Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Convergence of Inauthentic Authenticity

As I shared my story with my wife, Amy, I realized the amount of artistic license that I had taken with the story. She had been with me in the car with my grandparents while most of the events transpired, so she new the story as well as I did.  I had intentionally shifted the timeline on some things, but others I hadn't even realized that I had changed, so it was interesting to talk to her about the changes that I had made and their effect on the story. Overall the feedback I got was that even though she new the timeline and events were not strictly true, it still came across as authentic. That lead us to an interesting discussion of what it actually means to be 'authentic'. Perhaps we want a sort of achieved authenticity in writing, but if writing were strictly about what actually happened it would likely feel somewhat hollow and scattered.

There were also some ideas that Amy had that could refine the topic and help focus it. She was drawn (and repulsed, she wanted to add) by the imagery of my grandma drinking Vanilla Ensure, and said that I could make it more vivid by being more specific about its color (perhaps describing it as off-white or yellowish-white). I found it interesting that she commented on this, because this had been a point that others had focused on when I had read it to them in class as well. 

She also indicated that the end of the story brought up a new character-my sister-that could probably be addressed less specifically. Finally, my wife felt that the most important part of the story was my Grandpa, and that I could introduce him sooner and more specifically. At the same time, she liked the light-hearted intro and conclusion, using my Step-Grandma to lighten the mood. Overall, it was very interesting to have a perspective from someone outside of the class, and it was good to see that it resonated with someone, biased though she may be. 

1 comment:

  1. Inauthentic Authenticity, very interesting. It is comforting to know that your wife, who was present, still saw your writing as authentic even though not completely true timeline wise. It brings up the interesting topic of weather or not something can be "True" even though it is not completely factual. I say yes. Cheers to you for keeping your writing authentic although there is a timeline shift.It shows that you write about those things that are most important.