re memoir

the hardest thing writing this book is leaving behind the things and people in my life that it’s based on.  in the pages I’ve written I’m pretty sure the best parts are the most fictional, and this is a relief to me because I am not actually interested in the memoirist’s project.  more than that, I don’t care about and am actually creeped out by the urge to “capture” or ‘represent” someone or something on the page.  Anything that feels like therapy for me, or “having my voice heard” or “my story told” or presuming to write something that will “help others” feels so phony to me, so self-indulgent, self-deluding, deeply untrue.  I can get with making records of a sort, but that’s as far as I can feel okay about, as an impulse.  Leaving the real people behind feels increasingly essential for every aspect of the task of this book– and is incredibly difficult to do, especially when so much is going on in the world the book comes out of– my family’s world.  I’ve been fooling around with (okay not jut fooling, writing pages and pages and pages) that record directly all I know and remember and then imagining “off” of those things in a way that tries to engage and embrace the limits of something like autobiography, but more and more it is feeling like it is getting in the way of the real possibilities for the work, which is making myself construct a world of particulars within the dynamics of my experience– choosing the particulars rather than just using what’s at hand (two sort of opposing aspects of collage.)

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