Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wouldn't wrap Fish in it

[W]hile I wouldn’t count myself a fan in the sense of being a supporter, I found it compelling and very well done. My assessment of the book has nothing to do with the accuracy of its accounts. Some news agencies have fact-checkers poring over every sentence, which would be to the point if the book were a biography ... “Going Rogue,” however, is an autobiography, and while autobiographers certainly insist that they are telling the truth, the truth the genre promises is the truth about themselves — the kind of persons they are — and even when they are being mendacious or self-serving (and I don’t mean to imply that Palin is either [Heavens, no]), they are, necessarily, fleshing out that truth. As I remarked in a previous column, autobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves.As I remarked in a previous column, autobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves.

Gag me.

Does he believe anything written in that book?
It doesn’t matter. What matters is that she does, and that her readers feel they are hearing an authentic voice. I find the voice undeniably authentic (yes, I know the book was written “with the help” of Lynn Vincent, but many books, including my most recent one, are put together by an editor). It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety. It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. (“An American life is an extraordinary life.”) It says, don’t you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustain us? And it also says, vote for me next time. For it is the voice of a politician, of the little girl who thought she could fly, tried it, scraped her knees, dusted herself off and “kept walking.”

Undeniably authentic, but wholly unbelievable. Holy unbelievable!

No comments: