LaCapra describes the difference between “writing trauma” and “writing about trauma” (186). He raises a question about the film Shoah, asking whether Polish resistance to the Hocaust was excluded because the speaker was too detached and not actively reliving his experiences (“writing about trauma”), or if instead the documentary can now be critiqued for failing to provide a balanced view (“writing about trauma”) (187).
In James Frey and Brian Williams, we have examples where exaggeration was used to help provide the enhanced sense of “identification” LaCapra describes. But much of this audience identification depended upon the proviso that the events were “true” as reported. Thus, suspension of disbelief depends upon both the sense of authenticity and the declaration of it.
How does this play out in fiction? If you already know the story is “made up” or “make-believe”?