You might have expected that I named this blog Truths and Edits because I liked the sound of it: very postmodern, current, raw, etc (obviously this was part of it), but surprise, there was a bit more depth to my thought process than that. I actually decided on the name because, to some degree, I believe it captures some of my main interests in literature, theory and, if we want to get really soft and poetic, life itself.
When I was a young, innocent little child in Grade 11 English, I had a teacher who was fairly questionable looking back (now that I've gone to university I can safely say that some of the info he gave us was, along with being pretty scandalous, absolutely incorrect) but nevertheless imparted to me this general notion of objectivity and subjectivity.
If we want to simplify it completely, what an understanding of objectivity and subjectivity comes down to is that there is a world out there where stuff happens. People do stuff, they think about stuff, and then they talk about it. They also sometimes write this stuff down. In doing so, they present a version of what happened (whether in the real world or in a fictional one), and while we may often times think that this version of reality is true and unquestionable, it usually isn't.
Consider a classic story like that of Cinderella, which is a folk tale that has been told in countless different languages, cultures and forms over hundreds of years. If we just look at the singular version we grew up with in North America (which is again just one telling of the tale), we can say that there is a girl named Cinderella whose father re-marries after her mother's death. She is mistreated by her step-mother and step-sisters; nevertheless manages to go to a ball where she falls in love with a prince; loses a glass slipper; then gets a happily ever after once the prince finally finds her and saves her from her retched life.
In the typical rendering of the story, Cinderella is the angelic hero and the step-mother and step-sisters are evil. However, what if we look at the story from a different point of view: maybe, back in the day when Cinderella's father first married the step-mother he was mean to her and the step-sisters, and treated them badly while Cinderella just waltzed around like a little princess bossing them around. So then when he finally died (thank god) they thought, you're about to get what's coming to you Cinderella. If you looked at it from this point of view, you would probably assume Cinderella had a hand in her own misfortune, and maybe the actions of the step-mother and step-sisters were actually quite understandable.
The point is, with all action, whether it's real or make believe, something happens. There is an objective reality (or at the very least a pseudo-reality if it takes place in fiction) and an objective truth about that reality somewhere since there was an event that took place. The thing is though, that none of us have access to it. Since different people colour the same events with different versions of what happened, that stem from their own biases and experiences, probably even direct witnesses to the action don't know what that truth is. Case and point, Cinderella thinks her step-mother and step-sisters are being jerks by putting her to work, while the step-mother and step-sister think that it's about time Cinderella gets put to work after she's been living the good life for all these years as Daddy's little angel.
As a result, who is to say what the true version of events is: Cinderella's version or that of the step-family's? If God existed and could talk to us, maybe he would know, since he supposedly knows everything, but since that's likely not going to happen, we can safely say we just don't know.
Instead of objective truth, what we are left with are varying subjective perspectives. This happens every time we talk about something, or write something down: we create a subjective portrait of experience, that is only one way of representing reality among many.
This discussion has been limited to one text, Cinderella, but if we were to expand upon that to the broader category of all literature, what we'd find is an endless array of these versions of reality. Every voice offers a different understanding of what events occurred, what they mean, etc. Put together, the entire body of literature offers up many, many different subjective truths. Hence, the world 'Truths' in the title of my blog.
The edits part goes along with the truths part:. If you can see a text as one truth among many, you can also see it as en edit. It's a reconstruction of what happened (even if it's in an imaginary world): it's the result of editing out other information, other perspectives or chains of narration.
If you go one step further, every time a critic (here, namely me) writes on the topic of another text, they produce an edit: if I write a review of a text, I condense it, and twist it, and manipulate it to some degree in order to suit my own narrative construction. In other words, I theoretically cut and paste what they said, delete some stuff, add some stuff, and produce an edit.
So there you have it: if you look at every text I'll ever talk about here and put them all together, along with my own musings, what you're left with is a big, messy, cluttered stack of Truths and Edits.