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The importance of story

The importance of story | memoir writing | Scoop.it

"For every story, there is a unique human being doing the telling, there is the story itself and its subject matter, and, very importantly there’s the recipient – the listener or the reader. Story is, as Aristotle said, a way of creating a shareable world.".

Gene Bodzin's insight:

To understand the essence of what we are, we organize the past -- the people who influenced us, the events that impressed us, the ideas that changed us -- into a story. To convey our essential self, we tell that story.

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memoir writing
a look at how we remember and write about the past
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A little kid tells the lesson of Canada, in memory, old bones

A little kid tells the lesson of Canada, in memory, old bones | memoir writing | Scoop.it
History — at least the living kind — is a little kid with no memory of great events reminding elders of cherished things carelessly forgotten. The story of Nadine Carter, all of 12, with long blond hair under a ball cap worn backwards, and her connection to Capt.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A nation's history is lost if its memory is obscured. It sometimes takes a special effort to keep the details alive.
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Dead Presidents: History, memory, and the legacies of once 'great men'

Dead Presidents: History, memory, and the legacies of once 'great men' | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Several institutions of higher education including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton have reconsidered the historical legacies of dead presidents such a
Gene Bodzin's insight:
History does violence to memory, and memory does violence to history. When we re-evaluate the personalities of historical figures, do we wonder how their recently revealed foibles affected their achievements? What, for example, did earlier generations think about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings? about their descendants? What do we think? Is there a difference, and should there be? Another example:  have Woodrow Wilson's racial attitudes affected social views about his foreign policy achievements? 
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How a memoir about death can still be funny

In the span of seven weeks, Nora McInerny Purmort miscarried, and then watched both her father and her husband die of cancer. Her memoir tackles grief with unflinching humor and honesty.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
If you're plannng a memoir and you think there's a right way to do it, this will make you think again.
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When you write a memoir, readers think they know you better than they do

When you write a memoir, readers think they know you better than they do | memoir writing | Scoop.it
After my second memoir, people stopped asking me questions. They thought they had the answers.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
You can find more comprehensive advice on memoir writing, but none quite so entertaining and admonitory as this essay.
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The reluctant memoirist

The reluctant memoirist | memoir writing | Scoop.it
An investigative journalist returns from an undercover mission in North Korea—only to face her critics.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
After her book was published, she was accused of being a dishonest and deceptive memoirist (that is, lying about herself), even though her explicit aim (her only aim, she thought) was to describe an environment she entered under cover.
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Man who claimed to have escaped Auschwitz admits he lied for years

Man who claimed to have escaped Auschwitz admits he lied for years | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Joseph Hirt said he fabricated story of being sent to camp and meeting Nazi doctor Josef Mengele to ‘keep memories alive’ about history of the Holocaust
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Here's a man who says he tried to preserve hisstorical truth by lying. But now that he has been exposed, his lack of credibility keeps people from believing whatever truth may have been in his account.
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The maestro of memory manipulation

The maestro of memory manipulation | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The neuroscientist Sheena Josselyn can evoke and erase memories in mice using new tools that precisely control the brain.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Even if we have dismissed the metaphor of the remembering brain as a file cabinet, other images may still be apt. We just have to discover them. 
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The inconsistencies of memory

The inconsistencies of memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Research has found no correlation between our certainty in a memory and its actual accuracy — so-called “flashbulb memories,” memories for events that feel particularly detailed and vivid (for example: where were you on 9/11?), are just as prone to inconsistencies as more mundane memories, despite high confidence in their accuracy.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A general examination of the reasons why our memories rarely fit any reality that ever was.
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Memory and the muse – how do we know if we've plagiarized?

Memory and the muse – how do we know if we've plagiarized? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Last week, Led Zeppelin was in court to defend against a plagiarism suit brought on by the group Spirit, with whom they used to tour. While there's no denying their contribution to the rock-music pantheon, Led Zeppelin has a history of complaints from other musicians or their estates fo
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Is creative inspiration just a matter of recalling something once filed away and buried in the mind, or is it truly the breath of a muse?
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My father was the greatest champ of all time

My father was the greatest champ of all time | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Mark Singer always associated his father with Muhammad Ali. So, when Ali lost his first match, the author took it personally. At the passing of Ali, he laments the loss of both men — and their stories.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A vignette that as much as any neuroscientific study shows why we remember the people of our youth
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Heart rate, naps, may affect memory

Heart rate, naps, may affect memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
News: HEALTH: Go ahead, take a nap | memory, word, heart, mednick, subjects, rate, tests, sleep, variability, test
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Another study examining the physical factors tied to memory. 
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When Alzheimer's disease erases holocaust memories

When Alzheimer's disease erases holocaust memories | memoir writing | Scoop.it
“Where was I during the Holocaust?” my father—a widower, living in an assisted-living apartment—asked during a recent Skype call with my brother.

