The Myth of the True Story


I also said that if either you take either story in the Life of Pi as the “real” story, you probably are not understanding what the author was trying to do. (Unless I’m misunderstanding what the author was trying to do.)

Be Swift, Be Precise

Life of Pi, Page 316-317. Copyright 2001, Yann Martel
Harcourt Books
“The Tsimtsum sank on July 2nd, 1977.”
“And I arrived on the coast of Mexico, the sole human survivor of the Tsimtsum, on February 14th, 1978.”
“That’s right.”
“I told you two stories that account for the 227 days in between.”
“Yes, you did.”
“Neither explains the sinking of the Tsimtsum.”
“That’s right.”
“Neither makes a factual difference to you.”
“That’s true.”
“You can’t prove which story is true and which is not. You must take my word for it.”
“I guess so.”
“In both stories the ship sinks, my entire family dies, and I suffer.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“So tell me, since it makes no factual difference  to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer, the story with animals or the story without animals?”
Mr. Okamoto: “That’s an interesting question …

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