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The dare of memoir

The dare of memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it

"What matters is not so much what happened, but the sensitivity with which you absorbed the experience and the ways in which it continues to inform and color your life now.".

Gene Bodzin's insight:

Your life is a congeries of stories. When you set out to write memoir, your job is to come to grips with one of those stories, then to write about it in such a way that it will make sense to others. Easier to theorize about than to do.

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Cathryn Wellner's comment, January 1, 2014 4:28 PM
I've just started my memoir about the years I spent as a reluctant farmer. This piece really speaks to me.
memoir writing
a look at how we remember and write about the past
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6 Parts of the brain dedicated to memory function

The parts of the brain involved in memory are sections of a complex operation. Each part is responsible for different ideas, facts, or figures essential for memory function.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Neurosurgery 101 for people who can't remember what parts of the brain to blame when they don't remember things
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Trouble brews over Stroh memoir

Trouble brews over Stroh memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Members of the Stroh brewery dynasty are privately seething over the just-published memoir by Frances Stroh.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Lives have consequences, and sometimes memoirs do too.
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What Americans can learn from Israel's forgotten war

What Americans can learn from Israel's forgotten war | memoir writing | Scoop.it
A new book by a Canadian-Israeli journalist hopes to resurrect a nameless conflict in Lebanon.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Another factor in the equation: why a witness to history might be inspired to write a memoir
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Nursing school teaches students to use music to rescue memory

Nursing school teaches students to use music to rescue memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
To address the growing need in caring for patients with memory loss, the University Of Wisconsin School Of Nursing has begun teaching students how to utilize music and memory.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
There's something magical, almost mystical, about the power of music to trigger memories as nothing else can. 
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Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer

Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A detailed, critical examination of what the author contends is a major misconception about what the brain is and does, and the implications for how we view memory retrieval. 
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The US military is creating brain implants to restore lost memories

The US military is creating brain implants to restore lost memories | memoir writing | Scoop.it
A scientist in DARPA's biological technologies offices explains how the agency is developing implants that could bring back memories.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This may not be for everybody, so don't push to get to the front of the line.
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Memories of unethical actions become obfuscated over time

Gene Bodzin's insight:
Abstract of a study that describes a self-perpetuating cycle of self-puffery, the human tendency to create our past with selective memory, and then to pat ourselves on the back when we recall that re-creation. 
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Do you suffer from memory blindness?

Do you suffer from memory blindness? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Someone can tamper with your statement about an event you witnessed—and you might come to believe the altered version is what you actually saw
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Memory blindness comes with the territory. It's a wonder we ever remember anything correctly.
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Strahan’s memory will be scrubbed from ‘Live’ come Monday

Strahan’s memory will be scrubbed from ‘Live’ come Monday | memoir writing | Scoop.it
After the cameras were off, we hear that Strahan and Kelly Ripa had a private reconciliation.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Our perverted social memory refuses to recognize anybody or anything that is not documented. History is a tough concept for people who have known television all their lives. Many people act as if their will be no record of their existence if they do not leave records of themselves, such as selfies.
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Does forgetting the past really condemn us to repeat it? Don’t we end up repeating it anyway?

Does forgetting the past really condemn us to repeat it? Don’t we end up repeating it anyway? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In his new book, In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies, journalist David Rieff questions the idea that remembering the past is an
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Another take on how important it is for nations to sometimes forget what already happened and just to get on with the business at hand today. This article is an interview with the author. It is full of gems of insight such as this: "History is the material out of which this collective memory is made. But collective memory, commemoration, is not history. If it is history, it’s so simplified and reduced to be, as I say, to be closer to myth than to history in any usable sense."
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Dreaming brain rhythms lock in memories

Dreaming brain rhythms lock in memories | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Disrupting brain activity during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep can stop mice from forming new memories, a study suggests.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Sleep is far more important in more ways than we often imagine
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How to make yourself forget a bad memory

How to make yourself forget a bad memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
New research offers a trick.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This study reveals the complexity of memory and shows how the recollection of any single moment contains multitudes of sensory details. It explains how all of those details are best seen in context, which means that forgetting details often involves forgetting the context surrounding them.
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The strange, familiar, and forgotten: A trailblazing exploration of consciousness, memory, and how our sense of self arises

