Friday, January 13, 2006

Oprah Weighs In

No, no, you smartasses, this isn’t the beginning of a bad joke. But since we’ve been talking about James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, it think it's appropriate to close the loop on an overblown story with the comments of the woman largely responsible for casting Frey into the limelight.
"What is relevant is that he was a drug addict … and stepped out of that history to be the man he is today and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves," Winfrey said.
Misrepresentation of fact is always a questionable undertaking. And misrepresentation of fact for profit is even more questionable. Still, I have to stand with Oprah on this one. Anyone who thinks memoir is a first-person historical account needs to brush up on her literary terminology. If the book ever had emotional force, it still has it. If the book was shit to begin with, it’s still shit.

Democracy may indeed hang in the balance these days. But we can rest assured that James Frey is not the fulcrum on which it rests.