April 2016 . . . .

     There is a scene in the excellent John Irving novel The World According To Garp in which the main character — a writer by trade and temperament — is explaining his theory of storytelling to his wife. He has related a story of his youth to his children, and his wife calls bullshit on him. No, she effectively says, that isn’t how it happened. Wait, what? is the mood of his response. Are you sure? And she defines the misstep — a detail that has morphed since he first told her the story. Oh, well, he must admit, you’re right. That was something I added in.

     Two things that must be noted here before we continue, like Garp, telling this story. One is that his wife doesn’t actually know the truth of his childhood yarn — she wasn’t there. Secondly, she does him the courtesy of not interrupting him during the telling, nor does she call him out while the children are there — she waits until the kids are in bed and they are alone.

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