Arnon Grunberg

Amazing story

Does it matter?

In a couple of days three articles appeared in The International Herald Tribune about fake-memoirs, especially about the one by Margaret Seltzer and the fake holocaust-memoir by Misha Defonseca. The article by Steve Almond was basically an overview, the one by Mark Leyner was funny and the article by Daniel Mendelsohn, the most interesting one, was more a short essay.
He writes: “That pervasive blurriness, the casualness about reality that results when you can turn off entire worlds simply by unsubscribing, changing a screen name, or closing your laptop, is what ups the cultural ante just now. It's not that frauds haven't been perpetrated before; what's worrisome is that, maybe for the first time, the question people are raising isn't whether the amazing story is true, but whether it matters if it's true.” Maybe it’s time for a pamphlet “In defense of reality”. Maybe a novelist should write this pamphlet. Not only is it in the interest of the novelist to defend reality, it is something that he or she should be good at.