Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Genre Who Caused All the Trouble: On Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine and Fabrication in Our New Media Age | HASTAC:

At the crux of the issue was that This American Life typically airs “true stories,” journalistic narratives that are “non-fiction. ” Daisey’s story was assumed to be "non-fiction" and "true" as well. Yet as a performance piece or as theater, Daisey argued, the show about Foxconn is still “true.” While it was wrong to air on This American Life Daisey responded, “…everything I have done in making this monologue for the theater has been toward that end – to make people care…” Daisey wanted people to care about the human rights violations and in order to do so he felt that he had to “fabricate.”

While both Daiseyand Lehrer’s stories are very different in scope, details, and context, they are similar not only because of the issue of fabrication but how they prompt questions on genre. I hestitate to take one side or the other and prefer to be in between camps. Because I wonder how troubling the line between fiction and nonfiction or journalism/theatre may further urge vital questions in our new media age.