites me when I think about how impenetrably complex the world is. Think for a moment, of one person in one room, in an abstract universe stuck outside of time. That person has a relatively simple existence. They are in a room, with a given area (lets say 1000 square feet) to hang around in. For imagination’s sake we’ll say its a pressurized glass room drifting through deep-space. Now imagine that there are two people. Think of how complex that reality suddenly becomes. Think of all the different ways that they those two people will interact. What they will think of each other? How will there being another person make them become aware of themselves? What will they think of the room and the stars outside of it? What will they do? The difference between one and two people is as big as between that of a one dimensional space, or a single line, and a two dimensional space, which is a flat surface.

Now imagine that there are three people in our glass space-box, and suddenly you have politics (or maybe politics happened when there were two people). Two people can agree on something and coerce the third to go along with them. That is of course, assuming that they are all of equal strength and cleverness. Now imagine that there are four. Five. Fifty. Six Thousand. Sixty million. Seven billion. Imagine seven billion people that all have complex interconnected relationships and they have been living and dying and working and worshipping and creating and destroying and playing with ideas and customs for no-one knows how many thousands of years, and they represent only one section of an ecosystem which dwarfs them in complexity.

The system I have described, or the system that you are a part of, will take a long time to understand. That is, it will take many hundreds of years of work more before we have it thoroughly mapped out and charted so that we can predict its motions accurately, the way that we can the weather. All the same, it is interesting to try to understand it, even just the little bit of it that surrounds you. To look at it and see what it’s about and try to see what’s really going on around you. Then report back to the hive-mind of the internet so that people who aren’t near you can understand your part of it and how it looks from your angle and we can all understand each other and this system that we are part of a little bit better. It’s like there is this enormous puzzle, and we are all trying to solve it from the inside. But at the same time we are each a part of the puzzle, adding to its complexity. 

Bet you (ladies) look like this when you read. Thanks so much for following. You rock my world.

(via austen12-deactivated20120803)