Sam Ross Henderson

  1964 -
  City of Birth:
Philadelphia, PA

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Sam's Story > Categories > Mindless Musings

"Is your Memoir a Lie?" 


Date Range: 01/01/1964 To 01/20/2009   Comments: 6   Views: 13,901
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So said the esteemed Dr. Freud when asked about writing his memoir:

"A psychologically complete and honest confession of [my] life, on the other hand, would require so much indiscretion (on my part as well as on that of others) about family, friends, and enemies, most of them still alive, that it is simply out of the question. What makes all autobiographies worthless is, after all, their mendacity."

Do you agree with this? There is a very interesting article in The New Yorker time about the topic of memoir writing and why it's popular: 

One of the captions reads: "Anger about fake memoirs shows how invested we are in the genre’s redemptive arc."

Personally I have found most of the people striving to leave their legacy and history the way THEY want it told. What's better - to retell how you remember things happening, even if they are "colored" with a hue that makes us look better? Or to allow someone else to write the scenery, especially with them wearing their own prejudices? OR - not to be written about/ remembered at all? hmm?

BTW- why don't online publishers allow comments? Short-sighted to say the least!

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Member Since
Jan 2009
Sam Henderson said:
posted on Jan 21, 2010
from @James_Ezell

James_Ezell    @ StoryofMyLife All truth tends to be told from one's own point of view.

Member Since
Jan 2009
Sam Henderson said:
posted on Jan 21, 2010
from @TXSpeakerman

TXSpeakerman    @ StoryofMyLife That's really why it's a memoir. It is YOUR recollection of events--not that of others.

Member Since
Jan 2009
Sam Henderson said:
posted on Jan 21, 2010
from @maineroots

maineroots    @ StoryofMyLife Even if an autobiography has mendacious moments, that in itself reveals something interesting about the person.

maineroots    @ StoryofMyLife All history is not fully true to some degree, so you might as well write your own memoir & tell it like you "remember" it.

maineroots    @ StoryofMyLife Mendacity in the famous scene from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:

Member Since
Jan 2010
Tom Rinkes said:
posted on Jan 21, 2010
Your last post

This is weird. I was reading the same article today around 10am. I don't know if you can judge someone's memoirs, as to their truthfulness or not, unless you know them personally. I'm writing my memoir right now at this site and I didn't sugar-coat anything. No sense in it, someone who knows me might read it--then where would I be? I guess you have to take them all with a grain of sea salt.

Member Since
Jul 2008
Coco Handschnell said:
posted on Jan 21, 2010

I think that's the best way. Accurate historical accounts are often too dry. Your future relatives will want to read what you felt, what you thought, what made you tick. And that's all about your own persepctive.

Member Since
Apr 2008
Sarah Green said:
posted on Jan 22, 2010

Mine is all how I see it, and I like it that way ;)