Steven Kaplan (essay date 1995)
SOURCE: Kaplan, Steven. “The Things They Carried.” In Understanding Tim O'Brien, pp. 169-92. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
[In the following essay, Kaplan contends that in The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien “emphasizes the magical powers of storytelling,” incorporating both factual writing and memoir to create fiction that is “truer than fact.”]
Before America became militarily involved in defending the sovereignty of South Vietnam, it had to, as one historian recently put it, “invent” the country and the political issues at stake there.1 The Vietnam War was in many ways a wild and terrible work of...
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