Tagged: vérité humaine

Und Sie wissen nicht, mit wem Sie reden

There will always be angry men shouting on the touchline of life.

The infelicitous confluence of the confessional disposition (or self-surveillance ala Foucault) and the rising prominence of visual media (tv and film) marked the advent of the confessional writer and his/her distortion of the writing workshop dictum “write what you know.” This writer type shares nothing in common with Montaigne but everything in common with Rousseau.

The aesthetic value placed on the vérité humaine by realism and naturalism meant the novel should be “true to life.” It did not mean the novel should be an exposé of the writer’s personal life or feelings. The contemporary concern with authenticity dates from the 1960s; in the worst cases, “authenticity” is manifested in narcissistic auto-narratives.