Marginalia, no.54

I had in fact picked up a very rare fungus of the bone-marrow in China.

~ Bruce Chatwin, What Am I Doing Here

Every writer lies.  Better writers do so in order to reach oblique truths not directly attainable.  Chatwin lied for other reasons too.  In fact he had HIV.  He was blamed for not being more honest about it.  But for Chatwin the self was as much fiction as fact.  He lied to preserve his own narrative freedom and deny others the totemic biographical details by which they might reduce him to rigid caricature or draft him for crusades he never signed up to fight.


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