I hope people have enjoyed reading ‘Secrets: Triptych’ in all its versions. The responses I have had so far have been favourable*. A couple of people have been complimentary and a couple have been slightly niggled by the fact that there is no obviously definitive ‘true’ version in the three as written.

First: what makes you think there isn’t? :^)

Secondly: those comments made make me reflect on what we think is truth.

I’m not a massive fan of postmodernist approaches to literature or history, but I don’t think you have to swallow Derrida/Foucault et al whole to see that what happens in chaotic events is open to a certain amount of interpretation; by the first hand participants as much as by those second and third hand participants in the ‘discourse’ of reading about them.

I think there is a truth, an objective set of events that happened; in the story, in life. Au revoir to postmodernism at this point. Whether that necessarily can be recovered and told in a story is another kettle of fish.

Witnesses to accidents and crimes often give conflicting or at best slightly differing accounts. You start to worry about collusion if they are all the same in every detail. So most stories, true or fiction are almost of necessity one variant of the truth. At best. With unreliable or wilfully obfuscatory narrators involved it becomes almost impossible to decode the ‘truth’. We can see this through many works of fiction that weave different narrative viewpoints together in more or less subtle ways. Rashomon and The Moonlit Road (Bierce’s work I mentioned in my introductory piece to ‘Secrets’, do it openly, while other writers have unreliable narrators often exposed near the end of the novel as other more reliable actors pitch in (or at least we give them that credence because of the way they are introduced). Sebastian Faulks, Yann Martel, Chuck Palahniuk and Iain Banks have all created marvellously unreliable guides through books. There are many others.

So I don’t apologise for not saying which is the ‘true’ version. I know which one I believe is nearest the ‘truth’, but readers will have to decide which is the best truth for them.


*Just a reminder that I am very happy to receive comments/thoughts/criticisms via the ‘Comments’ system here. Moderation is turned on to filter any completely off the wall stuff, but generally if you want to write it I’m happy to read and approve it. I will try and answer any questions to the best of my ability.

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