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veritatemdilexi's picture

Is Memoir "travel writing"?

 My favorite statement of Patricia Hampl's "I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory and Imagination" is "Memoir is travel writing, then, notes taken along the way, telling how things looked and what thoughts occurred." (37)  The power of the memoir, in my opinion, is that the writer has the power to recount the thoughts and feelings that they were feeling at the time of the event and how this has shaped their current lives.  Hampl's struggle with truthfully depicting the first piano is an example of how we all cloud our memories with other life experiences, almost as an attempt to corroborate our own stories to justify our feelings.  

"Texts Without Context" is well researched description of modern digital culture.  While Michiko Kakutani includes a variety of opinions, i.e. those who want to abolish copyright laws, those who believe that celebrity is a new "art", the tone of the article is one that is fearful of the current digital age.  The most interesting piece of the article was Calib Crains description of "groupiness, where people read mainly 'for the sake of a feeling of belonging' rather than for personal enlightenment or amusement." (5-6)

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