Sunday, June 08, 2008


There are some people who, when they hear me recount something I claim happened to me, or that to which I was a witness, say that I am not being exact.

Of course, my memory can play tricks on me but I don't usually out-and-out make up things.

But now I have found a fellow sufferer and I'll let David Sedaris speak for me:

Last year, while Mr. Sedaris was living in Tokyo, quitting smoking, a small storm was breaking out back in the United States. Like the writers James Frey, Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair, Mr. Sedaris was being accused of making things up. “I do think Sedaris exaggerates too much for a writer using a nonfiction label,” Alex Heard wrote in a long article in The New Republic...

...In preparation for his article Mr. Heard revisited some Sedaris essays, investigating the places and interviewing the characters. Some details did not match up, and Mr. Heard suggests in the article that Mr. Sedaris “issue Oprah Moment apologies to a few people” he has written about, including members of a nudist colony and his mother.

Mr. Sedaris has always said that he exaggerates for effect, particularly in dialogue; an author’s note in the new book describes the stories as “realish.” He also maintains that in the sort of essays he writes, reality is a subjective, slippery concept, particularly as no two people have the same recollection of the same event. “Memoir is the last place you’d expect to find the truth,” he said as he nibbled at his sandwich.

So, from now on, I speak realish.

That's my excuse.

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