History VS Fiction


Written memories feed the cultural heritage of our collective conscience. I’ve been thinking for several hours what to post tonight, and I’ve reached the conclusion that since I haven’t read that many books in English, I’d better write about some other things that I do know and that are somehow related to literature.    

I am not used to philosophical readings, I don’t even know if I would ever understand them. Nevertheless, sometimes I feel like philosophical myself. Tonight I’m thinking of the injustices that have taken place throughout generations… those impalpable happenings that belong to the imperceptible mechanism of our memories.    

 Human beings tend to explain their immediate reality on the basis of their written History. But there are just a few who dare to challenge the past. Many people undermine the magnanimity of novels in the face of non-fiction, assuming that non-fiction tells the truth, meanwhile fiction degenerates into useless literature.     

Regarding some of the “real? episodes of the past, we realize that many of the History’s perceptions may also turn into fiction. By thinking of the word “genocide?, we hardly think of the Cambodian Genocide. This is just an example, there have been innumerable genocides overshadowed by some other atrocities that have encompassed our lives.    

“The Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, in which approximately 1.7 million people lost their lives (21% of the country’s population), was one of the worst human tragedies of the last century. As in Nazi Germany, and more recently in East Timor, Guatemala, Yugoslavia, and
Rwanda, the Khmer Rouge regime headed by Pol Pot combined extremist ideology with ethnic animosity and a diabolical disregard for human life to produce repression, misery, and murder on a massive scale.?    

Nowadays, Cambodia still remains as one of the poorest countries of
Southeast Asia. Since Pol Pot took control of the country under the Khmer Rouge regime, the country has everything but recovered. The international community and the supranational organizations that have been created in order to maintain the worldwide peace, have failed to fulfill that nation’s demands; in contrast, the abominations perpetrated by Hitler during World War II have been tirelessly extolled.     

By saying this I do not mean the Holocaust should be forgotten, not at all (my dad was a Jew); I’m rather looking forward to saying that historians have rhapsodized over certain events to the detriment of some others that deserve the same degree of importance.    

History reckons on telling the true story, and an incomplete version of the story for instance equals fantasy. In the other hand, fiction does not boast about anything, and behind it there lie many of the truths that humanity lacks.    

Life is not complete without a little bit of both. Some of us prefer fiction, some others don’t. I am convinced that it is real life what underlies fiction, the same fiction that some people tend to undermine. I couldn’t tell whether novels imitate reality, or if reality is constantly stealing many of the literature’s passages.     [Con que yo “muy chicha? ¿no? Jaja… ¡Ahora sí que me hicieron pensar! Quizás no esté esto muy literario, pero es un intento por defender la ficción. Trataré de leer más en inglés. Besos para todos.]    


  1. Hola Wen, no sé si estos posts haya que contestarlos en inglés o en español, pero supongo que no me hará mucho daño practicar un poco mi inglés.

    This semester I took a class on Cultural Studies (which is something kind of hard to understand). Anyway, my teacher is kind of an illuminati, and stuff. The thing is that on one class we had a discussion on the nature of fiction. What I found interesting about it was the fact that you can actually read any kind of text as fiction (hey, fiction does not mean “lie”, fiction is a process). Since history cannot tell us everything, it cannot give us every single detail from every single perspective, because it is mediated by a person just like us but with a degree on History [with a capital letter], there is undoubtedly a process of selection (of both events and words to retell those events) and of organization that we can recognize as fictionalization. Same process that undergoes a writer of so-called “fiction”; he/she has to select what to tell and how to tell it, in which order, using which words, and so on. I think it is interesting to try and read history as a text with a certain level of fiction, because then there wouldn’t be any point in arguing that history and literature are opposed as “real actual truth” and “dirty evil lie” (hahaha). How about the histories (not stories) of private life? How about our own personal history, the one that no one knows about (and probably no one cares about) unless we manage to make it interesting and tell it with grace? Those are the little “histories” told by literature. Because, not everything in a literary text is a fake, there will always be things recreated from “real life” (sorry for using so many quotation marks), not only from the author’s own life, but also things taken from dusty History (and history) books. Therefore, I guess we should say that history and literature are in a constant dialogue enriching each other.

    Después de releerlo me quedé como Mafalda: “Uff.. La pucha!”

  2. Yesterday when I was reading “Arrancame la vida” I thought to myself: How could it be possible? That really happened? You don’t need to go further to another country, just turn around and look all the shame, misfortune, injustice that reigns here.

    I prefer Fiction above all. I like to think that there are no illness, no wars and the world is a good place to live. Usually I don’t think so often in other people…I do when I see them in the busstop, asking for help down the street. Shit… I hate when that happens Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone who has no home, money, and is just in front of you asking for help? … you feel like you are going to been abducted, you can feel the pain too.
    I read and try to live in a non fiction world but most of the times I escape to a better place, a better world just in my dreams gathering all the pieces from books, movies and stories that have been told generation to generation. Fiction, helps to built a better world … I strong believe in that.
    HINT: Ya voy en la pagina 150 =) je je je.

