Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Thoughts - Is Fiction Lying?

I subscribe to Fuel Your Writing with the amateur and fantastic intention of one day becoming a writer. The bloggers there usually have great insights into many aspects of writing. They often times keep me going. 

A month ago, I received one of their encouraging emails only to be thoroughly discouraged. It was called And Then the Beckham's Paid Off Our Mortgage ... Please read that quickly before continuing or this post might not make sense. 

The writer, Christopher Johnson, is the editor for Fuel Your Writing and I have no doubt sincerely desires to communicate the best information to his constituency. Furthermore, I thoroughly respect Stephen King as a writer and a writer for writers, but I disagree wholeheartedly with his statement, "Fiction is truth inside a lie." 

This originates from the concepts that myths are lies. Tolkein and Lewis spent their lives combatting this literary heresy. Myths and with them, fiction, are not lies. Rather, they communicate truth through their stories. They communicate the truth of the human condition, of the sinfulness of man, of the desire for redemption not found. Fiction is the battleground of the human soul wherein men and women come to see the world in a different light through flights of adventure, romance (which, by the way I'm not a fan of romance novels, but they still communicate that which is true, lust), mystery, even science fiction. 

Take the story at hand, the Beckham's. This story communicates man's desire for unconditional love, a love which no matter the depth, can never be fully requited by man. The Beckham's, in the story, are an image of Christ's love for his Church. He's willing to give without expecting but a little repayment (our cooperation with His unconditional gift), a repayment certainly not to the degree of the gift. 

Instead of a lie, the Beckham story becomes an image of the reception of divine love and our reticence to receive because of our wanting to hold onto to our own will. Fiction is not lying. Fiction, at its very essence, communicates truth, namely Truth Himself. When fiction betrays that, it betrays itself and destroys the reader instead of lifting him/her up toward that which is greater. 

No comments: