March 16, 2017 § 11 Comments
By Dinty W. Moore
I am reviewing a blank book. The pages are entirely empty – not a single word. That makes it nonfiction, yes?
Because there is no fiction printed within.
And the title is Alternative Facts.
Facts are nonfiction, yes?
This is important, because the Brevity blog only reviews books of nonfiction.
So here is my review:
It is an interesting book. A quick read. The paper is nice. The cover feels solid. The entire package fits neatly in your hand.
By the way, royalties from sales of the book are being donated to ProPublica by the publisher, Abrams. ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.
So there we go. More facts. More nonfiction.
I am beginning to feel pretty good about my book review. I might write some of my good feelings down – in the book, on the blank pages (shown to the left).
Something like this:
“I’m feeling very good about my review.”
Except, hold your horses. (Not literally! “Hold your horses” is just a metaphor.)
But it seems I’ve told a lie here.
So is this review now fiction?
Or is it back to nonfiction, as soon as I admit to the lie.
I don’t know. Ask D’Agata.
But there are, after all, words in this book, but only a very few, printed on the very last page:
Two days into the Trump presidency, the thesaurus gained a new synonym for falsehoods, lies, distortion, deception, and total BS (take your pick). The phrase “alternative facts” has sparked laughter at its absurdity, but also disbelief and fear that this administration shows no hesitation in blatantly rewriting the truth to fit its narrative.
In response, this journal offers the opportunity to ground yourself in reality, to collect and record in writing whatever you wish, and to record your own alternative facts.
Pretty cool, huh?
Here’s an Alternative Fact: I am being spied upon, at this very moment, by my microwave. Someone in Russia is watching me write this review. He or she, I can’t be sure, is quite bored by it all.
Dinty W. Moore is founding editor of Brevity magazine and this blog as well. He is being spied upon, at this very moment, by his microwave