Layers of truth

Julian Barnes was once asked why he chose to write fiction:

“Well, to be honest I think I tell less truth when I write journalism than when I write fiction. I practice both those media, and I enjoy both, but to put it crudely, when you are writing journalism your task is to simplify the world and render it comprehensible in one reading; whereas when you are writing fiction your task is to reflect the fullest complications of the world, to say things that are not as straightforward as might be understood from reading my journalism and to produce something that you hope will reveal further layers of truth on a second reading.”

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2 thoughts on “Layers of truth

  1. Hi Annie, This made me laugh because I thought “when you are writing journalism your task is to simplify the [….]” was you being classy and Barnes saying “simplify the shit.” – then I opened the text and saw that wasn’t it at all. The real quote is much more elegant, but I suspect that journalism involves a lot of what I imagined. xo

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