Friday, July 20, 2012


There may be no task more daunting for a writer than auto-biography.  Producing memoir and recording bits-and-pieces of one's history is a formidable task, fraught with many pitfalls, not the least of which is accuracy and honesty.  Self-consciousness is one thing, but being adept at discovering and writing the truth about one's experiences (as well as family, friendships and the significance and chronology of events) is daunting and risky.

Over the past year I've attempted to get as some of my own history--dredging up photos and conversations and timelines) in an attempt to record at least a thumbnail sketch of life as I've known it.  But great memoirs are not chiefly concerned with the self.  Or, as some of the best auto-biographers have noted:  A writer has to keep himself out of it.

I am inspired, of late, by some editors who will soon be publishing bits of pieces of my memoirs.  But I'm not sure how to describe these pages.  Sometimes I categorize these pieces as comedy (I have always found life humorous) and at other times honest--though one's honesty is always colored by certain trends in recollection or long-held beliefs about the "true" history.

In short, I'm trying to relate bits and pieces of truth that in one form or another may involve me, but are not principally about me.

Once some of these pieces find their way into print I'll tell others about them.  Writing these memoirs, I felt like a character in a dime-novel.  But I've tried to keep myself out of it.

Writing history, I am still attempting to get at the truth.  And in the writing itself, I may have found a piece of me I have forgotten.   

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