Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Big (Lie) Wednesday

An ex-colleague and rather dear friend called X has severe problems in the truth-telling department.

I’ve been aware of it for years and have always rather enjoyed the stories, treating them as a kind of hyper-reality or truth-based fiction - X's kitchen sink memoir shot in lurid technicolor.

A lot of technical and fiction writers also suffer from this weird condition, which hovers somewhere between Compulsive Lying and the more serious and irritating Pathological Lying. Famous examples include William Faulkner, Robert Graves, C.S Forester and more recently Jerzy Kosinski and James Frey. I can think of at least three technical writers that have also just lied and lied, although interestingly never in their work.

Other people who know X are less charitable because they feel manipulated and patronised by this weird compulsion. As far as I know, X has never lied or exaggerated for professional or material gain, or to harm anyone else. If X did this, I’d break contact immediately.

As things stand, let’s blame low self esteem and a difficult early childhood for this weird compulsive lying illness. X must suffer a lot of self hate because of it, and it must make long term relationships a nightmare.


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