Speaking truthfully

I understood then (or I would have understood later) what I should have understood years before, even before I first tried to write fiction: the simple fact that people speaking to one another or looking towards one another are thinking how they might sound or appear in a work of fiction. I could never claim that any freckled woman had spoken truthfully to me about a real world. There was only one situation in which such a woman could be taken as speaking truthfully. If I were to write a work of fiction with a freckled woman as a character in it, then I, in the person of the narrator, might insert in the fiction, such words as ‘she answered truthfully, at last, …’

from the first story in Gerald Murnane’s collection Landscape with Landscape, a stupendously amazing book which I started reading earlier today

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