memoir writing
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memoir writing
a look at how we remember and write about the past
Curated by Gene Bodzin
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Our 'digital biography' affects our sense of self

Our 'digital biography' affects our sense of self | memoir writing | Scoop.it
An expert at the University of Western Ontario reveals the birth of social media has hindered our ability to forget past experiences. Our 'digital biography' is found to get in the way of us knowing who we are.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Instead of letting Facebook drag me back to last year or the year before, I expunge all these suggestions. Even though I study the past and try to understand it, I still try to live in the present.
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Cameraperson is a movie, a memoir, and a confession

Cameraperson is a movie, a memoir, and a confession | memoir writing | Scoop.it
With stitched-together footage shot for other projects, Kirsten Johnson entangles us in an Augustinian web of memory.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Some interesting observations here about perception and point of view, which should be of interest to anybody writing life stories, their own or of other people
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Right-wing propaganda in the guise of personal memoir

Right-wing propaganda in the guise of personal memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The 2016 best-selling memoir by a lawyer at a Silicon Valley investment firm is a rehash of reactionary attacks on the working class in Appalachia and the Midwest.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Every memoir has a point of view. Sometimes that perspective gets dangerously close to propaganda
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The Holocaust memoir I didn’t help write — and wish I had

The Holocaust memoir I didn’t help write — and wish I had | memoir writing | Scoop.it
A Holocaust survivor saved by Oskar Schindler asked Barbara Finkelstein for help on his memoir. She refused. Now, she thinks his book is amazing.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Another reminder that we each have a unique take on history, and that we owe it to posterity to record what we see.
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The selective memory of nations

The selective memory of nations | memoir writing | Scoop.it
What do you do if nations and communities only want to remember what they want to remember?
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Selective memory can afflict families as much as nations, even if their agendas are less clear. The same can be said about individuals.
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Old structures are part of UAE’s memory, conservationists say

Old structures are part of UAE’s memory, conservationists say | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Conservationists said there was a case to include buildings from the 1970 and 1980s in laws that seek to protect heritage structures.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Written from an architectural perspective, this article insists that memory prompts are as crucial for the preservation of cultural memory as of personal memory
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Harnessing the creative impulse

Harnessing the creative impulse | memoir writing | Scoop.it
When Cameron's first book, The Artist’s Way, was published in 1992, self-help shelves in bookstores were crowded with titles that captured the public imagination for a while, sold well then faded away. But The Artist’s Way not only escaped that fate, it flourished. The author and full-time Santa Fe resident discusses her books and their place in a changing creative landscape.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Julia Cameron suggests that memoir is less a way of summing up than a way of rediscovering the things we have left behind.
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Scientists find new mechanism for memory formation

Scientists find new mechanism for memory formation | memoir writing | Scoop.it
New research investigates how we form memories, and discovers that apart from the hippocampus, a previously neglected brain area plays a crucial role.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
What we know about the brain is incomplete, and neuroscience is in its infancy. We have to concede that what we know today may prove to be untrue tomorrow -- and then true again the day after that. 
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Book review: Megyn Kelly doesn't get personal enough

Book review: Megyn Kelly doesn't get personal enough | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Teen Reality writer Melanie Nolan believes Megyn Kelly's memoir "Settle for More" offers plenty of interesting details, but doesn't allow the reader to really know the author on a personal
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A slash-and-burn review with cautions for all potential memoir writers
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How even your crappy memory still helps your brain

How even your crappy memory still helps your brain | memoir writing | Scoop.it
For your brain to hang on to a memory, it sometimes has to fudge the details.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
An interesting examination of how the brain determines what to hang on to, and why we remember some things and not other
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A woman recovers memory lost in a diving accident in A.J. Banner's new thriller

A woman recovers memory lost in a diving accident in A.J. Banner's new thriller | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Blair Mlotek: A.J. Banner sets up her mystery perfectly: a small island, lots of missing pieces and a few characters we aren't sure if we should love or hate
Gene Bodzin's insight:
We can play with memory in fiction. If only it were really that easy
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'Emotional hangover' can affect our memory

'Emotional hangover' can affect our memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Our level of emotion can affect how our memory works, in the past and future.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A study that shows the effects of residual emotions on memory
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Turning memory into memoir restores meaning

Turning memory into memoir restores meaning | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Isabella S. Bick’s parents, both Jewish physicians, never talked about the past after the family moved from fascist Italy to the United States in 1939. She was 8 at the time and quickly learned it was best to keep her feelings of loss and loneliness to herself.Her silence ended when Bick, now 84 and a psychotherapist living in Sharon, Connecticut, began writing bits of her life story. In one vignette, she describes moving into a cramped apartment with her father’s Russian family
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Any number of therapeutic benefits may result when a person reviews life and tells old stories. Some of these benefits are common, but many are surprising and idiosyncratic.
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Shout Out: Nancy Chadwick-Burke

