Said to me by my History professor Owens in freshman year history class at Lynchburg College
I assume that this statement comments on the idea that historical documents are slanted depending on who is writing them, the winner or the loser, since most of history is seen from a victor/victim standpoint anyway.
It may also be a contributing factor in my decisive ignorance of history, either of my country's or any other. Partly because I am so far behind now that if I chose to catch up, I'd be spending the rest of my years doing so, and partly because that slant will always make me question what the real story was, how it really happened.
It is one thing to research certain areas of history for your own enrichment, for personal reasons. But I think it's often callous to use one's knowledge of history to show up just how ignorant other people are of linear facts. That's something the teacher's pet would do in 8th grade. It won't make us want to be interested in history the way you are; it will only embarrass and annoy us.
So, be kind. It's all a lie anyway.
When he spoke of fiction being the only truth, I think it means in the way of personal creativity, of fiction written in the sense that it is created with an amalgom of personal experience (which is factual) mixed in with embellishment or a altering of true events to give a story a little meat. Some of the fiction I've read has proven itself to be more true and real than nonfiction. I can believe that the fiction written during the same historical period (like 1984, for example) can exude more truth than the truth.