Robert Harris Discusses Truth vs. Fiction Transcript
The truth is far more interesting than fiction always and in all my novels whenever there’s something outlandish, grotesque or defies the imagination, that is the truth. Then around it my own second rate prosaic imagination that’s provided the sort of paste setting for these jewels of fact and really all I’m trying to do in my novels I sometimes think is just write about the truth.
I mean, just try to present the facts but in a way, in a story that somehow makes them believable if you know what I mean. I mean if you were to take, for instance, the state of the Labour Party now, you wouldn’t be able to make it credible that all these things had happened do you know what I mean? So for me fiction is a great tool for exploring truth, which I suppose is what all fiction is if there’s any moral content beyond mere entertainment. And for me that’s what I try to do and in all my books I try never to be dishonest about the facts.
If it’s enigma or whatever the book is I like to treat the truth with respect but try and find some tools of revealing it or making it more interesting or looking at it from the side or imagining what it must’ve been like and that’s what I’m always trying to do and that’s what I tried to do in this book.