Another admits making some things up - argh!

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khobar

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http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/18/asia/north-korea-defector-changes-story/

"The publisher of the book and its author say Shin -- who claims to have been born in and escaped from a North Korean prison camp -- has revealed that parts of the story he told weren't true."

But, apparently there's a fuss over some details, specifically, "some of the times and places of the events in his accounts were wrong."

Reading the article, however, makes the times and places issue bigger than it ordinarily would be. Interesting nonetheless.
 

khobar

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

It'll be a rare memoir that doesn't have some errors. That's the way memory is.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Of course, but there's a difference between mistake and lie. In this case I wonder if is it more or less so given that the book in question is a biography rather than memoir?
 

khobar

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Sorry you couldn't open the link. The core of the story is:

Blaine Harden, author of the book "Escape from Camp 14," said in a statement on his website over the weekend that Shin had changed "key parts of his story."

"On Friday, Jan. 16, I learned that Shin Dong-hyuk, the North Korean prison camp survivor who is the subject of 'Escape from Camp 14,' had told friends an account of his life that differed substantially from my book," Harden said. "I contacted Shin, pressing him to detail the changes and explain why he had misled me."

Harden declined to provide additional details to CNN, but published a lengthy explanation on his website. A Washington Post story based on information Harden said he had provided to the newspaper said "the most horrific details" of Shin's story "still stand," but some of the times and places of the events in his accounts were wrong."

Times and places irrelevant to the horror suffered shouldn't be a big deal ordinarily. The concern is if he (Shin) lied about some stuff he may have lied about other stuff, and since it concerns North Korea the details might be a tad bit difficult to prove.
 

Jamesaritchie

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

It'll be a rare memoir that doesn't have some errors. That's the way memory is.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

An error is one thing, but too many have outright lies, and that's something else.

And even errors should never be about events. Errors in dates are often acceptable, but errors in events are not. The writer knows whether he did something or not, and certainly knows when he did something big and highly unusual.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

No, I'm not advocating for lying in memoir. What I'm saying is: Have you ever hold an event to your friend and realized after you said it that it happened slightly differently? I don't have enough details to know for sure, but it sounds to me like that COULD be the case here. Times and places might be easy enough to confuse.

Keep in mind that the news media goes for bad. Rarely does it go for what's good.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

robjvargas

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In my work, I have two different ID's with 14-character passwords containing big letters, small letters, numbers, and symbols. I use a (pseudo)random password generator to create them. I do the same for my home/personal PC ID. I remember all three within the first 3-5 attempts.

And I cannot remember what time it was when I had dinner last night.

I will frequently recount things as "last Tuesday" when they happened Monday, or even Friday.

If times or dates are off a bit, I'm not so concerned as long as the rest of the story is consistent.

If the writer, however, says in Chapter 2 that he was at a house in Boston the second week of March, 2010, then the writer better not get to Chapter 12 and tell me they were backpacking across Europe for the whole spring of 2010.
 

khobar

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If times or dates are off a bit, I'm not so concerned as long as the rest of the story is consistent.

If the writer, however, says in Chapter 2 that he was at a house in Boston the second week of March, 2010, then the writer better not get to Chapter 12 and tell me they were backpacking across Europe for the whole spring of 2010.

I agree - times and dates, etc. and if there's a whopper like being in two places at one time - ouch.

I reconnected with an old school mate from 30+ years ago (oh God, it's now getting close to 40 years), and I was surprised at just how much detail he could recall about certain places we were both familiar with. He made me feel like I hadn't been at all. That was eerie and yet very helpful.

We then discussed a shared experience, and some of the details he recalled were different to what I recalled. As it turned out, both "versions" were correct - they were just for slightly different times during the same night.
 

veinglory

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If the author is posting a disclaimer this might suggest the deviations are more than can be explained by the fallibility of memory? Or is he just being meticulous...
 

khobar

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If the author is posting a disclaimer this might suggest the deviations are more than can be explained by the fallibility of memory? Or is he just being meticulous...

I don't think the author is posting a disclaimer. I vote for meticulous. On his website he quotes Shin as saying, "So I made a compromise in my mind. I altered some details that I thought wouldn't matter. I didn't want to tell exactly what happened in order not to relive these painful moments all over again.”

Blaine Harden links to a North Korean "article" that helps support some parts of the story. http://juche007-anglo-peopleskoreaf....uk/2014/10/scumbag-shin-finally-exposed.html

IMO it's fascinating. Of course Shin could be lying as an agent of North Korea or for profit or whatever, but I would say he's not, and what's coming out now simply tells a broader story.
 

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