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Can a president rewrite his story?

Can a president rewrite his story? | memoir writing | Scoop.it

"The spotty history of presidential memoirs should cause future presidents to think carefully about how to approach their literary efforts and what they can realistically hope to accomplish. It seems clear that while a bad memoir can hurt a reputation, there is a limit to how much even a well-done book can accomplish. At the very least, they should realize that an authentic retelling, in their own voices, can help in the long run with historians."

Gene Bodzin's insight:

When people think of memoirs, their first thought is often of the apologetic historical revisionism commonly attempted by political personages. This is far from the kind of memoir that Joe Blow might write, in which he explores the past and comes to terms with what has happened. One case is image polishing; the other is an opportunity for personal growth.

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memoir writing
a look at how we remember and write about the past
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To understand Hillary Clinton, don’t watch the convention. Read her memoirs.

To understand Hillary Clinton, don’t watch the convention. Read her memoirs. | memoir writing | Scoop.it
What we learn about the Democratic presidential candidate through her two contrasting memoirs, "Living History" and "Hard Choices"
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Memoir as propaganda, memoir as politics. 
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Are we forgetting the post-Holocaust promise?

Are we forgetting the post-Holocaust promise? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Has the post-Holocaust world really kept its promise of “never again, never forget”? A visit to Dachau is stirring.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The atrocities of the past can give us hints about how to deal with the challenges of the present
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Memoir or fiction: Exploring queer lives

Memoir or fiction: Exploring queer lives | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When truth is stranger and more interesting than fiction: the lives of gay men in New York City in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The lines between memoir and fiction are sometimes blurred, as these books show
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Embers explores life beyond memory

Embers explores life beyond memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The American director didn’t set out to make a post-apocalyptic movie. She simply wanted her debut feature to come from a personal place.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
If you had no memories, who would you be? How would you know?
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Executive suffers sudden memory loss

A 58-year-old man suffered from an almost complete loss of memory when he woke up one morning and was later diagnosed with the rare condition known as transient global amnesia, a Taipei neurologist said yesterday
Gene Bodzin's insight:
There are times when it's appropriate to have your head examined. This is one of them.
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Mid-lifers aren't more forgetful, they just have better things to think about

Mid-lifers aren't more forgetful, they just have better things to think about | memoir writing | Scoop.it
After you hit 40, you might start forgetting little things, like where you put your keys. It's not because your mind is going; it's becaus
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Here's an encouraging article. If you want to believe the title, read it.
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Scientists prove how memories form as we dream

Scientists prove how memories form as we dream | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Don't skip that shuteye, unless you want to be forgetful.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Research that could have serious implications for how we deal with memory formation.
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Forgetting isn't healing: Lessons from Elie Wiesel

Forgetting isn't healing: Lessons from Elie Wiesel | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Calls for racial healing often focus on putting the painful past behind us. NPR's Sonari Glinton remembers the man who taught him never to forget: Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The man said it best himself: "Nothing good comes of forgetting; remember, so that my past doesn't become your future."
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Google quietly brings forgetting to the U.S.

Google quietly brings forgetting to the U.S. | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Seeing all your Google activity in one place can be eye-opening, and having the ability to delete any of it carries some far-reaching implications.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This should be of great interest to anybody who has relegated the past to a virtual memory mechanism
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Magnificent memoirs

Gene Bodzin's insight:
An idiosyncratic list, but if you're just getting serious about memoirs you could do lots worse than to follow this bunch.
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True silence creates new brain cells, improves memory

True silence creates new brain cells, improves memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
What does science have to say about the benefits of silence? Preliminary research (done on mice) suggests that prolonged periods of silence may trigger new brain cell development and help improve memory.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Here's a unique pitch for meditation
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Western-style diet linked to state-dependent memory inhibition

Western-style diet linked to state-dependent memory inhibition | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Obesity may ultimately be a disease of the brain, involving a progressive deterioration of various cognitive processes that influence eating. Researchers at Macquarie University have now shown that memory inhibition -- the useful ability to 'block out' memories that are no longer useful, which depends on a brain area called the hippocampus -- is linked to dietary excess.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This is a cautionary report about research suggesting a link between fast-food cravings and a weak memory.
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Zambia president slams Louise Linton memoirs

