Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Thought of the day: Non-fiction is usually considered plainer, even uglier stepsister of fiction, prose the dull companion of poetry, but could it be that all fiction stems from non-fiction, and that non-fiction should thus get more credit? I thought of this while confronted by a billboard for the new Nicholas Cage movie "Windtalkers." The top of the billboard announced: "Inspired by true events." And I thought to myself: What story isn't inspired by true events? Doesn't virtually every creative impulse of an artist correspond to a real experience or person in the artist's daily life? Doesn't fiction blossom from the stem of actuality? In the case of the movie, which I haven't seen, I understand the plot is anchored in the Navajo code interpreters used by American troops in World War II, although in reality they were not assigned bodyguards such as Cage's character, and shouldn't have taken a back seat to a white guy in a movie about them. But aren't all stories--war movies, romantic comedies, and all the varieties of literature--anchored in history or current experience? Perhaps Harry Potter or Star Wars would seem an exception, but even then, such fantasies are extensions and projections of our inner conflicts, dreams, and the subtle drama of our surroundings.

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