The problem with Lauren Slater is that she is conveying truth as she sees fit. This truth is complicated, considering that she has factors that allow her to come to a differing conclusion about her truths and ours. Her full acknowledgement and hints gives me a bit of leeway in wanting off the bat to have her memoir classified as CNF/Memoir. Isn’t the lens of Munchausen/Epilepsy a way of conveying truths creatively? Or am I just falling into the trap of appreciating Slater’s “auras that give [her] things? When truth goes through the machine that is Slater’s mind, is the end product so completely warped that it must be considered fiction to everyone outside of her bubble?
I’ve been dwelling a lot on our conversations on the importance (or lack thereof) of Slaters’ diagnosis of epilepsy. By now I think we can mostly agree that whatever shred of epilepsy was in her life has been exaggerated for the story. I don’t think she had it, but I think it deserves more merit than just a metaphor. I’ve been toying around with the term “emotional truth” in regards to this; she explicitly states that not only is emotional truth different than the factual truth but that it is superior. We see Slater struggle with the false memories coming to her during her seizures and we realize that not only are we, as readers, are armed with a necessary skepticism when approaching the subject matter of this memoir but that she, as an author and a human being, must approach the very “facts” of her life in the same fashion, constantly questioning whether something ever truly happened. Continue reading