The Stories We’re Told

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”

― Stephen King

How so ever true.

I have been an ardent reader since Jr Hi, of both fiction and history, and I have sometimes found more truths in fiction than in the history books.

I own an 1848 edition of Willard’s Abridged History of the United States. It recounts salient events in America’s discovery and colonialization, but focuses on those involving the founding of our country following the Revolutionary War and up to 1820 and our westward expansion (all the way to the Mississippi River!).

I consider it virtually a first-hand reporting (it was originally published in 1883, just 63 years after the events written about), without commentary or apparent bias (the preface states that it’s intended use was as a school textbook).

Now I recognize that a lot of material has been found over the years that maybe wasn’t known or available to Willard at the time she wrote her history, but that doesn’t alter the fact that in many respects, when comparing it to what is written in modern history books about the same period, there are striking differences in many ways and begs the question of how much we’re taught today that’s “revised” history, history as we want to believe happened in a certain way and why, and thus –  to a lesser or greater extent – fiction.

And much fiction contains truths within the made-up story, if only the reader is able to read between the lines. A prime example would be George Orwell’s political satire, Animal Farm, that illustrated the inane thinking behind Communism, as well as the personality-types that flurish under it as a form of government (control) over it’s citizens. At times employing a bit too much hyperbole, but nonetheless truth.

So where is all this taking me?

Nowhere.

Just an observation.

– Bill

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