Well, there are memoirs and then there are memoirs… This whole Frey mess might actually be contextualized with the Wiesel memoir. I doubt it, but I’m teaching a research writing course this winter on autobiography and memoir and plan on opening up this, and many other salient questions. I was disappointed to hear Oprah’s statement about the “sense” rather than the “truth” being important. She leans so heavily on “reading” and “literature” as a transformative force that she doesn’t stop to ask why or how this is happening. Makes for a gloss rather than a read.
But the question is endlessly fascinating. And I find myself drawn to autobiographical writing as much as I’m repelled. It’s hard to find one quite as intriguing as The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which I’m reading again. Yet again. It’s pure candy, essential laid up with the flu reading… The New York Times offers you chapter one for free, right here.
And here is Richard Howard on the Library of American Edition published in 1998.
No, it isn’t strange to follow Wordsworth with Stein, and I’m sure this isn’t the last post on this whole question. Hopefully the next will be a little less fractured.