  3. PRECIOSA: Colocada la mayúscula en History.

    AMBOS: Gracias por aventarse al ruedo conmigo. Al rato les comento que se merecen TODA mi atención. Besos. 

  4. Bueno yo creo que la literatura necesita de un mezcla de las 2 ramas ya que sin eso no se hubiran creado increibles novelas como cien años de soledad, por mencionar una.

    No escribi en ingles por que como que se me dificulta jajaja

    But i will try to improve my writing.


  5. Hola, mi ingles escrito es algo como se dice….mal inscription parlée par bien bonne. mal escrito pero bien hablado.

    La literatura necesita a veces mezclar mas la ficción que la realidad, pero a veces eso es malo, ya que en algunos casos pueden confundir al lector y confundir que es verdad y que es ficción.

    es bueno leer. si fuera 100% real o basado en la historia verídica, creo que no habría muchas ramas o autores. y seria una hemeroteca empastada.

    no digo que hay que cerrar los ojos y no ver lo que pasa, pero hay que diferenciar la literatura periodística a la de ficción o gótica.

    thanks to allow me write in your blog.

  6. Holly shit!!!

    Know I have to think and write in english…

    Have you ever divided the word “history”? HIS TORY HIS STORY… It makes you think, doesn’t it?

    I like to read fiction and non fiction. I love when a writer takes true events and writes fiction around them…

    It can be fiction, it can also be non fiction, but I like to fly. Any book that makes me fly, it’s a great book for me.

    LOVE AND LAUGHTER (Your boss should be very proud of you, and I’m sure by now, she wants to be a witness on our wedding… JAJAAJAJAJAJA)

  7. Fictions is always I think in a door to get out of this world, like any book, is a travel where the mind can go and put you in another country, another life, another time, anywhere. Besides all the culture you got from a book. There is a good sentence “if the humanity does not know their history, is damned to suffer and make the same error?, or something like that, so, always is good to read history and fiction, but going back to reality is good to take a look around an see all the injustice in the world, is in the conscience of all of us, what we are doing to make it better, because at the end most of us, leave this world to our sons. I’m not saying to give a coin to the entire child’s in the streets… but here where I work, every December we collect groceries or toys anything to gave it to a house of child’s.
    Anyway, reading is an excellent habit, if some us do it because we want and can, is a good opportunity to share at some point with someone, sharing the book, the knowledge, sharing the experience, we are not helping to all the people in the world, but at least we are doing to improve the life of someone around of us. If my brother dislikes reading, I have to read a fiction book, and then I can share the experience with him, after that he read the book, and we have a topic to discuss on Sunday. I’m improving the communication, making a better Sunday with the family because after the discussion 2 or 3 will try to read the book than my brother and I discuss. It is a small way to make people to read. Same happens here in the work, not everyone used to read, but right now we have a small “book sharing community? we buy, and share the book, if the problem is the money, doing this activity you buy one book, but can read 5 or 7 books…. No matter if it is fiction or history or anything else, we need to do something to improve the world or at least around where we live. my english is not prretty good, but here we go…

  8. ARIA: The part I definitely liked the most was the one regarding own personal history, especially because (you know that) I am used to turn into fiction what initially was reality, jajaja. I’ve been several times told to become a comedian, jajajaja, am I being clear enough?
    I didn’t get the Mafalda’s thing… what did you mean? Hey, I can’t leave without saying CONGRATULATIONS! I admire you SO much! Honey, I should be commenting on your opinions and writings and NOT viceversa! I love you.

    GIGOLÓ: Arráncame la vida is seriously wreaking havoc upon your life jajaja. If the impact is a negative one, do not dare to blame me, ok? I get what you mean by “living in that other world where things are the way things should be”. I tend to be like that as well… unconsciously, but I am. But… I dislike that about my personality. No one has an accurate perception of life without being conscious of both sides. Kisses and thanks so much for your so enthusiastic reading on Arráncame la vida 🙂

    ALEJANDRO: Do not even explain why you don’t write in English. You’re free to do whatever you want; the fact that you keep on coming makes me happy enough. I’m so glad you’re actively participating!

    SALVADOR: Gothic literature?? Wow! What is that??? Thanks for allowing YOU to write in MY blog???? This is YOUR space, and I am the one who’s thankful, you know that. Let’s leave aside those “thank yous” issues jajaja, let’s just keep on writing.

    HÉCTOR: No, I had never divided the word… Seems like a high school teacher’s comment, doesn’t it? Jajaja. And yes sir, it does make me think. I know you love them both… I’ll do my best to read non fiction as soon as possible so we can fly together. Kisses.

    ERIK: I love it when you say “reading is a good opportunity to share”. That is precisely what I am looking forward to do in here. Are you doing that book sharing community for real? Wow! Congratulations, that sounds I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E!!! If I ever leave the publishing world, I’ll definitely follow your steps. Thank you so much for writing and facing the challenge to do it in English (how can you apologyze for your English? Did you notice how much you wrote???).


Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Google photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s