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David Simon Explains It All For You

April 11, 2010

Pablo Picasso famously said that art is the lie that shows us the truth.

From David Simon’s op-ed piece in today’s New Orleans Times-Picayune (affectionately known as the TP), on truth, fiction and details.

By referencing what is real, or historical, a fictional narrative can speak in a powerful, full-throated way to the problems and issues of our time. And a wholly imagined tale, set amid the intricate and accurate details of a real place and time, can resonate with readers in profound ways. In short, drama is its own argument.

We have addressed this topic on the issue of Creighton Bernette and our friend Ashley, and that will be just the most obvious point of departure for a few of us. There will be so many more.

This is fiction, and if those of us on this blog in or from New Orleans want the story told and told well, then we must forgive them their trespasses, their necessary liberties and revel in the truth revealed.

“Is that a second line? What band is that?”

“Who cares? Just follow those horns.”

  1. rickngentilly permalink
    April 11, 2010 9:08 am

    the weight has unloaded.
    thanks crazy chester.

    finaly a lens i can look thru.

  2. April 11, 2010 9:30 am

    Well, that was a smart move for Mr. Simon to make. Reveal the well-kept little secret that this, after all, is a story-telling process he is involved in. As he remarked in a NY Times piece recently, when asked why he doesn’t make documentaries, “Because I’m not a documentary-maker.”

    You don’t go to see Shakespeare’s history plays for the facts and figures and dates. You go for their rollicking stories and their soaring words. And just how did Homer know what all those Greeks and Trojans were talking about in private so many centuries before he came along? Oops, sorry, turns out “he”, Homer, might have been a “they”, Homeric.

    One thing I know in my blood and bones is that whenever the first shred of consciousness entered into some long-ago primordial creature, that creature immediately sought out another and demanded, “Tell me a story.”

  3. April 11, 2010 11:44 am

    What a writer, that Simon guy. He is not apologetic, he is not begging us to be gentle with him, but rather quite entertainingly states, “here’s what we did, we hope you like it.” For good or ill, Simon and his work have a thick cloud of expectations surrounding them, such that those of us who are predisposed to like Treme will like it, and those who are predisposed to find fault will indeed find fault. Those who are indifferent (where might they be?) will be the ones to truly judge the show on its own merit. I can’t wait for the concept of the Magic Hubig’s to get spread around. Simon’s mentioned it before…

  4. April 11, 2010 11:48 am

    Love this blog and the cast of characters who are posting to it.

    We put this up today and will be ding one of these for each episode as well as a post-episode scene break down by a “nola expert.: Hope y’all will take part:

  5. April 11, 2010 12:28 pm

    Hell, I’m wanting me some Magic Hubig’s about right now. I’ve never had that one before.

  6. Once KamaAina permalink
    April 13, 2010 3:57 pm

    As soon as I heard John Goodman lacing into that rant at the foot of the CCC, I knew. Just like I knew who was behind me in your kitchen that magical Twelfth Night when I heard that crystal-clear stream of profanity!

    Then I picked up today’s NY Times (I’m up here visiting Mom and Republican Stepdad, else my HBO-less self would never have seen it!) — and let out a shriek loud enough to cause Mom to jump out of her skin! Well done, mon ami.

    Finally, at this moment, a longtime friend of ours is likely somewhere around Richmond, on her way to join her daughter and son-in-law in the World’s Most Interesting City. I trust y’all will make her feel welcome.

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