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The Truth That Fiction Offers

Musing Mondays2

This week’s musing ponders whether fiction affords the truth about human condition. People who discount fiction don’t really understand it—or haven’t read much of it. They don’t grasp the power of story to carry truth.

What truths do you remember learning in fiction?

When history becomes sour fruit and news lies and nonsense (political hoo-ha), fiction, although fictitious, might be our last hope for truth. A work of fiction might not appeal to every individual but that fiction is an accumulation of human experiences offers an authentic and myopic view of life. many a time lives are contaminated by surroundings, politics, and utilitarian goals and fiction is the only channel with which one returns to nature to look at life at its most naked form. In other words, historical truths on how to be human are already contaminated that they are not the truths. In real life, there would be experiences like fragments which are not followed up (never have the chance to be followed up). What about memories, often are parts of life that are developed but aren’t completed. What about lives that are suppressed, ignored on purposed, labeled out of spite, discriminated—like homosexuals.

When the social norm is one that treats gays as outlaws, outcasts and perverts, you bet some of the news and so-called facts out there are heavily derogatory and biased. Shame has attacked the very heart of what makes a human being human: the ability to love and to be loved. Marriage in the light of resolving the inequality issue is only deception that encourages an elaboration of a culture in which sex no longer plays a role than it plays in the mainstream culture. It only makes convenient for the dominant culture because, as Andrew Sullivan mentions in Virtually Normal, ending military ban and lifting the marriage bar require no change in heterosexual behavior and no sacrifice from heterosexuals.

Giovanni’s Room (James Baldwin), Maurice (E.M. Forster) and Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides) are novels that truly restores reader’s attention to what makes us human: the ability to love and dignity to come to terms with sexual identity. These books at life when it is deemed outside of normal existence by society’s standard. It explores nature vs. nurture, rebirth, and how one comes to terms to his/her own human identity.

10 Responses

  1. What a great post and I absolutely agree with you. My friend’s husband is always saying…why do you girls always read that fiction crap? I just respond by telling him we like it and you can learn a lot from fiction. Then there are the times when my group is reading a book where we don’t enjoy the main character because we don’t agree with the decisions that he or she has made. I always hear “I would never do that if it were me”, but then I think…how would you know you wouldn’t react that way unless you were actually in the situation.

    Reading good fiction has broadened my thinking on many levels.

    • Fiction reaches us in a way that factual non-fiction cannot: to appeal to our feelings and emotions. Many a time we don’t see the truth because the facts presented to us are dry. The truth from fiction is more far-fetching because sometimes in life we make decisions that others deem totally absurd.

  2. You are so right about what makes us human!

    • Unfortunately the social norms, politics and religion included, often force us to accept and to conform to what *they* think is the way to be human.

  3. Whoa….deep and thought provoking answer. The thing I love about meme’s like this is the different perspectives. I learned different lessons from the norm as well, Although….truth be told, II might have been taught with a learning curve in mind . Here is my answer for Musing for Monday.

    • Human condition is unfathomable and capricious. Whereas non-fiction concerns with facts, fiction is realm of different ways and all the unimaginable ways we live.

  4. It takes a human soul to understand fiction. In many ways our culture and people have lost much of their humanity and values; hence, they’ve lost interest in fiction. Fiction generally doesn’t equate to science…it’s more humane, more emotive, more feeling and caring, and more value-oriented. There’s much to be learned and much to be experienced and shared through fiction, and it’s only valued by those who are truly seekers of truth, beauty and a quality of understanding that brings growth. I applaud you for understanding and sharing that with all of us.

    Hugs from Your Bookish Dame/ Deb

    PS: I’ve listed on my Blog List

    • Thank you Bookish Dame. Fiction reminds us our forgotten values while we struggle to achieve our goals in society. What you said is so true, fiction serves as a reminder to our values, feelings, love, and soul.

  5. I guess getting to the end you concentrated on one aspect of your discussion. Fiction should be defined only as a story told entirely from the mind. As to its veracity only readers would judge. To me as an African and one who promotes African Literature almost every novel I have read by Africans are factual, not the remote definition of fiction. No! Matigari is a novel by Ngugi wa Thiong’o. When the author published this novel the government sought the main character in the novel out. When they (the government) later realised that it was just a character in the book, they burnt 1000 copies of the books and its author went into exile. Tell me what happened after the books publication is not more fictitious than what the author wrote? These are facts not fiction.

  6. All I can say is the government is totally not in touch with human values.

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