How many times have you heard the phrase, and go as far back as yesterday, “my life is an open book”? So people insist that everything is known about them, that they’re easy to understand, whatever. And how many songs are there with that worn out phrase? Usually it involves a heart, but either way…
It could be true as far as the heart goes, but when life is concerned, it is usually crap. And as far as the songs go, former Dream Syndicate singer and guitarist Steve Wynn got it best, when he went for “If My Life Was An Open Book”. With an accent on the word if.
Nobody tells everybody else all the minute details, let alone secrets of their life, and as far as the writers go, they should tell all, shouldn’t they? Well, there goes that ‘if’ again. Even if you are writing an autobiography, you have to ask yourself a question — should even al the hard facts be included? Of course, that is even physically impossible, you have to ‘round off’ things, and then, are you presenting an accountants or writers outlook?
Writers present their view, their interpretation of things, including their own life. After all, why would be the Chines I Ching, Book of Changes, be the oldest Chinese classic? The facts may not change, but their interpretation will, after all, some of those chapters are yet to evolve and can certainly change the context of the whole story. And as Wynn says,
“And you could try to change the end
But I’d just change it back again”.
And that is what writers do and should do. Their books are made to be opened, so the chapters are re-written, added or dropped. It is their interpretation, their view and it should be taken as such, liked or disliked.
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