The strange, familiar, and forgotten: A trailblazing exploration of consciousness, memory, and how our sense of self arises | memoir writing | Scoop.it
"This is the very essence of memory: its self-referential base, its self-consciousness, ever evolving and ever changing, intrinsically dynamic and subjective."
Gene Bodzin's insight:
It is an obvious fact that you can't remember what you never knew, and you will never know if you don't pay attention. This profound essay examines the links between consciousness, awareness, and memory.
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'Before I Forget' An Alzheimer's memoir

'Before I Forget' An Alzheimer's memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
“I know where I'm going. I just can't remember as well as I once did. So on short trips I work hard not to be confused. I say to myself,
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Writing a memoir is primarily an interior voyage for the writer. Here's an example of writing directed by people who know they are slowly rowing toward an unknown shore and who are trying to describe the voyage for those who survive them.  
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The beautiful and bizarre memory labs of Colombia

The beautiful and bizarre memory labs of Colombia | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Once upon a time, grandparents shared their favorite stories. But probably not quite like this.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
When those with memories and first-hand experience cannot write about it, they need not be lost: the next generation can transmit them.
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Stop forgetting everything with these 6 tips from a memory grand master

Stop forgetting everything with these 6 tips from a memory grand master | memoir writing | Scoop.it
If you can remember them
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Now that an American has been recognized for superior powers of recall, expect a spate of articles like this one. It's full of good tips for stimulating memories.
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Basic mechanisms behind memory are more dynamic, research finds

Basic mechanisms behind memory are more dynamic, research finds | memoir writing | Scoop.it
We tend to think our memory works like a filing cabinet. We experience an event, generate a memory and then file it away for later use. However, according to medical research, the basic mechanisms behind memory are much more dynamic.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
If you recall, this has already been discussed. Chances are this is not the last time. 
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Enhanced hippocampal-cortical coupling improves memory

Enhanced hippocampal-cortical coupling improves memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
For the first time, scientists in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CNRS/INSERM/Collège de France) have produced direct evidence that the long-term storage of memories involves a dialogue between tw
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This will be especially of interest to people who have been encouraging dialogue between the hippocampus and the cortex as they sleep.
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Chris Kraus: 'I Love Dick happened in real life, but it's not a memoir'

Chris Kraus: 'I Love Dick happened in real life, but it's not a memoir' | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The writer explains how what is now a bestselling book began as a series of letters she and her partner wrote to a relative stranger but didn’t plan to send
Gene Bodzin's insight:
What circumstances make a book realistic enough that the author must explain it is not a memoir? 
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The memory addict

The memory addict | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Augusten Burroughs doesn’t just write about his past. He holds séances.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Is it memoir or is it fiction? Believe him or doubt him, you have to admit either this guy's recall or his ability to make up the past on the spot.
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What amnesiacs tell us about memory

Henry Molaison, aged 27, had surgery to alleviate his severe epileptic seizures in 1953. During the operation, part of the temporal lobe on both sides of his brain was removed, suctioning out most of his hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structur
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A look at neurosurgery of the 1950s, which showed which part of the brain contains memory
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Rare detailed personal memory a burden, and ultimately a gift

Rare detailed personal memory a burden, and ultimately a gift | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Markie Pasternak’s remarkable ability is called highly superior autobiographical memory, or HSAM. So far, we know of fewer than 100 people in the world who can do what she does.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Here's a woman who may never write a memoir. In her hands (or her mind), page one could turn into volumes. She is like Funes the memorious in the story by Jorge Luis Borges 
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11 memory facts that prove your brain is weird

11 memory facts that prove your brain is weird | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Yes, false memories are a rea
Gene Bodzin's insight:
An oversimplified article, but one full of tantalizing half-facts worth studying in greater depth in other contexts.  
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Seeking peace in Medellín’s house of memory 

Seeking peace in Medellín’s house of memory  | memoir writing | Scoop.it
How a radically democratic museum experience in Colombia is helping citizens reckon with the history — and ongoing peril…
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Public spaces such as this one and a similar museum in Santiago, Chile, keep alive the public memory of national periods of shame. The hope is for them to prevent a recurrence of the same terrible events.
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Compelling graphic memoirs that will make you a devoted fan of the genre

Compelling graphic memoirs that will make you a devoted fan of the genre | memoir writing | Scoop.it
By Caitlin Kleinschmidt |
Gene Bodzin's insight:
If comic books still seem like the epitome of literary genius to you, here are a few to chew on. But these examples show that even picture books can carry you into painful and profound places. 
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