Purposes of writing a memoir

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Purposes of writing a memoir

Blake, as it happened, was sitting in my clear view two rows in front. Purposes of writing a memoir found my eyes drawn to his face almost as irresistibly as to the screen. Scene after scene of an intensely personal nature was conjured in front of us.

Blake - all too convincingly played by Colin Firth - masturbating. Blake attempting - unsuccessfully - to be unfaithful to his wife. Blake's deathbed parting from his father, portrayed with dizzying emotional heft by Jim Broadbent.

The real Blake gave little away, but he kept one hand at his face most of the time, as if ready to bat away some of the images that loomed in front of him.

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Or this is how I was inclined to interpret it, because - symbolically at least - I have spent much of my writing life imaginatively making that same protective gesture. The hand-at-the-face gesture is what one might call the inevitable fate of the fly-on-the-wall writer.

purposes of writing a memoir

For Blake, it reached an unusual level of intensity that night, because his book had made it to the big screen, and he was watching the outcome with an audience of people that he mostly knew.

But every memoir writer of any sensitivity at all must surely identify with the defensive gesture. It is the deeply ambivalent reaction of the artist who both wants to share his private experience with an audience, and yet paradoxically - but genuinely - recoils from it at the same time.

In an after-screening discussion hosted by Ian Jack - who started the whole modern memoir movement with a brilliant essay about his father, Finished With Engines in - Ian asked an obvious first question: Blake answered vaguely - he had been embarrassed, he said, and he had been moved.

His answer was hesitant, as if fishing for a more satisfactory answer. The hesitation and the vagueness made sense to me. It was there, surely, because Blake didn't know how he felt. The conflicts taking place in his emotional self would have been simply too complicated to articulate properly, even for a man who is so erudite on paper.

Those feelings, I would guess, might include pleasure, guilt, vulnerability, pride, shame and confusion. I can visualise this because, since writing my own confessional memoir inThe Scent of Dried Roses, on the subject of my mother's suicide and my own depression, I have repeatedly, almost cyclically, experienced a similar jumble of emotions.

Even now, as I type, those feelings are surfacing, as they always do when I am asked to write about the subject of my mother, or my depression, or memoir, or confessionals. A flurry of perceptions and feelings scatter like scraps of half-illegible Post-It notes in a storm.

As far as I can interpret them, this is what they are telling me - or perhaps what I am telling them: But now I can pay the mortgage this week. Am I exploiting you? Do I really want to remind everyone again that I suffered from mental illness?

My eldest daughter is 14 now - are her school friends going to read about this?

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Do they know her grandmother killed herself? That her father went mad? My book was a betrayal. The words I write now are a betrayal. But someone needs to tell the truth, don't they? But does it have to be you? Haven't you milked the subject enough yet?

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Just shut up, Tim, why don't you? Go and review someone else's memoir and make them feel bad instead. Come off it, you love it, don't you? No I don't love it. But I need to make these things public.I think that if someone wants to write a memoir, it's really important to figure out exactly why you want to write your memoir.

There can be a cost. Beth Kephart, author of the memoir Still Love in Strange Places, has said, “When you draw from real life for the purposes of fiction, you have to be willing to discard details that have mattered deeply, to blur edges of the truth, to shape newly.”.

May 05,  · a discussion of the purpose and uses of memoirs and autobiographies; considerations in telling one's own story • Paragraph Description: This is a discussion of the purpose and uses of memoirs. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

(Grade-specific expectations for writing . A memoir is a piece of autobiography. You can write down a series of events that is a "meaningful moment" to you. The events must be attheheels.com reading a memoir you'd want t o be entertained.

Edited by Meredith Maran, Why We Write About Ourselves is an inspirational collection of musings on the craft, purpose, and genre of memoir for memoir writers of all stripes, from the journaler to.

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