The Corner

More Glass

I suspect his novel will stink. When the story broke that he made up all of his stuff, everyone in Washington declared “He should write fiction!” and now he has. I never thought his make-believe journalism indicated he’d be good at fiction for the simple reason that he was writing on stilts. I’m sure Derb has better thoughts on this than I, but it seems to me that the great challenge of fiction is create an alternative reality which seems at least plausible and at best real even though the reader knows it’s fake. Glass’s fictional reporting had the advantage of appearing in a magazine and in a format everyone believed to be literallytrue. This is a huge advantage because the reader has suspended disbelief about facts, even if the reader maintains skepticism about conclusions. Glass didn’t have to conjure reality the way a real novelist can. And even now his new book borrows on the credibility of reality to help him make his fiction plausible. There’s nothing wrong with that when real journalists do it for legitimate reasons — William F. Buckley, Joe Klein etc — but Glass is merely re-victimizing people he took advantage of the first time around, feeding off of their credibility to advance his own career.

Recommended

The Latest

Rat Patrol

Rat Patrol

Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.
Why Obama Failed

Why Obama Failed

In a revealing interview, Obama tried to burnish his image for progressive posterity — but he still doesn’t understand his fundamental errors.