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Karl Ove Knausgaard: the latest literary sensation

Karl Ove Knausgaard: the latest literary sensation | memoir writing | Scoop.it

"Memory is pragmatic, it is sly and artful, but not in any hostile or malicious way; on the contrary, it does everything it can to keep its host satisfied. Something pushes a memory into the great void of oblivion, something distorts it beyond recognition, something misunderstands it totally, something, and this something is as good as nothing, recalls it with sharpness, clarity and accuracy. That which is remembered accurately is never given to you to determine."

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People sometimes wonder how the world would react to Jesus returned to life. Well, it hasn't happened. Instead, Proust seems to have returned to life speaking Norwegian, and he is a best seller.

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memoir writing
a look at how we remember and write about the past
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Tim Rogers on his painfully honest memoir

Tim Rogers on his painfully honest memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The You Am I frontman reveals the ‘maddening’ task of penning his inner monologue, a compelling voyage that spans decades of exes, drink and rock’n’roll
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This memoir has been getting high grades, according to the author, because he cut out the blame and got rid of anything that would evoke sympathy.
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How does the brain store and retrieve memories?

How does the brain store and retrieve memories? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
How are memories stored and retrieved in the human brain? This question was originally answered on Quora by Mariano Sigman.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A primer on memories: their nature, formation, retrieval, and eventual alteration
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The ways we inherit historical traumas

The ways we inherit historical traumas | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In “Survivor Café,” Elizabeth Rosner writes about how we recognize and cope with the traumas that directly affected previous generations.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Personal history eventually is lost unless it gets swallowed up into family or cultural memory. National history is lost if it does not reside in its survivors or people who know those who lived through it.
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I don’t fear death, I fear losing my memories

I don’t fear death, I fear losing my memories | memoir writing | Scoop.it
I realized the other day what I am
afraid of.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Our sense of self is a precious possession. It is tied to what we remember of what we were and what we did and what happened to us. But it is tenuous and temporary, and it should be cherished.
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She doesn't understand how bad she was, and still won't go away

She doesn't understand how bad she was, and still won't go away | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The most newsworthy fact about Hillary Clinton's latest memoir is the near total lack of anything actually newsworthy in the book.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A review of the most famous memoir of the week, which says the author has failed to demonstrate growth and change -- qualities that should be required of every memoirist.
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Are you a prisoner of your memory?

Are you a prisoner of your memory? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
And if he happens to come home later than usual, his wife often asks him whether he was with “that woman.”
Gene Bodzin's insight:
If a memory becomes a filter that keeps you from perceiving the world in front of you, it might be best to let it go. 
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Forget a lot? You’re not gonna believe this

Forget a lot? You’re not gonna believe this | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Forgetting your keys on the kitchen counter or leaving your work laptop at home can have a way of making you feel like a complete airhead, but a new study published in the journal Neuron will assua…
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Now you can stop worrying about whether you're losing it, and just start using it.
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Muscle memory—The real trick to becoming lightning fast

Muscle memory—The real trick to becoming lightning fast | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When I visited Shaolin, China there was a sign outside one of the Kung Fu schools that read: “I do not fear the man who has practiced a thousand kicks. I fear the man who has practiced one kick a thousand times.”There are no shortcuts to greatness. The old adage "practice makes perfect" lives on for a reason: the more you do something the better you will get at it. 
Gene Bodzin's insight:
There are many kinds of memory, and it is not only with our brains that we can use the past constructively.
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Claire Tomalin: 'I've had a life with tragedies in it. But also extraordinary good luck'

Claire Tomalin: 'I've had a life with tragedies in it. But also extraordinary good luck' | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When she was 12, the writer Claire Tomalin wanted to be the first female Prime Minister, but Margaret Thatcher got there first.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
You can be overwhelmed by the surfeit of information when you start to write your own life story, but nobody has more of a right to pick the tone and general thrust of the story -- if you can stay with it.
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Confederate statues and American memory

Confederate statues and American memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
To excise history is to risk being punished by it. Remove the statuary but do not consign it to oblivion.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
For a nation to remember its full history -- that is, to gain a full sense of everything it has been -- sometimes involves overcoming intentional amnesia.
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The girl who remembers everything

The girl who remembers everything | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Born with highly superior autobiographical memory, Rebecca Sharrock can remember every meal she's ever eaten, every book she's ever read, and every word ever said to her... almost back to birth.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Do you ever wish you had a better memory? You may change your mind after you read this report. It also deals with the different kinds of memory we all have.
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Five questions with author Tama Janowitz

Five questions with author Tama Janowitz | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Gene Bodzin's insight:
An interview with a woman who, it is obvious, has had too many people ask how much of her memoir is true and how much is made up.
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Making memories