Shout Out: Nancy Chadwick-Burke | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Nancy Chadwick-Burke, 54, is a writer and author who recently wrote an essay about the process of writing her own memoir, "Under the Birch Tree," for a book titled "The Magic of Memoir."
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A short but packed interview on the subject of what it take to write a memoir
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Here's the teaser for John Malkovich's Super Bowl ad

Here's the teaser for John Malkovich's Super Bowl ad | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Do not mess with Malkovich online.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
How you are presented to the world in your memoir becomes the way you will be remembered. When you write memoir you must carefully choose the details of your own personality traits. The "self-made man" is no myth.
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The power of memoir and the importance of remembering

The power of memoir and the importance of remembering | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Four authors talk about memoirs and their power at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival on Day 3
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Notes from a symposium in which four writers touch on dozens of issues of interest to any author of a first-person narrative
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'20th Century Women' is like a filmed memory

'20th Century Women' is like a filmed memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Written and directed by Mike Mills, and loosely based on his own childhood, it tells the story of a teenage boy being raised by a single mother in a big house in Santa Barbara, Calif. To make extra money, Mom has two boarders, a teenage girl and a young woman in her 20s. Mills was born in 1966, and for a lot of us who lived a substantial portion of our lives in the last century, there's a weird thing that sometimes happens as we think of people from our past who were older than we were. Looking back brings mixed feelings of omniscience and helplessness, as well as awe before the mystery. Abbie tries to teach Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) to be a sensitive man and tells him about women's orgasms. [...] she regards him as a best friend, leans on him for relationship advice and has the habit of stripping down to her underwear and climbing into his bed to express sisterly closeness. In 1979, it was still possible to find otherwise intelligent, sensible people smoking around the clock.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
All memoir contains two perspectives, that of the writer and that of the person who lived the life. Even though those two share a history, the view is different for each of them. It is also different for the reader. The most effective memoirs help the reader (or, as in this case, the viewer) recognize the two perspectives.
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Is worrying about losing your memory making you lose your memory?

Is worrying about losing your memory making you lose your memory? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Research suggests that anxiety about memory loss can chip away at our brain's ability to retain and retrieve information.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
In short: Stop worrying and start living
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John Hughes movies inspire a memoir

John Hughes movies inspire a memoir | memoir writing | Scoop.it
To grow up on Chicago’s North Shore in the 1980s and ’90s, Jason Diamond writes in his memoir (published in November), was to grow up in a world that looked
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Memoir can sometimes be an exploration of how life did not turn out to be like the movies (or the books) we thought defined normal. In fact, no life is like any other, and normal is what we create and discover, not what we expect 
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Recalling the ins and outs of our memory

Recalling the ins and outs of our memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In the Harry Potter films, Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore shows the young wizard memories that he keeps in glass vessels. The franchise portrays memo
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Our emotions affect what we remember, and how well. They also affect what we will remember later.
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Why alcohol 'makes bad memories stronger'

Why alcohol 'makes bad memories stronger' | memoir writing | Scoop.it
A new study from Johns Hopkins University claims alcohol not only prevents you from forgetting bad memories but may make them stronger, averting positive effects from psychotherapy.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
According to Francis Bacon, what's past is gone and irrevocable. Nevertheless, people use various means, including alcohol, to get rid of the past, at least from their mind. This study suggests that they may be doing just the opposite.
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How memories shape our perception of the present 

How memories shape our perception of the present  | memoir writing | Scoop.it
What are mem­o­ries made of? Do dif­ferent parts of our brain light up when we per­ceive an event than when we remember it after­ward? What role does memory play in directing our atten­tion to spe­cific ... Read more
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Neuroscience keeps digging for the why and how of remembering.
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Self-publishing: An insult to the written word or a boon to the industry?

Self-publishing: An insult to the written word or a boon to the industry? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In an article by author Laurie Goug
Gene Bodzin's insight:
There are many ways to get your story out to an audience. This article discusses the virtues of self-publishing
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Memoir doesn't get you into people's heads unfiltered

Memoir doesn't get you into people's heads unfiltered | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Shortlisted for a Costa prize, The Good Guy uses fiction to explore the author’s hidden roots as a child adopted in the 60s
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Contemplating the possibility of brainwashing, a character in the M.A.S.H. television series once insisted, "They'll never get the truth out of me." And he added, "I don't even know the truth." This happens in real life more often than we want to admit.
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The universal hunt for meaning: 11 memoirs to read now

The universal hunt for meaning: 11 memoirs to read now | memoir writing | Scoop.it
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what makes a memoir great.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
A discussion of what makes us hungry for memoirs, and a quirky list of some memoirs worth reading
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