The Power and Ethics of Language

I think the point of literature is to encapsulate the human experience in any way it can, but, as we talked about in class, I often feel conflicted about who can write about what and how authentic the encapsulation of the truth is. In the words of Prof. Rochelle, all text stems from an initial truth. At what point though are we willing to accept an authors’ credentials but deny the experiences they write about?

I think collectively we’ve agreed that Not So Quiet, even though it has been written by someone who never first-hand experienced the war, was based so much on personal experience, that we approve of it as an accurate retelling of the war. With The Forbidden Zone, we’ve read in the author’s note that the broken retelling is a stylistic representation of the war, and we can inherently agree that the text is an authentic one. But are books like A Farewell to Arms that lie so heavily in a fictional story-line, authentic and as worthy of telling as the others?