In the early modern era, around 1500, there was no differentiation between fact and fiction. Apparently we are returning to this belief.
Most, in short, didn’t really care whether the book was accurate or not, at least in the western, scientific, logical, factual sense, and they regarded criticism as simply reactionary bias.
from Rigoberta’s Revenge
“I think Rigoberta Menchu has been used by the right to negate the very important space that multiculturalism is providing in academia,” says Marjorie Agosin, head of the Spanish department at Wellesley College. “Whether her book is true or not, I don’t care. We should teach our students about the brutality of the Guatemalan military and the U.S. financing of it.” …. What matters, professors say, is that the kinds of crimes she wrote of were committed by the military, and indigenous people such as Ms. Menchu bore the brunt of the violence. “Even if she didn’t watch her little brother being murdered, the military did murder people in Guatemala,” says Ms. Agosin of Wellesley.
If it doesn’t matter if it is true or not, then is it fiction or autobiography? Will autobiography soon become fiction? How many other autobiographies have actually been fictional?
I’ve heard of one about drug abuse. One that was supposedly by a slave. What are their names? I don’t remember. What others are there?