[ilds] Seeking the Truth

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sat Sep 25 12:48:51 PDT 2010


> He calls the Quartet an "investigation," so what is he investigating?
> His own imagination?  No.  He's making claims about the world we live
> in, and that's why I call the statement "truth is what most
> contradicts itself" a bit of seductive nonsense.

Actually, it was originally an investigation of bisexual love... 
Revisions shifted the meaning, or I suppose the truth of the 
investigation came to contradict itself in time, so to speak.

Most bluntly, "contradicts itself" is a statement about the quotidian 
truths of characters in a novel who find that what they had thought was 
true was not and that their senses of "true events" change from person 
to person, perspective to perspective.  There isn't a final resolution 
of the world of wonder and contingency into a fully realized final truth 
-- if you've found a way to collapse the contingencies in your own 
"knowledge" in your life, let the rest of us know the secret.  We do, in 
fact, tend to live our lives based on selected fictions, mostly 
ideological and such.

So, seductive -- yes.  "Nonsense," methinks not.  It means something 
fairly clear in the context, and even pulling it out of its context, the 
general drift is still pretty clear.  I don't think many historians 
would seriously contest the contextual meaning of the statement either. 
  Truths are contingent and subject to revision based on new information 
because, of course, all information is partial and potentially 
unreliable.  Hence, epistemological skepticism.  It doesn't mean things 
don't exist nor that truths can't be uttered about them, but those 
truths are always contingent, are based on biased positions, and are 
partial.

Hence, the allusive appearance of the Quartet in "Stranger Than Fiction."

Cheers,
James


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