Gabriel García Márquez on truth in fiction and nonfiction …
“In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work.”
García Márquez ‘s answer to, “Do the journalist and the novelist have different responsibilities in balancing truth versus the imagination?” Peter H. Stone asked the question in an interview with the Nobel laureate that appears Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews: Sixth Series (Viking, 1984). Edited by George Plimpton. Introduction by Frank Kermode.
Comment by Janice Harayda:
This is one of the most perceptive comments I have read on the difference between writing fiction and nonfiction. How many times have you read a newspaper article that had a small — even trivial — error that fatally undermined a good story? And how many times have you read a novel with a detail so wonderful that you forgave any defects in the book?
(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.