You can now read the first chapter of my novel, THE AGE OF CERTAINTY,

Just click on the Fiction tab

I can’t garantee the final version won’t be tweaked a bit from this but you get the idea.

Any comments are greatly appreciated.

I will soon be posting the first chapter of my novel THE AGE OF CERTAINTY, as well as other writings and bloggings. Please check back frequently and leave any comments you like.

My idea is to learn as much as possible, which means taking everyone’s thoughts seriously. Learning is now my raison d’etre, the only thing that really turns me on and keeps me going.


2 thoughts on “PETE’S PRIVATE WORLD

  1. The purpose of this blog is to promote my writing and in general stimulate discussion about aesthetics- living as art.

    I am almost finished with my first novel: THE AGE OF CERTAINTY
    I will soon post the first chapter and encourage any comments.

    I hold strong political and social views but the purpose of my writing and this blog is not to try and convince anyone of my point of view. The purpose is to learn, to become closer to the Truth. A journey towards the Truth.

    I believe that we can have Truth only when juxtaposed to, intermingled with, distracted and misled by, misunderstanding. It is this misunderstanding that entails the honest fictions that are the stories of human lives.

    Our truth, our history, bangs its head against the wall of rational Truth, reality, and any one of our lives is the staggering of a physical body led by a confused and incomplete mind through this reality.

    In this sense each of is is necessaritly honest. Yet the willful nature of our purposeful ignorance makes each one of us inherently deceitful, and first and foremost we must deceive ourselves, structurally, as a condition of our existence and identity.

  2. Just read a piece in the New Yorker about memoirs. It was a review of a book about memoirs. Quickly, the complaint is that memoirs, from Augustine to the present, have evolved from a personal, internal confession to a cathartic, or self serving redemption. This evolution has led to a spate from especially the 1990s on of exaagerated or even many false memoirs.

    The author asks: why are we so outraged by a falsified memoir? He deplores the self justifications authors make when they are exposed, which come in two basic forms:
    1. The memoir expresses an overall truth, it tells a story of individuals unable to speak for themselves, for example Holocaust victims; or it presents experiences that really happen or happened even though the stories in the memoir are not wholly true or are made up.
    2. The memoir expresses the truth that exists in the mind of the author, regardless of the correspondence of that truth with objective truth.

    Now you can see, if you are familiar with my writing, why this interests me. The relationship between the necessarily fictive truth of one’s private world with objective truth.

    The author deplores #s 1 & 2 as a lessening of the redemptive quality of the memoir. He believes, and rightly in my opinion, that the correct genre for 1&2 is the novel. He makes a wonderful distinction between expressing ‘a truth’, the novel, and ‘the truth’, the memoir.

    History vs Memory
    Fiction vs Fact
    Private World vs Common World (he even quotes Hume)

    He ties the contemporary misuse of memoir to phenomenon like talk shows (Donahue, Montel Williams, Oprah) and then cites reality shows as an example of the craving audiences (readers then TV, etc.) have for these supposedly redemptive stories, now artificial scenarios set up to illicit emotion for an audience, which inherently have a fictive element to them despite their ‘reality’ aspect.

    What I think he misses is that what has happened with the audience is their understanding and thinking about the world they live in has, albeit not universally and no matter how frustratingly incomplete, gotten closer to objective truth.

    I am not claiming here that readers/viewers- those who crave stories and especially are attracted to stories about things that have really happened to people (whether internally- my childhood made me dot; or objectively) have overall, with the prominence of scientific thinking, now have a view of the world that has a less mystical and superstitious underpinning.

    I do not believe that humanity as a whole will ever reach a point where there is near universal objective world-view (see my novel THE AGE OF CERTAINTY). But as humanity becomes overall more educated each individual’s personal world has to take into account advances in scientific understandings. There will always be a distance between objective truth and personal truth, this is a structural truth about human beings that if it is ever trasnsended means we are no longer human, but something else (another debate perhaps).

    There are other phenomena we can debate: Reality shows/pop culture are a dumbing down of the use of people’s time and intellectual abilities so are evidence of a widening of the objective truth/personal truth gap; Radical Islam/Creatinoist thinkging may lead to a lessening of objective education, etc., and these are issues. If you will forgive my verbage, how one predicts the direction of human deveolpment depends on the faith one has in human beings as individuals. (I do think it possible that humanity can become more reactive and less progressive but I hope not.)

    Personally, I prefer fiction to memoir. any memoir has a ficitve element to it by nature and any reader must take any memoir not only with a grain of salt when evaluating its veracity but also as entertainment, story telling, evocative to one’s mind, pedantic (Is Homer truth or fiction? Does it really matter when you read it?)

    Love to hear your comments.

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