My brother and I knew very well where he had been during the Holocaust; we’d heard stories since we were children. But now that my fathe
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A compelling reason to write about as much and as deeply about our life as we can, and soon rather than late.
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Exercise will help you memorize what you just learned, but there's a catch

Exercise will help you memorize what you just learned, but there's a catch | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Researchers suggest exercising four hours after we learn something will help consolidate memories.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
We are complex. If we want to grow and advance, we cannot follow any simple formulas. We are often encouraged to exercise if we want to strengthen memory. This article fine-tunes that advice.
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Emile Weaver and the dangers of denial

Emile Weaver and the dangers of denial | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The case of the young mother who killed her newborn is awful but not unbelievable
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Denial is pushing the present away. That is obviously related to suppressing the past.
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The power of collective memory

The power of collective memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
What do large groups of people remember—and forget?
Gene Bodzin's insight:
We are affected by what we remember, both as individuals and collectively. This fascinating study may also be applied to family memory, such as how parents and grandparents are remembered far more than ancestors farther back. 
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‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ in works as movie

‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ in works as movie | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Straight Up Films has acquired rights to the Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning, the iconic Holocaust memoir, to turn it into a movie.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This was one of the great books of the twentieth century, rarely thought of mainly as memoir, though of course it was. It remains to be seen how the largely contemplative parts will work out in Hollywood.
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Brain mechanism that links memory and location now proven

Brain mechanism that links memory and location now proven | memoir writing | Scoop.it
You arrive at a certain location and you suddenly remember what you were doing when you were there years ago. Memory and location are closely linked. Researchers at Radboud University's Donders Institute have revealed th
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Memory is connected all kinds of sensory cues, such as smells and sounds. Here is a study that shows, to nobody's surprise, that memory can be jogged as well by places. 
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Researchers find a new way to boost memory

Researchers find a new way to boost memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the University of Queensland have gained a deeper understanding of how memories are formed.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Understanding the neurological basis of memory could be a way of preventing its deterioration
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False memory of sex abuse can be inspired by police

False memory of sex abuse can be inspired by police | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Memory is a funny thing. With the right techniques you can convince innocent people that they are guilty, random bystanders that they have witnessed a crime and the unharmed that they hav
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Investigative techniques can easily endanger the innocent as well as the guilty, and lead to wrongful convictions.
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How a woman with amnesia defies conventional wisdom about memory

How a woman with amnesia defies conventional wisdom about memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
She no longer recognizes a Van Gogh, but can tell you how to prepare a watercolor palette. She can't recall a single famous composer, but knows the purpose of a viola's bridge.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Remembering facts is not the same as remembering skills or processes, and very different from remembering the past. It makes no sense to say that a person "has a good memory" unless the statement also specifies what kind of memory.
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Think positive about the future to save memory from deterioration

Think positive about the future to save memory from deterioration | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Being optimistic about the future can help you safeguard your memory, problem solving and judgment skills from deterioration, finds a new American research.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Here's a novel approach: smile at the future to preserve the past.
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The violence of forgetting

The violence of forgetting | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When ignorance and power join forces, history itself can be erased.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Knowing and understanding the past are essential to academic and political debate. That puts a heavy burden on education in a democracy, and a heavy responsibility on every citizen. This article suggests some ways to emerge from what seem to be dark and ominous times.
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In the Darkroom – an elegant masterpiece

In the Darkroom – an elegant masterpiece | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Susan Faludi’s funny, painful investigation of identity centres on her father’s gender reassignment and a family history of Hungary under Nazi occupation
Gene Bodzin's insight:
An extraordinary examination of identity, remembrance, and the intentional suppression of memory
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Boring jobs 'affect memory and concentration later in life'

Boring jobs 'affect memory and concentration later in life' | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Researchers at Florida State University found people who were not stimulated at work struggled with their ability to complete tasks, manage time and pay attention later in life.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The trick, here as elsewhere, is to remain aware "in the moment." People whose minds wander may make good poets or fiction writers, but they rarely write memoirs. If they do, the writing lacks detail because they have not paid attention when it mattered. 
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Beatrice Six suspect’s memory 
might not have been 'authentic,' sheriff's psychologist testifies

Beatrice Six suspect’s memory 
might not have been 'authentic,' sheriff's psychologist testifies | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Attorneys for six people suing Gage County in federal court contend that Dr. Wayne Price’s dual position as a therapist and law enforcement officer played a crucial role in sending their clients to prison for a crime they did not commit.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Another sad story about lives altered beyond repair by false memories in the courtroom
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