Thursday, January 12, 2006

A MIllion LIttle Peices

What constitutes a lie? Saying you were imprissoned by the Ohio Police for three months for abusing a police officer? Is it a stretch of the truth? When the truth was, that you were pulled over for reckless driving while intoxicated, the police officer reports that you were suprisingly respectful to him, and you did not spend time in jail, but got off with $703 bail? Whoa, more than a stretch of the truth don't you think? On CNN last night, Larry King interviewed James Frey, the author of A Million Little Peices, who wrote a "memoir" of his life. Frey didn't discuss his obvious lies, (well, at least not while I was tuned in), but argued that well, a "memoir" is a type of non-fiction writing, and does not specify that everything in it is "the truth.'' Sounds like a cop-out to me! True, in literature we discuss memoirs, biographies, and all the millions of categories in-between, but more often than not, it is "biographical" or a memoir that the author will call "fiction," such as East Bay Grease, writen by Eric Miles Williamson. His book is "fiction" based on the true events of his life. No one expects everything in that to be "the truth." But, as King said, and I agree, when you pass something off as a "memoir" and then go on to publicly call it ture, (on Oprah ect.,) you are not given the liberty to "completely make up" situations. Frey kept saying, well, I was just embellishing,authors do that to make things less absurd, less grotesque, more believable....sure, but saying you were imprisoned for three months? When you were actually just pulled over, and taken into custody and got off with bail? That's fabrication! Makes me wonder how many other people "embellish" their lives for writing, and just aren't caught.

Seems to me the almightly dollar had more to play in this than not.

5 comments:

SJ said...

I've been thinking about this, too (you may have noticed my blog entry). The thing is he says those records aren't available because they've been expunged. How did he do that exactly? But then there's his sweet mother nodding to the whole thing and he seems to understand re-hab. I can't seem to determine wether it's the embellishment and money deal of Frey, or the Smoking Gun website seeking for popularity and more money as well that is worse. I tend to sympathize with Frey because I can see why he might embellish a little, if it is a little, but he hasn't pinned down exactly what, or how much he's embellished, or why he expunged his record right before his book was published. If he's willing to go public in the book, why not on the government record?

Esperanza said...

The have checked the Ohio State records and he is not in there for imprisonment, they even had the officer on the show, and he verified the lie, on behalf of the state of Ohio.

SJ said...

Yes, but Frey says that's because he had the records expunged

aquamarine said...

My question is, if he is such a believable writer, why didn't he just write a story, instead of trying sensationalize it by calling it a memoir?

Esperanza said...

He actually admitted that was untrue, and they caught him in it. But then just called it embellishments. And he's doing it because it makes it a better story, which equals more $.