The Tradition: Fact And Fiction

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

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.