Fact vs Fiction

Fact and fiction in: The Hours, by Michael Cunningham and Joe Cinque’s Consolation, by Helen Garner.


Fact and fiction are two distinct concepts used to define and analyse texts in a nonfictional literary context. Issues pertaining to fact and fiction include concepts of identity, authenticity, truth, objectivity. Fiction, in a nonfictional context surmounts to creative writing strategies that are relevant insofar as readers of biography are greedy, with an insatiable appetite for detail and [story] (Lee 2005). Modernist discourse contributed to literary techniques of stream of consciousness writing, interior monologue and free indirect style. For the scope of this essay the abovementioned elements will be discussed with reference to Joe Cinque’s Consolation (Garner 2004) and The Hours (Cunningham 2006).

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At Your Service

Twilight in Nightcap National Forest had passed when I first saw him on the fence stump in my front garden.  He wasn’t trying to get my attention, though plonking my teacup onto the kitchen sink with a clang didn’t stop the strong feeling of presence. Something in his eyes made me look, and then again. He perched upon the old stump demurely, his scruffy thick fur and whiskers gently shimmering in the underexposed picture I was staring at. How did he do that? There were no stars, moon or magical tripwires set out tonight. Cats cannot glow in the dark. I blinked. He was grooming himself, the shimmering gone. I was reaching for another teabag when a deep, well spoken voice asked me if he could come in, if I would be so kind.  I peeked around the breakfast bar. The TV was on mute. I stole a glance out front. A swift glimpse into the swirls of my seeing-bowl. Nothing. I backtracked to the laundry to scan the yard. All was quiet. The Tom sat proud upon the stump, his brilliant black fur draped about his shoulders complimenting his white undercoat. He was very handsome. We eyeballed each other. Then he leapt from the stump and stood up on his hind legs. My mouth agape he swaggered on over to my door. Dumbstruck, I unlocked it. This night was most peculiar.

‘Felix, at your service,’ he announced with a bow, continuing right into my lounge room.

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