Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Million Little Embellishments?

"Dude, one more thing. You MUST read 'A Million Little Pieces'. IN-credible." I bid Danka adieu and made a note of the title. This was after all, the man who turned me onto 'The Things They Carried', a wrenching tome that's become a treasured part of my overflowing library. A few days later I picked up a copy of 'Pieces', breaking my personal rule of staunchly avoiding Oprah's Book Club choices. But before I could get around to cracking it open, The Smoking Gun accused author James Frey of making up some of the more salacious details of his celebrated memoir. Suddenly I was intrigued, and not just as a potential reader.

As anyone who's read a few of my posts can attest, I'm something of a struggling memoirist myself. This whole blog thing has been a kick, but I'd planned to document my existence long before Al Gore invented the Internets. So it's with great interest that I watched James Frey on Larry King Live last night. Though Frey stood by his book (as did call-in guest Oprah), he didn't deny embellishing parts of his life story. Hmmm. I'm not really sure how I feel about that. Working off memories, compressing time, re-creating conversations you kinda remember; these are things anyone who writes at length about their own life does. But to trump up events to the point of dishonesty strikes me as more than a little skeevy. After all, a memoir is by definition an personal acount of one's time on Earth. Though I think authors are allowed a certain amount of creative liberty, changing the fundamental facts transforms the chronicle into a work of fiction, albeit one closely based on true events.

So here's the deal: Keep reading my drivel and I promise to stick to the facts. I reserve the right to compress time, mind you - but I hereby vow to adhere to (dare I say it) journalistic standards. Hell, if I could write fiction, I would. At least that's what I plan to tell Larry King's cryogenically frozen head, should I ever get the chance. Hey, that reminds me, did I ever tell you about the time I stumbled onto the zombie farm on the outskirts of High Point? It was a calm autumn evening, I remember the way the moonlight glinted off my steely pectorals as I cut down the brain-eaters with nothing more than a tripod leg and half-dead camera battery. It was about that time the Pod People showed up...


HockeyPat said...

What happened when the Pod people showed up?

Edgy Mama said...

Hi, Ashvegas sent me. We started a little blog the other day called So if you'd like to write more about the zombies, come on over!