Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tobias Wolff and the Act of Lying

Slate magazine has an interesting review and commentary about Tobias Wolff’s recently released collection of new and selected older stories, Our Story Begins. You can find the whole article here, and for now, here’s a tantalizing excerpt:

"To read a collection of Wolff's work that spans the years is to realize that he is obsessed with the act of lying. Asked in an interview why so many of his characters lie, Wolff replied, "The world is not enough, maybe? … To lie is to say the thing that is not, so there's obviously an unhappiness with what is, a discontent." A recent outbreak of faked memoirs has set off a storm of outraged pontification about why people pass off false histories as their own, so it's satisfying to read about liars who lie for interesting reasons rather than the usual despicable ones. Wolff is, in fact, a genius at locating the truths revealed by lies—the ancient and holy tongues, you might say, the otherwise inexpressible inner realities that lies give voice to."


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.