I’m in Oxford at the moment, and tonight – about to be hustled out of Blackwell’s as they closed – I picked up a copy of Jeanette Winterson‘s Oranges are Not The Only Fruit, and I’ve spent the last few hours reading it.
This is part of a longer section (buy the book! read the book!). Jeanette – the narrator – is thinking about history, and the stories we weave out of what we can know of the past.
‘And when I look at a history book and think of the imaginative effort it has taken to squeeze this oozing world between two boards and typeset, I am astonished. Perhaps the event has an unassailable truth. God saw it. God knows. But I am not God. And when someone tells me what they heard or saw, I believe them, and I believe their friend who also saw, but not in the same way, and I can put these accounts together and I will not have a seamless wonder but a sandwich laced with mustard of my own.’