I had an interesting conversation recently about truth.
I mentioned during a meeting of a Writer’s Group I attended, that the group policy – to offer a presenting writer ONLY positive feedback about the presented piece – that I preferred truth on critique of my work, in whatever form it may take. This was a personal bias not widely shared by the group. The principle behind this policy was to spare the writer the “agony” of critique, since the pieces were “ex-temped” during the Group meeting.
A group participant bristled and began objecting to her presumption that I was calling the group dishonest. That got me thinking about truth and honesty and their relationship.
I guess this is what I’ve come up with. To me, truth is an innate property of an object of any sort that is immutable as is falsity. It is unchanging. Thus, in the context of critique, the truth would be precisely what the critic felt about a piece she or he has heard. The value of any critique belongs to the person critiqued.
Honesty, it seems to me, is a bit different. I see honesty as a trait or behavior of an individual in service of the truth. A person chooses honesty or dishonesty; and all the iterations that shade the trait, in human-made terms.
So, I didn’t mean to imply honesty or dishonesty of a group of people, just to explain my desires when it comes to critique. I’ve had positive and negative critique in the past that I haven’t been willing to accept. But, I always prefer unvarnished expression of other’s critique as the most helpful to my process.
Of course one needn’t be nasty about it…