Good Fake, Bad Fake

ceci n'est pas un ecrivain

AlterNet: MediaCulture: Good Fake, Bad Fake

I'm not usually much of a direct-linker, but I particularly enjoyed this. No fakin'...

*nods*

2 comments:

Fuzzy said...

I read Sarah a couple of years ago, after reading about The Terminator in the Bizarre Magazine. I think the edge was the whole Truck Stop whore child exploitation thing. At the time he was being compared to Dennis Cooper and there was talk of Gus Van Sant directing a movie version of it. Like everybody I was sort of washed along with this hype. So now they say he/she is not really him or her but somebody else. Maybe I am too anaesthetized to popular culture but I just thought “and?” When I told this story to one of my friends they got all defensive and started ranting about how you shouldn’t pretend to be a trunk stop child prostitute if you are not really. I found her reaction to be far too egocentric. I just think this story is so typical of the way modern society is moving. Just look at the way Reality TV has turned on itself. Eventually everything will eat itself, if that makes any sense.

The Gripes of Wrath said...

You post-modernist you!

- I'd have to admit that the JT Leroy phenomenon had kind of passed me by - I don't generally read the sex'n'drugs'n'shitty life writing stuff (too much like work...) but I was aware of him: sounded interesting enough- but for every JT Leroy you get an Alice Sebold/Dave Pelzer and I'm sick beyond the red chunks of stomach lining that get stuck in your nose when you vomit of exploitation/abuse fiction/biography.

Anyhow, back to my point...

That JT Leroy has turned out to be a persona rather than a person I think makes a very interesting point about the ellision we (falsely) make between writers and writing, art and artifact: the cult of "celebrity" has made it so that we want to see "the real" whoever - but only when that reality fits with what we choose to know about him/her. All creative writing is that of a persona - even a diary has an authorial voice that may be different from the day to day expression of its creator- and fiction writing absolutely needs that level of detachment in order to be successful and not monotonous.

JT Leroy is no more a hoax than any other writer using a pseudonym (literary history is scattered with writers claiming to write "the true story of..." even when it is apparent that it is fiction - it's a device, a technique, and as old as the novel itself). That people cannot see that well written fiction can be as "true" and valid as any memoir is a sad reflection on a culture that seems to have lost faith in imagination.

Shit news about the stem cell research, though. That's a work of imagination that Id rather not have existed...