Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Memoir = Drunken Wedding Guest

"Unseemly self-exposures, unpalatable betrayals, unavoidable mendacity, a soupcon of meretriciousness; memoir, for much of its modern history, has been the black sheep of the literary family. Like a drunken guest at a wedding, it is constantly mortifying its soberer relatives (philosophy, history, literary fiction)--spilling family secrets, embarrassing old friends--motivated, it would seem, by an overpowering need to be the center of attention.
Even when the most distinguished writers and thinkers have turned to autobiography, they have found themselves accused of literary exhibitionism--when they can bring themselves to put on a show at all."

-"But Enough About Me; What Does the Popularity of Memoir Tell Us About Ourselves?"
Daniel Mendelsohn, The New Yorker

1 comment:

michael said...

This is excellent and channels what you told me at yer cafe a tic or 2 ago;-)