Questions They Never Asked Me

Or, the Self Interview by Donavan Hall (@theangler)

Q. Are fiction and nonfiction different?

Clearly, you aren’t expecting the short answer.

Q. Just to elaborate. Your own work has been compared to by Knausgaard, Lerner, and Vila-Matas (to name only a few). All of these referenced writers appear to blend fiction with nonfiction. Are there any boundaries?

If you listen to any so-called “literary” writer talking about their novel, they are bound to admit that certain elements of their fiction is borrowed from reality. Such borrowing is commonplace. Even the writers, like Aira, who say that imagination is the source of their fiction will have to admit that certain elements from reality are incorporated into their work.

I don’t think it’s possible to write nonfiction. No matter how hard you try to write what really happened you’re going to instinctively rearrange things to fit a narrative. Certain details will be omitted. Others will be added to make a point. Storytelling, even stories about things that really happened to us are made up. Stories by their very nature have at least one foot in Faerie.

Questions, comments, or tips?
Send me a message on Twitter, or (if that's not your bag) then you may send me an email.