We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
'T is strange — but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction; if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!
How oft would vice and virtue places change!
The new world would be nothing to the old,
If some Columbus of the moral seas
Would show mankind their souls' antipodes.
On the one hand a good way to teach the history of another culture is to make cloddish kids read the novels and poetry of that culture. Neruda, Garcia Marquez, Amado when starting to study South America for example.
But personally I have usually preferred nonfiction because of an Elephant's Child curiousity about people and places out of reach. Of course many nonfiction authors lie. But the truth or the attempt to tell the true story can transform us.
Random quote any novelist wd be proud of:
"Some nights the sky wept stars that quickly floated and disappeared into the darkness before our wishes could meet them. "
--Ishmael Beah"A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier"