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The Things They Carried


The classic, ground-breaking meditation on war and the redemptive power of ...
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Following O'Brien's instructions in "How to Tell a War Story", can we say whether O'Brien's own stories are "true war stories"?

Created: 03/04/20

Replies: 2

Posted Mar. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

Following O'Brien's instructions in "How to Tell a War Story", can we say whether O'Brien's own stories are "true war stories"?

In "How to Tell a War Story," O'Brien has some very specific guidelines for telling whether or not a war story is real and true. Following his instructions, can we say whether O'Brien's own stories are "true war stories"? What do you think O'Brien means when he says that "a true war story cannot be believed"? Do you believe he's correct?


Posted Mar. 24, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AlwaysSunny

Join Date: 01/06/20

Posts: 17

RE: Following O'Brien's instructions in "How to Tell a War Story", can we say whether O'Brien's own stories are "true war stories"?

"How to Tell a War Story" is one of the most enjoyable (and frustrating) chapters in the book. By the end of it, I didn't know what was true, what was not, and if in some very weird meta way, O'Brien sought to trick people into understanding that sometimes the line between fact and fiction is as thin as a razor's edge. Still, if the entire chapter was entirely made up, it wouldn't have been believable. The best lies are the ones that contain some truth, after all. I'm betting O'Brien either experienced some of these things or knew other people experienced them.


Posted Apr. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 29

RE: Following O'Brien's instructions in "How to Tell a War Story", can we say whether O'Brien's own stories are "true war stories"?

Yes they are true war stories. Perhaps not factual.


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