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'Imagination informs memory, and memory informs imagination.People are concerned that the events are fabricated, when what’s most lethal is the slant you put on it.' "~Jennifer Schuessler, in Frank Mc Court and the American Memoir (Week in Review, New York Times, 7-25-09) "Family and personal history have always figured prominently in [Alice] Munro’s reckonings, but The View from Castle Rock makes some of the sources of her earlier stories much clearer...."Whether they are the literal truth is beyond irrelevant.
It need not be deliberate, but it's as well to admit that it happens.
We fumble about in the fog, and patterns come to us eerily like distant foghorns over water. And versions of others."~ Jennie Erdal, from Ghosting: A Double Life "I am writing biography, not history, and the truth is that the most brilliant exploits often tell us nothing of the virtues or vices of the men who performed them, while on the other hand a chance remark or a joke may reveal far more of a man's character than the mere feat of winning battles in which thousands fall, or of marshalling great armies, or laying siege to cities." ~Plutarch's Lives ( "Alexander," Sec.
Do we in fact have other, equally interesting life stories that we're unaware of and unable to tell, simply because their building blocks are the memories that fell by the wayside? And while those memoirs might undermine the ones we've written, they also might just improve on them.~ Frank Bruni, Memoirs and Memory (by the author of Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater "Ms.
Karr has described how she sent the manuscript of 'The Liar’s Club' to all the major characters, to fact check her memory, but emphasized that no honest writer — or reader — expected a memoir to reflect anything other than the author’s inevitably slanted view on the truth.'There’s a kind of recursive loop in memoir, she said.
You can understand why I keep an old cowboy motto above my desk that says–“Tell the truth but ride a fast horse.” ~Kitty Kelley, on receiving the Washington Independent Review of Books Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016 "The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own." ~ Willa Cather"What’s writing really about?
It’s about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life." ~ Ted Hughes "When a parent dies, it's the end. But I wasn't forceful, and I didn't make it happen. I didn't get as much family history as I could have for the kids." ~ Robert De Niro (interviewed by Richard Mowe, Box Office, 9-3-08) Speak Memory.The point of storytelling, as Munro practices it, is to rescue the literal facts from banality, from oblivion, and to preserve — to create — some sense of continuity in the hectic ebb and flow of experience.'We can’t resist this rifling around in the past,' she writes in an epilogue, 'sifting the untrustworthy evidence, linking stray names and questionable dates and anecdotes together, hanging on to threads, insisting on being joined to dead people and therefore to life.' "~ A. Scott, NY Times Book Review "Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike.Age, if nothing else, entitles me to set the record straight before I dissolve.I've given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages.And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.~ Harlan Ellison, in Paladin of the Lost Hour (1985) "How wonderful, how very wonderful the operations of time, and the changes of the human mind! If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory.There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences.Things Don't Have To Be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World by Larry Smith. " Story on TED blog: The evocative world of the six-world memoir (A Q&A with new TED ebook author Larry Smith. And all story-tellers are liars--not to be trusted.They have an excessive need to make sense of experience, and so things get twisted and shaped to suit.I’d like you to write a brief report on your life so far, an evaluation of what you did well, of what you did not so well and what you learned along the way." The first life reports were followed by Life Reports II (11-28-11).In Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives, Louise De Salvo cautions that writing is no substitute for medical care.