Zambia president slams Louise Linton memoirs | memoir writing | Scoop.it
ACTRESS Louise Linton has been condemned by the president of Zambia for falsely presenting his country as “savage” in her memoir.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Follow-up to a recent entry: This memoir has been recalled because of some serious errors.
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The scent of a memory

The scent of a memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Our sense of smell can take us back in time, stirring forgotten emotions.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Another essay on a kind of memory prompt we don't think about much but which is as vivid as any other
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South Africans look forward without forgetting the past

South Africans look forward without forgetting the past | memoir writing | Scoop.it
South African people of different colors, religions and backgrounds say they are looking to better their lives, economic situation and social level, but have not forgotten the pain experienced during the Apartheid era
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The past does not disappear, as long as there are people who remember it. If it has been traumatic, suppressing it will not lead to healing.
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As America ages, museums are adapting to audiences with memory loss

As America ages, museums are adapting to audiences with memory loss | memoir writing | Scoop.it
British Columbia's Knowledge Network is where stories live that speak to our time. Through television and the internet we inform and inspire by exploring the world from provincial and global perspectives.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Instead of focusing on the aesthetics of art works themselves, some museums are using paintings and sculpture as memory prompts for people whose memories are slipping.
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How the brain builds memory chains

How the brain builds memory chains | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Recollections of successive events physically entangle each other when brain cells store them 
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Research gives us a fresh understanding of how we associate memories with each other
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Selective retention of positive information may be marker for elderly memory loss

Selective retention of positive information may be marker for elderly memory loss | memoir writing | Scoop.it
People who selectively recalled positive information over neutral and negative information performed worse on memory tests conducted by University of California, Irvine neurobiologists, who said the results suggest that this discriminating remembrance may be a marker for early stages of memory loss in the elderly.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Neglect or outright suppression of memories today could lead to an inability later in life to recall all the things you want.
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Is full-time work bad for our brains?

Is full-time work bad for our brains? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
If you’re over 40, working more than 25 hours a week could be affecting your intelligence, new research suggests
Gene Bodzin's insight:
There are times when life interferes with life. According to this study, memory could be badly affected by our everyday routine. 
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This is why childhood memories usually completely disappear

This is why childhood memories usually completely disappear | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When was your first memory? It’s an odd question that somehow makes its way into conversations. When I think about it personally, a field of images come to mind, but one age, day, place, or action seems too concrete to pinpoint. I don’t remember being a baby, getting my first tooth, or learning how to […]
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This mystery has puzzled many people but is impossible to examine closely because children lack the vocabulary for discussing it.
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The struggle of memory against forgetting

The struggle of memory against forgetting | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Twenty-nine years ago, Ashley Kriel was killed by apartheid security forces. Earlier this year, the Hawks announced they would be reopening the investigation. For the family, it may just be the closure they have been waiting for for three decades. MARELISE VAN DER MERWE speaks to the filmmaker who has been documenting his short life for the past six years.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The stories we tell about the past are important means for keeping history alive
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CARPE LIBRUM: Approaches to the memoir 

CARPE LIBRUM: Approaches to the memoir  | memoir writing | Scoop.it
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Gene Bodzin's insight:
A look at two books that deal with the theory of memoir. What they come down to is the need for a good story. Memoir, after all, is memories, not what actually happened. The most accurate description of every memoir could be "Based on a true story."
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8 years later, I forgot to remember my dad's suicide

8 years later, I forgot to remember my dad's suicide | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Trauma can be obscured by new memories flooding in, but it is never completely forgotten.
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Gender and Jewishness in Susan Faludi's memoir of her father

Gender and Jewishness in Susan Faludi's memoir of her father | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In the Darkroom charts the author's relationship with her transgender parent.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Some aspects of identity can be chosen, some changed. But some cannot be escaped. This memoir gets to the heart of who a person is, how much remains how much is fixed regardless, and where gender, personality, and nationality fit into all of this. 
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Middle-age memory decline a matter of changing focus

Middle-age memory decline a matter of changing focus | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Research shows that mindfulness and conscious focus could minimize memory loss.
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