On Words With Resonance: Janet Malcolm’s “Thoughts On Autobiography From An Abandoned Autobiography”

“Memory glimmers and hints, but shows nothing sharply or clearly. Memory does not narrate or render character. Memory has no regard for the reader. If an autobiography is to be even minimally readable, the autobiographer must step in and subdue what you could call memory’s autism, its passion for the tedious. He must not be afraid to invent. Above all, he must invent himself.”
-Janet Malcolm, Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers (2013), p. 297

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