Making memories | memoir writing | Scoop.it
H.M., as he came to be known in the medical literature, could no longer remember anything he did. He could not remember what he had eaten for breakfast, lunch, or supper, nor could he find his way around the hospital. He failed to recognize hospital staff and physicians whom he had met only minutes earlier. Every time he met a scientist from MIT who was studying him regularly, she had to introduce herself again. He could not even recognize himself in recent photos, thinking that the face in the image was some “old guy.” Yet he was able to carry on a conversation for as long as his attention was not diverted.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A detailed look at how memories are form in the brain, how they are shaped and transformed, and why no memory ever comes back in the same way.
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Breaking memory circuits with marijuana

Breaking memory circuits with marijuana | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Paranoia. Munchies. Giggles. Sleepiness. Memory loss. Although the effects of cannabinoids–the active components of marijuana–are familiar to many, their
Gene Bodzin's insight:
There is a good neuroscientific reason why marijuana smokers live in the moment. It's the only moment they have. The others don't register.
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You're my worst mistake: memoir tackles adoption trauma

You're my worst mistake: memoir tackles adoption trauma | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Writing her memoir was a “baptism by fire”‚ says Cape Talk radio presenter Sara-Jayne King.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
In some of the most effective memoirs, readers join the author on a voyage of discovery. Some of those voyages are more painful than anybody expected. 
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‘It’s a good way to lose friends’: the perils of a memoir

‘It’s a good way to lose friends’: the perils of a memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Adrian Kenny’s first memoir, Before the Wax Hardened (1991), was republished recently by Lilliput Press. He looks back at its origin
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Memoir is a difficult genre, impossible to do in a way that will satisfy everybody in it. It is a good example of the axiom that the way to satisfy nobody is to try to satisfy everybody. Above all, you must be true to your own vision. But learning how to be honest with yourself may be the hardest part of the whole process.
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Worse than forgetting–misremembering

Worse than forgetting–misremembering | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Amnesia may be a normal response to trauma, but remembering is essential to full recovery.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Cultural memory is especially susceptible to being perverted especially when the survivors die out, because revisionist factions can easily rewrite a different story of the past.
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A trip down memory lane

A trip down memory lane | memoir writing | Scoop.it
How does it feel to find a piece of one’s old self in the middle of everyday life?
Gene Bodzin's insight:
We sometimes try to recapture the past, or what we imagine the past was, only to realize that we have to live in the present.
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Travel, memory, madness: On Wojciech Nowicki’s “Salki” 

Travel, memory, madness: On Wojciech Nowicki’s “Salki”  | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Agnieszka Dale ponders Polishness and “Salki” by Wojciech Nowicki.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
How do our place of birth and the places we live affect how we identify ourselves? and how do we store and retrieve all those memories? This essay reviews a book that examines these questions.
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Research finds binge watching affects your long term memory

Research finds binge watching affects your long term memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
A new study found viewers who watch television on a daily or weekly basis may remember more of what they have seen and enjoy programs more compared with binge watchers.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The next study should examine how the ability to focus fits into all of this.
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Writer Sherman Alexie is back on the road: 'I averted a crisis'

Writer Sherman Alexie is back on the road: 'I averted a crisis' | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Haunted by his mother's memory, the author halted his book tour this summer. Now he's back on the road — still outspoken, still funny, but a little more careful.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
We sometimes convert our life stories into fiction, and sometimes we have the courage to write honest memoir. We would like all of our writing to have cathartic effects, but some of our stories continue to affect us long after we finish them. 
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Why the coming-of-age narrative is a conformist lie

Why the coming-of-age narrative is a conformist lie | memoir writing | Scoop.it
How can you go about finding ‘who you really are’ if the whole idea of the one true self is a big fabrication?
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Memoirs that look back on a life often suggest that a straight line progression took the author from birth to the moment the memoir was composed. This essay questions the idea that the personality of a given moment is the inevitable culmination (and final stage) of a lifelong quest.
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Review: “Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life”

Review: “Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life” | memoir writing | Scoop.it
If you have a story you’ve been wanting to tell but don’t know where to begin, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story an
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Garrison Keillor said, "You get old and you realize there are no answers, just stories." Here's a book to help you tell yours.
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Why we forget names (but not faces)

Humans are quite good at recognizing familiar faces, but we often fail to remember even familiar names.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A non-technical look at the fickleness and occasional unreliability of memory
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Most people with self-perceived memory problems experience severe stress

Most people with self-perceived memory problems experience severe stress | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Stress, fatigue, and feeling like your memory is failing you. These are the symptoms of a growing group of patients studied as part of a thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy. Result - They may need help, but they are rarely entering the initial stages of dementia.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Think you`re losing it? You're not alone. And people feel horrible about it.
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