Everything in this story is true. Except those parts that aren’t, and even they are true.
Homer Hickam – On Between the Lines, talking about Carrying Albert Home
When Homer spoke those words to me, on this week’s episode of Between the Lines, it sent home how certain elements of fiction tell us more about truth and ourselves than what actually happens.
Facts are facts, but deeper truths lay below the surface of facts. And, if we don’t uncover those truths through the stories we tell we are left with just facts and they can be more easily manipulated. Watch anything concerning this year’s presidential primaries and nothing more needs to be said.
Carrying Albert Home is based on Homer’s life. Many believe it is a prequel to his brilliant first book Rocket Boys. Homer’s personal memoir that was turned into the acclaimed film October Sky and gave Jake Gyllenhaal his first starring role as the young Homer Hickam.
Homer himself calls Carrying Albert Home a family epic, it’s just this family includes Albert, who is an alligator. And like great epics, the truth underlies all even if certain elements are made up.
Truth is just one of the many philosophical underpinnings that run through Carrying Albert Home. Others ranging from love: “Heaven’s greatest and perhaps only true gift, that strange and marvelous emotion we inadequately call love.” To fear: “Sometimes it takes a fright to realize something about others and about yourself, too.” To time: “Time is really the only gift we receive from God that we can give to others.” Homer’s epic, and our conversation about it, runs the gamut of truths, even those parts that aren’t.
And to all those celebrating the original holiday of liberation, Passover, wishing you a wonderful Seder filled with stories of truth!
EPISODE LISTINGS AND TIMES ARE IN THE TAB AT THE TOP OF THE BLOG.
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