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HOW FICTION SAVED THE WORLD

A Blog About

Storytellers and Storytelling

in a

WORLD GONE MAD

Are Artists Liars? Ian Leslie on Storytellers, Liars, and Art

"Of course... actors, playwrights, and novelists are not literally attempting to deceive us, because the rules are laid out in advance: come to the theatre, or open this book, and weʼll lie to you. Perhaps this is why we felt it necessary to invent art in the first place: as a safe space into which our lies can be corralled, and channeled into something socially useful. Given the universal compulsion to tell stories, art is the best way to refine and enjoy the particularly outlandish or insightful ones. But that is not the whole story. The key way in which artistic "lies" differ from normal lies, and from the "honest lying" of chronic confabulators, is that they have a meaning and resonance beyond their creator. The liar lies on behalf of himself; the artist tell lies on behalf of everyone. If writers have a compulsion to narrate, they compel themselves to find insights about the human condition. Mario Vargas Llosa has written that novels "express a curious truth that can only be expressed in a furtive and veiled fashion, masquerading as what it is not". Art is a lie whose secret ingredient is truth."  Read the whole article HERE

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