Monday, April 11, 2016

Things are Confusing when Truth is Mixed in With Lies

Richard L. Pryll has managed to capture the essence of what it means to lie and tell the truth within his HyperFiction Lies. I feel I can make this claim as someone who decided to be sporadic in the reading. On my first go, I continuously would choose what I felt was best to read based on what he wrote. I’d read what would come up on the screen, look at it and process it for a few moments, and then decide whether or not I would want a truth or a lie. By doing it this way, I felt that I was going to give myself the best story. In the end though, I found I had given myself a headache and a lot of questions.

This is why I feel he was able to completely capture the moment of lying or telling the truth. Within each click, the reader is choosing what they want to hear, regardless of whether or not it is something they truly wanted. I found that mixing lies in with the truth, I was constantly trying to remember which actions I chose to do and what led me to where I was at in the story. Which seems to be the case in how life really works. Every time someone makes a choice, whether it is to lie or tell the truth, the story of what they’re talking about moves forward. The narrative changes, and so does the speaker. In the end, the person is either caught in a former lie or ends up living their life with that lie. Same with the truth. In lying about some aspects and telling truth in the others, the person speaking will continuously have to try and remember what they said that was a lie or if they told the truth.

After this experience, I found myself going and back and just choosing truth for the entire story. Although this clear things up to an extent, I found myself rather bored with the story. With this way of telling and reading it, it made me question the extent of telling the truth again in real life. A lot of times, when someone tells a story, the truth may not always be important. When I speak about what I did with what my day, a lot of it will be mundane and boring. No one wants to hear about how I read this story over several times by myself in my room. They want something more exciting. It’s here where it should make the reader pause and wonder on the truth. How much of the truth do people need? How much truth are you fully getting when you speak to someone? This tends to be answered a bit by choosing all lies.

When choosing all lies, I found that many of the details of the truth story were not to be found. The main example I’m thinking of is how the writer of this piece had secret terms for things. Words such as “rum and cokes,” “dancing,” and “summer lovers” takes on a new perspective for the reader in the all lie section. However, I found myself questioning if these codes were true or not. Since if you choose the lie section all the way through, whose to say that any of what is being told is really true? A lie is fiction, made up, so who is to say that the narrator is not lying about these secret codes? If he was telling the truth within the lie section, then is the lie section really a lie? If he was lying about the secret codes, it makes things even more difficult for the reader. Just think about the fact that regardless of whether or not the secret codes he reveals are true, the perception changes if you go to read through the truth section again.

In regards to temporal play, it felt as though the story progressed in different ways. If the reader chooses to switch between lies and truths, than the narrative ends rather quickly. In the truth section, it slows down and time passes at a rational rate. With lies, it felt as though time was moving slower, and possibly that there were more things to read in the lie section. This could once again play to the reality of telling a truth, or a lie, or mixing it up. When I speak truthfully, everything tends to move at a normal rate, I’m not worried about judgement or being caught in a lie since what I’ve said is the truth. When I tell a lie, things move slower. I constantly try to make sure that I’m not caught in any of my fabrications. When mixing it up, I’m constantly worried about slipping up. Will one part of the story I lied about contradict with a truthful part I told? This play with truth and lies in a narrative help to move at the same pace as real life would.


  1. I agree that the all truth story was boring, but it was real. As I described on McKenzie's post, I was unsure whether we were to read all the lies as falsehoods/untrue statements, or if some of the lies were truths that were describing the lies. The "rum and cokes" code word comes with a lies click, so is the statement a falsehood (I'm lying--rum and coke is not a code word, we just drink a lot) or is it a true statement that is explaining the lies?

  2. Great post. I read the text the same way as you--all truth, all lies, and a combination of both. I found myself pretty frustrated with the whole thing, because, as you mention, I did end up questioning what was "true" after reading it a few times, because the "lies" that I had gotten too seemed hard to separate. I honestly found the whole story pretty boring, however I progressed through it, but I'm just not a big fan of narratives focused on one couple's relationship. After reading your post though, I did find a new appreciation for the text, simply because the way the story feels after reading through it does reflect the idea of telling truths and lies in real life. So, thanks for sharing!

  3. I interpreted the lies as drawing attention to the fact that, essentially, all fiction is based upon lies. Pryll directly points out to the reader that he is a writer of fiction who uses codes, even if he does so under the heading of Lies, which I interpreted as a commentary on the nature of writing itself.