The Tradition: Fact And Fiction Essay

1729 words - 7 pages

Robert Coles offers a penetrating look into the nature of documentary work in his essay "The Tradition: Fact and Fiction". According to Robert Coles documentaries written by people are almost always filtered. Different people will notice different things, to a certain person a particular part might be more important than to another. The latter may not include this point in his documentary while the other will. Interest is another factor that shows differences amongst documentaries. Two people writing a documentary on the same thing or person may have different views as one was interested in certain parts which he noticed and incorporated in his documentary while the other chose to ignore those events as he was not interested in them himself.
Writers will include what they find significant or what they find worthy of notice, otherwise they will just simply ignore it. Robert Coles says:

        A documentarian's report will be strengthened by what has been witnessed,

        but will be fueled, surely, by what observations come to mean in his or her

        head: we absorb sights and sounds, and they become our experience,

        unique to us, in that we, their recipients, are unique. What we offer others

        in the way of our documentary reports, then, is our mix "¦(Coles Pg.179)

Here Coles explains clearly how the process of filtration takes place. He says that people write accordingly to what they understood of their observations. Everyone interprets things differently and therefore what they write is filtered through their own thought process.

        Robert Coles went to a seminar, where he tried like several others to make sense of his own work. Robert Coles tries to distinguish his work from the work of reporters and journalists. He also tries to bring in the concept of how novelists' write, and their freedom to include imaginary objects. Robert Coles struggles to understand what type of writing he does.

        Coles was a psychiatrist and he writes to us in his essay, that this posed a major problem for his attempt in doing documentary work. Coles visited children, parents in their homes, and teachers in their schools. He was trying to learn how "Southern schoolchildren, both black and white, were managing under the stresses of court-ordered desegregation in the South"(Coles Pg. 181). He interviewed the children and teachers, and then wrote reports on them. Being a psychiatrist, Coles had learned a certain professional way in writing about his interviews. Coles says:

        A profession also has its narrative as well as it's intellectual and emotional

        demands, and it, too, affects a particular practitioner, here a psychoanalyst,

        in influential ways: an agreed-upon language; an agreed-upon story called a

        diagnosis, or a clinical interpretation or summary, namely, how we(are trained to)

        tell ourselves what we're...

Find Another Essay On The Tradition: Fact And Fiction

"The Crucible", Fact or Fiction? Essay

1625 words - 7 pages the medical condition describe the same symptoms that one can get from eating moldy rye wheat bread, which was what the scientists in 1970 concluded. In this paper I will show you the fact and fiction of The Crucible, written by the famed playwright Authur Miller, and directed by Nicholas Hytner, starring Winona Ryder and Daniel Day Lewis.The first witchcraft accusation took place in the Salem Village at the end of February 1692, the accused

The Old Testament: Fact or Fiction?

822 words - 3 pages The Old Testament: Fact or Fiction?This paper will summarize only a few of the evidences and arguments for the validity of the Old Testament, many more can be found. I am neither a theologian nor a scholar, but I do have an accurate knowledge of the scripture of both the Old and New Testaments. I do know that the Old Testament is prophecy and the New Testament is the fulfillment of that prophesy. Without the Old Testament, the New Testament

The Loch Ness Monster: Fact or Fiction?

1156 words - 5 pages Welcome to Scotland, the home of Shrek's accent, Braveheart and haggis. Located at the northernmost tip of Great Britain, it has a history rich in tradition and folklore. It is also the home of the largest lake in the United Kingdom. Loch Ness Lake is nearly 23 miles long and, in some places, its depth exceeds 750 feet. Who knows what exactly is beneath the surface of such a massive body of water... Could there really be a monster lurking in the

Fact Verses Fiction in O'Brien's The Things They Carried

1500 words - 6 pages Fact Verses Fiction in O'Brien's The Things They Carried "The difference between fairy tales and war stories is that fairy tales begin with 'Once upon a time,' while war stories begin with 'Shit, I was there!'" (Lomperis 41). How does one tell a good war story? Is it important to be accurate to the events that took place? Does the reader need to trust the narrator? In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien examines what it takes to

The Space Elevator: Science Fiction to Science Fact

816 words - 3 pages In the recent century what used to be science fiction is quickly becoming a reality. Things like the space shuttle, super computers and robots are coming out of Hollywood and into the real world. The most recent projection is the space elevator project. It consists of a 62,000 mile long cable elevator to the stars. This project which was previously believed to be impossible and absurd is now on the fast track to success. This recent success can

King Arthur and Merlin Fact or Fiction? This essay is about wether King Arthur and Merlin were in fact real.

