It is not my view at all and not what I said at all the there is no difference
between facts and fiction. I have insisted that there is always a necessary
interpretation of "facts."
But as I regard your last paragraph as personal and extremely
inappropriate, I have nothing more to say on the topic. And I will not
engage in any further discussion at all about it.
Date sent: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 11:35:49 EST
Send reply to: [log in to unmask]
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot's letters--Gordon's Biography
In a message dated 3/9/01 9:16:35 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> So what you are apparently talking about, as far as I can tell, is your
> own preference, to which you are entitled. But it is not any more
> likely to get at whatever truths we can find. The idea that "science"
> is either detached from emotion or more true than what we know through
> emotion as well as cognition is not, in my view, even a serious one
> anymore. Nancy
I wasn't talking about the validity of science (on which Eliot certainly
was trained to have doubts), but of what I think makes for excellence in
expository writing. Briefly, to make an effort to stick to what are
commonly called facts, and save the fictions for one's creative writing
It's been seriously argued that if there is no difference between fact and
fiction (your point of view exactly), then there should be no objection to
fictionalizing history. Maybe that's what Gordon was doing, and if so I
can understand why her writing style would appeal to you. What has me a
little baffled is why you'd defend what you call her research. If
researchers are only looking for facts, and you say that there are no
facts, then "research" seems to be an exercise in futility, a Don Quixote
endeavor. Research is generally understood to be a search for data or
(ugh!) "facts." If, as you say, there are no facts, why would you want to
privilege "research" over just inventing any fictions one wants, for any
purpose one wants?
It seems to me that the word "facts" has terrible connotations when anyone
other than yourself utters it, damning the person in your eyes as
untrendy, not up to date, never to be taken seriously. But when you use
the word these derisive senses don't seem to apply. At least I've not seen
you put your money where your mouth is by making clear that there's no
factual basis for what you write, and it's something you wouldn't aspire
to as after all you don't believe in facts.