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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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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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The boring tragedies of parenthood

The boring tragedies of parenthood | memoir writing | Scoop.it
I am shocked still by the parenting moments that break my heart. By Catherine Newman
Gene Bodzin's insight:
This site does not often repost memoirs, but this one made me say Yes all the way through.
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The neuroscientist who’s building a better memory for humans

The neuroscientist who’s building a better memory for humans | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Ted Berger's implant electrically stimulates the brain to form memories—at least in rats and monkeys. And now, he’s testing one that could work in humans.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
One small step for a man, one giant leap for robotics
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The humblest meal, the greatest memory

The humblest meal, the greatest memory | memoir writing | Scoop.it
I simply love food. I like to try new things, see pictures of food, and read about the intricacies of the flavors in reviews. I’m very social, and I love to have reasons to meet with friends and family and head to eateries to experience the whole gamut of the meal – I love to immerse... Read more »
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Even a slice of pizza can be a memory prompt
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What’s behind the science of memory?

What’s behind the science of memory? | memoir writing | Scoop.it
The things you remember best happened when you were between 15 and 25.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
If you ever wondered why long-term memories in older people seem stronger than short-term memories, this article could give some hints
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1984, In Memory and Imagination review: Fiction fails to evoke what non-fiction can

1984, In Memory and Imagination review: Fiction fails to evoke what non-fiction can | memoir writing | Scoop.it
On the whole, 1984: In Memory and Imagination is an important book for the simple fact that a number of personal accounts and reportage can be read side by side, making for a unified text that regards and presents fact tempered with an emotional tenor.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Includes a brief examination of the varying strengths of fiction and memoir in evoking the same historical events
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An underdog on top of the world

An underdog on top of the world | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Chabon's new novel, Moonglow, is being received this week with the kind of hype you'd expect for one of America's most successfu
Gene Bodzin's insight:
We'll probably be revisiting Moonglow again as a fictional memoir or as the recall of something that never happened. In any case, here is the first look at a book that does strange things with memory.
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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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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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Why I wrote about my adolescent homosexuality

Why I wrote about my adolescent homosexuality | memoir writing | Scoop.it
My attempt to convince readers I am telling the truth is with stories about myself that are deeply unflattering and uncomfortable to relate
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Some courageous truths about writing down the memories of the past, leading alarmingly close to one of my favorite observations about memoir, that it should always come with the disclaimer: Based on a true story
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We may be able to tap into our memories from infancy

We may be able to tap into our memories from infancy | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Studies in rats suggest that our earliest memories may lie dormant in the brain, ready to resurface given the right triggers
Gene Bodzin's insight:
The pursuit of this research will have mixed benefits -- and result in mixed problems as well
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Model Rockets and Memoir: Michael Chabon

Model Rockets and Memoir: Michael Chabon | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Moonglow finds its essence at the intersection between tiny moments of family history and the biggest global events of the 20th century.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Moonglow, take 3: The interconnection of memory, myth, and storytelling
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Michael Chabon’s Moonglow

Michael Chabon’s Moonglow | memoir writing | Scoop.it
In Moonglow, Chabon goes for the shapelessness of the real.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Another look at the stylistic challenges and some of the ultimate failures of Michael Chabon's fictional effort to write a quasi-memoir
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Our 86 billion neurons

Our 86 billion neurons | memoir writing | Scoop.it
Reading about the brain is as fascinating as it is demanding. During the last decade we have had a steady stream of books purporting to explain how the brain works and its relationship to mind, consciousness, creativity, and many other qualities that might give us humans an advantage over other types of animals. Is human distinctiveness attributable to mirror neurons, quantum mechanics, or the inferior frontal gyrus (or fold) in the cortex? What a relief to have a book that provides an answer as simple as it is convincing. Suzana Herculano-Houzel suggests that the human advantage lies in the 86 billion neurons that are packed into a mere 1,400 grams of matter in the human brain.
Gene Bodzin's insight:
Only tangentially related to what usually appears on this site, but fascinating reading if you are interested in how the brain works.
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