Fiction Is The Only Way To Tell The Truth?

Fiction Is The Only Way To Tell The Truth?

British author of espionage novels John le Carre noted that: "The lies that have been distributed are so many and so persistent that, arguably, fiction is the only way to tell the truth". That is "arguably" correct. For example, there's hardly any television news or television documentaries that tell the truth of war, and it's consequences. Fictional accounts of war are broader and more revealing than the factual account, mainly because the factual accounts are sanitized. No one has an idea what happens when a missile or a bomb strikes a target.

Is fiction a better way to tell the truth than non-fiction? That depends. If non-fiction narratives are censored from the mainstream, fiction does seem like the better format. Plus, when you take on controversial subjects, you can simply say, "It's only a work of fiction" with less backlash. On the other hand, the audience also ultimately treats fiction as fiction, and not fact. Could George Orwell's "1984" be written as non-fiction? If it was, would it have reached a similar size audience? Would it have had the same impact? Did that impact change anything?
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