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October 07, 2014


I've actually wanted to write about this topic for years; a confessional of sorts about myself. Though we writers have a name for this, called, "Autobiographical Fiction", it's fiction as real as if it really did happen, but written in a way that it didn't.

The question some people might have is why? Why would we feel the need to do that? Why not just tell it like it is? Good question, but I didn't invent this genre. It's almost always written in first person mode, The author as the main character, living or re-living their fictional existence, telling their story.

When a famous person writes a biography, that's great. We expect the truth, a non-fictional truth. However, an author or writer wanting to tell their own story, that's tricky. It's one thing to have a world leader tell about his victories, conquests and his harem of women slaves, it's yet another for a guy to write a book admitting to sleeping with his brother's wife for the past 10 years, having been the father to two of his brother's four children. So the writer, rather than destroy himself writing the truth, sets the affair in another place and time, under different circumstances.

Part of the reason is that the story inherits the magic of fiction. The writer is still bound by telling their story, however with license to iclude fiction the story can take on a bigger than life existence. To label something non-fiction is to endorse it as the truth and who wants to write something that's akin to a legal document; that "...on the night of such and such at 9:01 PM exactly", this happened?

Writers are people too. We don't always keep exact notes and proof of such and such. Without proof how do we prove that something sworn as true in a book is actually true, and who the hell cares really, unless we're reading a First Lady's Biography.

Myself? I know and have memories of life events, but to put them into a form that makes the timing and exact details legally binding as non-fiction is fantasy. I can't do it. So writers devised this method of writing about the truth, making it believable, without having to proclaim it's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Also, there is often more to the truth than what non-fiction allows. There are the writers perceptions, hopes, fears, dreams.

I met a young woman today, we talked and she told me about how she climbs mountains, hikes in Alaska and other remote territories, para-glides, and yet she's afraid of flying, riding a bike or motorcycle. She's actually witnessed several tragic deaths, a plane crash, hikers falling off from mountains - "...all so quietly they died", she said.

My life, your life - it happens. There's no stopping it until death; we alone are the only person aware of it while it, our life happens. That's the key part to understanding what's called the Human Condition. It's inescapable. As Jim Morrison of The Doors said, "No one gets out of here alive". Scary stuff! But fortunately there is a lot to occupy our lives during our time here on earth.

Like books...

Of the many authors, books I've read in my life, I've been the most influenced by those written by Henry Miller, 1891 - 1980. When it comes to relationships and sex between a man and woman, life in the 1920 and 30's, life in general, perseverance, love, agony, survival and controversy, although his personality was admittedly machismo, he possessed a very kind-heart and a very humane side, a sensitive side.

Henry Valentine Miller - Author

The idea of being an author always fascinated me and motivated me. Yes, I am a writer, but to be an author one must write a short-story or novel. Journalists, for example, are writers, until they publish a book and then they too become authors. To be an author is a victory, an achievement, though much easier to come by than being, a famous painter or sculptor, in my opinion

Most of us really wants to be somebody. To be loved, to love. To have companionship, and a partner, and friends. My recent topic about Dabrowski's Theory highlights to me that it is possible, to be yourself in a relationship and in life. That is also what Henry Miller presents, the real world and a hero that lives it all himself, accepting everything that comes his way.

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