Sean Penn Writing About American Culture in “Bob Honey”

Fiction Not Opinion

In a recent interview with Jason Diamond for Rolling Stone, Sean Penn’ debit novel “Bob Hone who Just Do Stuff,” which has stirred up much attention, responded to several issues thought provocative of the Trump Administration. Sean Penn said those were only coincidences and were never intended to amount to any likeness between the fiction of the book and the interpreted reality of a world situation.

“Bob Honey who Just Do Stuff” was never intended as a piece of journalism, but only a response to what he believes to be a fictional characterization of what is taking place in American Culture.


Fiction Not a Gate for Opinion

Sean Penn was surprised by the response “Bob Honey” was interpreted as an opinion piece or a novel of fiction in which people could read in their own opinions because of some unintended coincidences. Sean Penn hopes his readers will accept “Bob Honey” as the fictional novel it is and let it speak to the reader on its own grounds.

When questioned about specific events that sparked the idea for “Bob Honey” Sean Penn responded by saying it was a literary reflection, based on his fictional characters, that represented these cultural events in America.

Sean Penn

Sean Penn is known for many things in Hollywood. Besides being awarded two Academy Awards for Best Actor for Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008). When asked what is the difference between acting and writing a novel Sean Penn gave his personal understanding of what this writing meant, which is to have no one to rely upon to make the story than oneself, whereas in putting together a movie there is a whole cast of people you have to work with so it is more a collaborative effort.

In a novel, the author makes the story and characters who they are according to creative practices which may or may not be understood by those who read. When being compared to contemporary novelists Penn says those are coincidences and “Bob Honey” was not meant to be indicative of a certain style of writing.