Thursday, March 6, 2014

What Is Truth?



176 pounds

Over at The Writer's Almanac I read a short piece about novelist Frank Norris and was both surprised and excited by something he said.

He said, "I never truckled; I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. By God, I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn't like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the Truth; I knew it for the Truth then, I know it for the Truth now."

There are some things I most desperately want to say (in writing) but for various reasons (surely due to cowardice) I have been unable to do. I tell myself that if I were to write the truth that I know to be true I would bring emotional harm to some of those people who are closest to me. So, I do not write that truth. I am not writing it even to then keep it secreted inside myself, and thereby bringing harm to no one, no one of course except to myself.

One could always expose this truth by way of composing a fictional story,  or even a complete novel or series of stories or novels. But who would be fooled by doing so? The truth is the truth. The story would therefore speak for itself. And again, people would be hurt by it.

According to Frank Norris though, he believed that a novel should serve a moral purpose. "The novel with a purpose," he explained, "brings the tragedies and griefs of others to notice" and "proves that injustice, crime, and inequality do exist."

So true. Or so I believe.

So why do I sit idly by and wasted my time and waste my life writing about piddly things and fictional fancies when there is so much truth to me exposed?

Who knows?


Did You Know . . .?

We are attracted to the scent of people genetically different from us to avoid incest.



On this day in 1899, the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registered Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company Friedrich Bayer & Co. Now the most common drug in household medicine cabinets, acetylsalicylic acid was originally made from a chemical found in the bark of willow trees.

Aspirin was made available in tablet form and without a prescription in 1915.



1. Adherence to the truth; truthfulness.
2. Conformity to fact or truth; accuracy or precision.
3. Something that is true.

Veracity is the correspondence of the outward expression given to thought with the thought itself. It must not be confused with verbal truth (veritas locutionis), which is the correspondence of the outward or verbal expression with the thing that it is intended to express.

Note: The statement given just above is questionable, or at least debatable.


(born March 6, 1947)
Rob Reiner is an American actor, director, producer, and activist. As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence as Michael Stivic, son-in-law of Archie and Edith Bunker  on All in the Family. That role earned him two Emmy Awards during the 1970s. As a director, Reiner was recognized by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) with nominations for Stand by Me, When Harry Met Sally..., and A Few Good Men. He also directed Misery, The Princess Bride and This Is Spinal Tap.

(born March 6, 1967)
Connie Britton is an American actress. Britton is most well known for her roles as Nikki Faber on the ABC sitcom Spin City (1996–2000); as Tami Taylor on the NBC/DirecTV sports drama Friday Night Lights (2006–2011) and as Vivien Harmon in the FX horror-drama series American Horror Story (2011). Her most notable films are Friday Night Lights and A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 2012, she began playing the leading role of Rayna Jaymes in the ABC musical drama series Nashville.

(born March 6, 1947)
John Stossel is an American consumer reporter, investigative journalist, author, and libertarian. In October 2009, Stossel left his long-time home on ABC News to join the Fox Business Channel and Fox News Channel. He hosts a weekly news show on Fox Business, Stossel, which debuted on December 10, 2009. The show airs in prime time every Thursday, repeating on both Saturdays and Sundays. Stossel also regularly provides analysis, appearing on various Fox News shows, including weekly appearances on The O'Reilly Factor, in addition to writing the Fox News Blog, "John Stossel's Take". Since February 2011, Stossel has also become a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist.

(born March 6, 1968)
Moira Kelly is an American actress. She played Dorothy Day in Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story, Kate Moseley in the 1992 film The Cutting Edge, as well as single mother Karen Roe on the teen drama One Tree Hill, White House media consultant Mandy Hampton in the first season of The West Wing, and for voicing Nala in The Lion King and its sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.


"The law has nothing to do with justice, and injustice can't be left unchallenged. So I decided to be a writer. Writing can't change the world overnight, but writing may have an enormous effect over time, over the long haul."
--Leslie Marmon Silko




  1. Dear Gene, Perhaps you might choose the truths in your life about which you are happy. Those truths are bound to cause other people to feel happy.

    By the way, the word and notion of truth gives me pause. I cannot write as fast as you; it takes me a few days to write a website entry. But I want you to know that as I wrote today, your questions regarding what is true nudged my mind in a certain direction. What and how you write is a great help to me. Thank you.

  2. Truths about which I am happy? Good idea, Anthony... thanks.

    I imagine that you take loys of time to re-read and consider what you have written, and how you have worded it. I simply slap down the first words that occur to me and seldom change one of them, or revise them out.

    That is not writing quickly, but writing badly which is something you, being a true artist, cannot force yourself to do. And we the readers are all the better for it.