Thursday, April 12, 2007

Get a Life, Jack. Lives Aren't Funny. That's the Point.

I pull this up by the roots from Romanesko and plant it here.

David Sedaris and his supporters "want to erect a penumbra that shields humorists from criticism when they blend fiction into their nonfiction but still insist on calling it nonfiction," says Jack Shafer. "If writing fiction is the license Sedaris and other nonfiction humorists need to get at 'larger truths,' why limit this exemption to humorists? Let reporters covering city hall, war, and business to embellish and exaggerate so they can capture 'larger truths,' too."

I respond why don't more people use their ties as a belt substitute? Answer is that we understand the convention and easily navigate the shoals of its existence, our pants firmly in place, though just where that place lies is generational.

I applaud all those who spend time pointing out that that which is presented as comic nonfiction is merely an expression of personal truth and any point-by-point correspondence to physical reality is coincidental. But the point of such research is that most readers already knew. We welcome the newcomers to the clubhouse and teach them the not-so-secret handshake.

Editor's note: Brother Robertson does not, in fact, have a clubhouse. His wife won't let him.

Publisher's Note: Brother Robertson's wife has not, in fact, denied him the right to have a clubhouse. He has never asked her for permission to have a clubhouse. If he had, of course, she probably would have denied him the right, but that's another story.

Brother Robertson's wife's note: The implication that Brother Robertson's wife is some kind of ball-busting bitch is inaccurate. The next time he asks permission to do anything will be the first time.

Brother Robertson: My wife is correct. She is an angel.

No comments: