Response to "Towards a Definition of Creative Nonfiction" by Brett Lott

749 Words Sep 24th, 2008 3 Pages
In his essay “Toward a Definition of Creative Nonfiction”, Brett Lott attempts to describe the genre of creative nonfiction by explaining that there is essentially no definitive model. He begins by presenting an abstract definition of the genre which he later molds and amends with additions to become a much more comprehensive working definition. However before exploring the various aspects of creative nonfiction and what it entails, Lott prefaces his essay with the statement that “we aren’t going to arrive anywhere here”. I found this particularly interesting in that it allows the reader to take Lott’s advice with a grain of salt and amend his definition after one has practiced the art creative nonfiction. He reiterates this last point …show more content…
He explains that in order to remain unbiased and non-egotistical one must make an honest effort to analyze his relation to events, places, and people. He describes this analyzing as a way of circling – a “way of looking again and again at itself from all angles in order to see itself most fully”. I found this to be one of the most effective concepts in developing any piece of writing. One must analyze and reanalyze the situation at hand from every possible angle and perspective to not only find the best strategy for retelling but also for the pursuit of truth. Another argument Lott makes is in regards to the question of deluding oneself when attempting to put order to an event that may not inherently beget such order. This was a question that I myself have pondered in not so many words. This comes back to the question as to how much creative freedom can a writer utilize in recalling a situation, person, place, or time. Lott’s answer is that the writer is the individual who determines the truth. In his words, “in circling my subject, isn't it me who determines my course, my longitude and latitude, and therefore am I, by definition, being the most subjective of anyone on planet earth when it comes to my subject?” I tend to agree with this sentiment – I believe that truth is subjective. Truth is valid if the believer holds is to be so. In writing creative nonfiction, if a writer believes that a

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