Bookworm noticed yet another attack on Elie Wiesel, in addition to those Ed Lasky noted. It appears that three iconic liberal elite outposts have the same trumped—up line trying to build the case for a "fake" when the facts are undeniably true and the most that can be said is that translator chose a different word.
I had a bizarre sense of deja vu reading Mr. Lasky's article, because I'd heard precisely the same type of attack the other day on NPR. There a commentator, his voice dripping with "I like Wiesel" concern, likened Wiesel's book to the recent spate of faked memoirs The commentator pointed out that the Yiddish book that preceded Night had minor differences, such as the final sentence, which adds one more fact to amp up its emotional strength. He ruminated thoughtfully about whether these differences in tone turned the book from an autobiographical book about the camps into a novel.
It turns out —— silly me, not to have realized this —— that in the rarified world of NPR, writing differently about the same undisputed facts may also be faking it. This, of course, is entirely separate from "fake but accurate" which allows you to lie 100%, but still be held up as telling the truth. Obviously, truth is a very flexible concept for some.
By the way, when I went looking for a link to the above NPR commentary, I also found this link on NPR, which is a news story, not a commentary, advancing precisely the same idea. In other words, the commentary I heard was not an anomaly.
Ed Lasky looked up the NPR audio record on the story and found the official NPR summary:
Morning Edition, January 17, 2006 � After all the hoopla over a memoir that turned out to contain too much fiction, Oprah Winfrey's new choice for her book club is a Holocaust memoir that is sometimes described as a novel. Following A Million Little Pieces, Oprah urged viewers Monday to open Night, a book by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. The book has sometimes been characterized in the media as a novel. [emphasis added]
Just in case you forgot the first sentence in a three sentence report.