To build on your "take" on this, I hope: It seems to me the most interesting facet of the brouhaha is the betrayal here on Franzen's part. As to the fact or fiction question, I refer you to another controversial figure, David Shields and his marvelously insightful book Reality Hunger. I spoke with him last night via Skype: he generously spoke with my creative writing students. Shields raised this current controversy, I went looking, found your insightful piece and am now following you on Twitter. As Shields notes, "Anything processed by memory is fiction." We are not talking here about James Frey who out-and-out lied. We are talking about art, memory and narrative in terms of David Foster Wallace making up dialogue, no? How could Wallace accurately recall dialogue if he weren't recording it in some way? And who cares, anyway. The "truth" is in the fine essay. Thus, I say, more serious here is Franzen's betrayal of Wallace.