If you were to look up “fiction” in the dictionary, you would find definitions that use words like “imagined,” “invented,” “feigned,” and even “made-up.” While these definitions are unfairly exclusive—creative nonfiction is equally imaginative and inventive—they do pose an interesting question for this issue of Mason’s Road: What does fiction have to do with Truth?
The answer is that in the literary world, they have everything to do with one another. Dating back as far as the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks, among others, literary myths—many later turned into fairy tales—were works of fiction that sought to disseminate something truthful about the human experience.
Today, Truth in fiction runs much deeper than that. Fiction allows us to tell stories that may be too painful or too personal to frame as nonfiction. It gives readers insights into the depths of the human psyche across many diverse cultures without the political overtones of journalism or the academic quality of research papers and encyclopedias. Perhaps most important, the freedom of invention and imagination in fiction allows authors a broad spectrum of tools through which multiple truths—often hard and even unfathomable truths—may be presented to the general public, allowing us all the opportunity to consider and perhaps even sympathize with another person’s or culture’s worldview.
In this issue of Mason’s Road, Truth is addressed through fiction in three distinct, yet related ways. In “Fancy Ants,” a mother learns that she and her son are only different sides of the same coin, and that some of the things she thought or hoped were true are in fact the opposite. In the chilling, yet sometimes humorous piece, “Perspective on a Murder,” the author succeeds in creating a sympathetic killer by allowing the character to share with her audience her motives for her crime and significantly, the pain she endured both before and after the crime. And in “Refurbished,” we are given a snapshot of a person with whom so many of us can identify—the person who satisfies himself with his own version of the truth, unwilling to recognize the reality that everyone around him sees.
In these ways, and many others, the imagination of fiction continues to present significant questions of Truth to its readers, whether through allegory, fantasy, well-characterized realism, or other inventive means. We are extremely pleased to welcome you to this ongoing discussion of Truth within the human narrative through the exceptional submissions offered in this issue of Mason’s Road.
Joshua G. C. Wise
Joshua G. C. Wise is a fiction writer who has just completed his MFA at Fairfield University. He has written for several print and online publications. Joshua is also an accomplished musician, an avid hockey and basketball fan, and a lover of fine spirits. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife.