Monday, November 16, 2009

Like Memoir But Different

I was reading How Memoirs Took Over the World at Salon in which Laura Miller begins her article on Memoir: A History by Ben Yagoda with the question "Has the memoir become the "central form" of our culture, as Ben Yagoda insists in his breezy new consideration of the form, "Memoir: A History"?" She later says that today material that was once written as fiction (she uses The Bell Jar as an example) would more likely be written as memoir. And, of course, she mentions the story of how James Frey couldn't find a publisher for A Million Little Pieces when he was trying to sell it as a novel, but when he (or somebody) decided to call it a memoir, it was a go.

As I started reading this article about the ascendancy of the memoir, I immediately started thinking of all the first-person fictions in children's books and YA. Couldn't these "I" books be described as pseudo-memoirs? With the use of "I" isn't the author trying to create the illusion of a memoir?

So what's that about?

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