In true Fight Club spirit, Bill returns a stinging blow to Matt (and his petty name calling with ‘Liar, Liar’) with a selection for our next bout of
Chuck Palahniuk’s Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories.
You see, Matt only reads non-fiction because he thinks it “true” and grounded in “reality” and he regards fiction with suspicion and mistrust (is Holden Caufield less believable because Salinger was phony in letters written when he was 22?).
In search of this elusive “truth,” Matt is gullible enough to believe that non-fiction writers are telling him the whole truth and not distorting reality through some usually unstated bias, by what they’ve chosen to include, or perhaps more importantly, left out in the telling.
In his essay “Dear Mr. Levin,” Palahniuk compliments Ira Levin (author of many books and plays including Rosemary’s Baby, Stepford Wives) on his ability “to take some of the thorniest issues in our culture and charm us into facing a problem.” Mr. Levin has created durable fables that help society deal with our demons. If you want a sterile recitation of fact, read an academic journal. But, what we’re talking about is truth. And, no form of writing gets close to pure truth like a well told story.
Thoreau said: “writing may be either the record of a deed or a deed. It is nobler when it is a deed.”