News Literature

The Allen v Farrows Saga mentioned in Woebegone Woody and reader comments also prompted some insightful analysis by Lee Siegel. As he says, we punters swing between believing Allen, then Farrow, back to Allen, as counter-claims are aired and dissected in social media and mainstream. The complex moral, emotional, psychological and intellectual twists are worthy of literature, and maybe satisfy a similar need, or more precisely, want.

Siegel explains: “falling boundaries between private and public, an old morality increasingly muddled by new laws and new technology, and the dominance of a no-holds-barred media, have made moral conundrums that once never happened, or touched the lives of only a few people, the daily fare of millions”.

Allen and Farrow’s incredible larger-than-life story has long been in the public domain, and he made his crust from portraying neurotic relationships. So they were always grist for the insatiable celebrity rumour mill, particularly with such salacious grainy kernels to grind. Their penny-dreadful just keeps on giving, new chapters and episodes.

I reckon Siegel’s theory is pretty spot-on, and he backgrounds and develops it with great flair. News has become literature. Life is creating art, not imitating it. Who needs Jane Austen?

For those interested in more Allen v Farrow ‘facts’, read comments by TRH3 on Siegel’s piece, quoting from the 1993 Custody Ruling.

Newsagency Toodyay

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