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Some early reflections on Slaughterhouse Five etc..

vspaeth's picture

So as I was reading Slaughterhouse Five I realized I had a lot of trouble really following it.  For starters, I was reading it on my Kindle, so I was unsure where the story actually began.  For most of the first chapter I felt like I was reading some introduction (until I got to chapter two and realized I was reading chapter one).  After finishing, I can totally see where the lines between "fact" and "fiction" are blurred in this tale.  

Honestly though, I'm having a harder time digging through what's "reality" and what's "fiction" because our discussions in class have completely destroyed any solid ground I have had on which is which.  I can barely get though my day without wondering if everything I'm experiencing is true or not.  How can it be if the only  proof I have to offer comes from my memories?  Facts, fiction, I don't know what the difference is anymore.  I don't know if there's a point in distinguishing between the two anymore.  Throw opinion in there and I lose it.

How can we say that this is fact or fiction?  Did the author actually have a friend who he went back to Dresden with?  Did he hear a story about a guy who inspired Billy?  If the character of Billy was based on someone then how can we say whether or not his story was true? 

I don't know.  I'm so confused by all of this.

On the bright side, this is all connecting nicely now.  How do we distinguish between fact and fiction?  Looking at stories like this and The Immortal Life, I'm not sure we can.