Gore Vidal on Memoir Writing

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trumpetology

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Paraphrasing: "when you remember an event, you aren't remembering the event but the last time that you remembered the event."

I found this an interesting way of viewing memory. Thought I'd pass it on.
 

frimble3

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Sounds like a variation of that thing where you don't really remember an event, you remember what you heard or saw about it later. Like stuff from when you were a little kid, that you've seen a picture of, and the family has told you the story so many times that you actually think you remember it.
Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you're remembering other people's memories, that you don't really have any memories of that event of your own.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Yes, I sometimes have two memories of the same event. Sometimes I think writing a memoir is like writing Rashoman: different people remember the same event different ways.

Oh, and it's also all backstory and/or all time travel. :) Couldn't resist!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

HarryHoskins

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Today on BBC Radio Four the series The Philosophers Arms brought up the same quote -- though not attributed to the wonderful, late Mrs Vidal -- in it's discourse about memory. Fascinating it was, and worth a listen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lhgw8

Also, any memoir writers be interested in memory and autobiography would do well to watch Terrence Davies' brilliant film Distant Voices, Still Lives. Excellent on many levels and gives huge insight into this threads theme -- iirc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distant_Voices,_Still_Lives
 

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