• That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth

    Tim O'Brien
  • A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth

    Tim O'Brien
  • A lie, sometimes, can be truer than the truth, which is why fiction gets written

    Tim O'Brien
  • In any war story, but especially a true one, it's difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen. What seems to happen becomes its own happening and has to be told that way. The angles of vision are skewed. When a booby trap explodes, you close your eyes and duck and float outside yourself. .. The pictures get jumbled, you tend to miss a lot. And then afterward, when you go to tell about it, there is always that surreal seemingness, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed

    Tim O'Brien
  • Well, right now I'm not dead. But when I am, it's like...I don't know, I guess it's like being inside a book that nobody's reading. [...] An old one. It's up on a library shelf, so you're safe and everything, but the book hasn't been checked out for a long, long time. All you can do is wait. Just hope somebody'll pick it up and start reading

    Tim O'Brien
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