More than 3,925,000 pageviews from 150 countries

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Writing Quote: The "Honest" Memoir

     The uncommon memoirist presents actualities honestly and imaginatively. To be honest doesn't require unfailing accuracy, since memory and POV [point of view] intrude upon reminiscing. Honesty avoids deliberate falsehoods. Honest means the writer will not be self-serving, not always at the center, not always the star, though always in the movie. Sometimes she picks herself up off the cutting-room floor.

     Because the imagination is regularly attached to make-believe, these days it is rarely attached to the writing of memoirs, which are expected to be "true," that is, factual. But truth and true are not the same as fact. Historians use facts to support their interpretations of events; they draw conclusions based on evidence that is agreed upon by other historians. A memoir's evidence emerges from memory, the unreliable narrator.

Paula Fox, "Speak, Memories", Bookforum, Dec/Jan, 2015 

No comments:

Post a Comment