1221 words - 5 pages King Arthur and Merlin: Fact or Fiction?Many people have enjoyed the legendary tales of King Arthur through numerous writings and movies. With so many people reading, listening, and watching the tales of King Arthur come to life the question has been posed, "Was Arthur in fact truly real?" Although there is no conclusive evidence that King Arthur and the characters in the tales are real, there are faint hints that can answer the question. Due to

The Gap Between Fact and Fiction Jamaica Kincaid "On Seeing England for the First Time" V. S. Naipaul "Jasmine" discussing myths in society

1213 words - 5 pages that one cannot grow up to be of a different nationality, English was something the people of Antigua would aspire to be. Societal pressure had Kincaid and the other children dreaming of England, “it was the source from which [they] got [their] sense of reality, [their] sense of what was meaningful...and much about [their] own lives” (209). Their sense of reality was a work of fiction, a myth, passed down through generations caused by

Freud and the Psychoanalytic Tradition

1582 words - 6 pages the psychoanalytic tradition there is a motto that says: Don't trust what you see; the surface is deceptive; the real truth lies between the lines and beyond the obvious.The case of Dora examines the realm of mysterious and private life. During the year of 1900 Sigmund Freud offered therapy to a girl of eighteen, who he called Dora in a short story he wrote after his sessions ended with her. The rest of this paper will focus on the accounts from

Golding's Reality fact or Fiction. Speaks of "Lord of the flies"

1698 words - 7 pages destiny because of fear.The main events in the story are each a symbol of real life events that haveoccurred once before in history, and no matter how evil this fiction book may seem it isgrim reality. The arrival of the boys to the island is that of what the Europeans did whenthey came to the Americas. The land was pure and beautiful and they slowly began todestroy it. The pushing the boulder down the hill and the fire just shows how the

Vesalius and the Hippocratic Tradition

652 words - 3 pages WorkVesalius’ work focused largely upon the anatomy of the human body. He lived during the Renaissance, an era renowned for its emphasis on Humanism and resurrection of classical texts . In fact, Vesalius work was based on drawings and writing books. Dissatisfied with the quality of the teaching he felt he had received, Vesalius decided to begin his own research and observations in order to disprove certain widely held beliefs. His passion for anatomy

Comparing Fact and Fiction: All the President's Men

1161 words - 5 pages It has been 42 years since the Nixon presidency was brought to an end by the Watergate scandal. All the President's Men, the movie depicting the Watergate Scandal, accurately portrays the events surrounding President Nixon and the taping of the Democratic Party Headquarters. This historical accuracy is evident in the portrayal of the two Washington Post journalists that covered the story, in the depiction of the events that took place to

Similar Essays

Coles’ Ideas In The Tradition: Fact And Fiction

1539 words - 6 pages Coles’ Ideas in The Tradition: Fact and Fiction “The documentary tradition as a continually developing “record” that is made in so many ways, with different voices and vision, intents and concerns, and with each contributor, finally, needing to meet a personal text” (Coles 218). Coles writes “The Tradition: Fact and Fiction” and describes the process of documenting, and what it is to be a documentarian. He clearly explains through many

The Manipulation Of Photographic Images Discussed In "The Tradition: Fact And Fiction" By Robert Coles

899 words - 4 pages In his essay "The Tradition: Fact and Fiction" Robert Coles discussed the works of two photographers, Jane Lange and Walker Evans, examining the process of producing their pictures and the artistic decisions they made, the meaning they wanted to convey and the history of their photographs.Coles pitches on two of Lange's famous photographs. The first, the image of the "migrant mother," depicts a poor woman and her two children, dressed in rags

The Exceeding Unimportance Between Fact And Fiction

1027 words - 4 pages is none of the above. The memories in Biography of a Runaway Slave buttress both of these arguments in that it somewhat validates the account and somewhat brings into question the account. Through an examination of Montejo's religious beliefs and stereotypes, and his lifestyle, one will gain a better understanding of the balance between fact and fiction. Upon reading the book, the reader is presented with a variety of stereotypes and

Velociraptors: Fact And Fiction Essay

1510 words - 6 pages Velociraptors: Fact and Fiction Eventually at some time or another, somebody has to imagine what a dinosaur looks like. Maybe it is a Paleontologist, maybe it is an Artist, maybe it is a Movie Maker. Basically, everyone is entitled to deciding in his or her mind what a dinosaur may look like. How do we form these ideas, though? And on what information are these ideas based on? The “picture” of the dinosaur – whether it’s in our mind, on