>BacktrackingPosted: August 2, 2005
>I started writing something for this blog this morning, relating my feelings and apprehensions about a future event that involves several other people. And I stopped, unsure of how to make it right.
Ms. Didion said “Writers are always selling somebody out.” The quote is overused, of course; it is often misunderstood. It is sometimes assumed to mean that writers are always on the lookout for a story, the story, a subversive way to undercut your subject matter.
What she meant, however, is that no matter how close you are to the subject, no matter how elegant or respectful your intentions, your perspective on a series of events, or another person’s experience is still your intractable perspective. You are always viewing the material from the outside; you are viewing it as just that: material.
I am better suited to writing fiction, where I can wrap the real events in layers of structure and character, mix plot with pacing to remove all traces of the veracity of the situation. I am not good at “reporting.”