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February 05, 2009



I must be missing something here: "Admiring a culture, though, doesn’t grant me a right to depict it in my own work." I hope we have the same definition of culture (since I write about eleventh century Japan -- a time I could not possibly have witnessed). It seems to me that here is a basic misunderstanding of what fiction is all about (and fiction is not to be confused with memoir). We writers of fiction don't deal in "authenticity". Rather we think of "believability" or Coleridge's "willing suspension of disbelief" to describe the transformation of fact and research into the background for our characters. We are judged, or should be, on how well we do this and on the ways in which our manipulation brings forth a new way of understanding human lives.

Ralph H.

Critics, who needs 'em? What's wrong with Springsteen's "musical stylings" on their own terms, whether rocking to the wall (as in the Super Bowl) or quiet accoustics? The latter, of course, was wholly predictable. Dylan pointed the way with "John Wesley Harding" after the heavy ensemble masterpieces of "Highway 61 Revisted" and "Blonde on Blonde." Anyone who didn't expect The Boss to make a "roots" album at some point had their head in the sand.

dick adler

Once again, right one -- especially the Lippman connection.

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