Sebastian Fortino is an editor, journalist, and writer of fiction, and is passionate about words & disseminating knowledge to the community!
Art Imitates Life
Social Issues – Despite being called a “bravura performance” and other such accolades, Alexander Maksik’s new novel, You Deserve Nothing, seems to be landing him in proverbial detention by former students at the American School of Paris, where he taught and eventually lost his position in 2006.
The subject is classic, a charismatic teacher woos almost all of his students. The flip-side also classic, Marie, the main female character, seduces the American teacher. The young woman – then seventeen – has an abortion. According to Jezebel.com, You Deserve Nothing is based on the real life experience of Maksik and the students he taught and befriended while in Paris. Or so claim his former students, now in their early twenties.
The book is apparently quite a success, with editions in Korean and Russian already printed. However, many of his former students claim real-life conversations from classrooms and other scenarios where used by their former professor, and they feel that their trust was betrayed.
Most especially, perhaps, the real-life “Marie” who found solace in Maksik, and revealed personal things that she could not – supposedly – tell her wealthy parents.
It is interesting to note that in the age of the Internet and digital media…it seems as if no one can write “what they know” without real-life protagonists coming forward and complaining about that particular golden rule. For instance, Dan Eggers’ family was quite upset at A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Auguste Burroughs also dealt with reactions from the family he was sent to live with in Running With Scissors, and David Sedaris has met with negative reaction from the press – some of whom claim his essays and memoirs can’t be true.
The self-esteem of the real Marie, and her former colleagues, is not to be taken lightly; however, what happened to artistic license?
Read More at Jezebel.