603-HSE-VA, Based on a True Story
As a society, we tend to fixate on the true stories. Short news stories, biographies, and court transcripts all fuel Oscar-winning films – or at least TV movies. We all know that these retellings of historical experience are more often than not fictions loosely based on the truth; however, we as an audience can’t help it – we are sucked in. We value these stories in some special category above pure fiction. Yet philosophers, artists, poets, psychologists, even scientists have long acknowledged the limits of what we can actually know about even our most immediate past. Simply put, memory is not a reliable source of information – so why do we value it so highly? How do we weigh the value of truth against that of art -- and entertainment? This course explores the uncomfortable relationship between these concepts, as they relate to literature and storytelling