A. Introduction: Art and Literature for the longest have been the torchbearer for change in society. Both are synonymous to each other as they have long been mediums of expression. From the late 17th and early 18th Century saw the advent and use of the word ‘Autobiography’ with varied meanings such as self-justification, self critical analysis and evolving to the stage of self-documentation or memoir. Autobiographies are in their truest meaning ‘memoirs of a person’s life’.
A memoir is an account of a real person’s life. The narrator is a character in a story who reflects on the events of their life and, usually, draws certain conclusions. Typically focused on certain incidents in a person’s life, those incidents make up the individual stories that contribute to the overall work. Unlike an autobiography, which recounts particular historical dates and facts about a person’s life, a memoir is a depiction of how that individual remembers his own life, sometime unreliably. The dates and facts in a memoir may not be entirely accurate (though they often are), and they are less important than the memories and the reflections.
INTRODUCTION Autobiography is a combination of self-representation, and life narration usually being written by him or herself. It has also been around with its complex history. These individuals would usually engage in different aspect of lives, usually their own life, through modes of storytelling using narration, illustrations or performance. Being situated in a specific time and place, the individual subject is in dialogue with their own processes or archives of memory. In the process of remembering, the individual creates meaning of the past.
Attempting a general yet comprehensive definition of autobiography, James Olney writes that it is: a recollective/narrative act in which the writer, from a certain point in his life – the present - , looks back over the events of that life and recounts them in such a way as to show how that past history has led to this present state of being. Exercising memory, in order that he may recollect and narrate, the autobiographer is not a neutral and passive recorder but rather a creative and active shaper (The Slave’s Narrative: 149).
He says that his identity was first established in the telling of his life either by himself or his mother. We don’t have the capacity to know ourselves when we are babies, so we depend on stories from family members to see our identities through others. This is how we interpret our own history and better understand ourselves. This connection with stories and history is not only in your name specifically in the story, but also in “the heart of the initial experience of selfhood,”(5), that lies within the
These are important techniques, which can be used in my own memories, since they offer a multiple-point perspective on the differing aspects of public and private identity. Also, James shows the creative and spiritual side of his personality as a self-aware individual, which presents a different image than the criminal image of an Africa-American rock star. In my own memoir, the interview method can surely bring a more biased approach to qualitative aspects of autobiography, but it is also the self-awareness of family history and cultural aspects of the personality that can also be presented through personal narrative. I found James’ autobiography to be afar more self-aware analysis of his personal life, than I was expecting. In this manner, the interview-based narrative structure of Rick James’ Glow: The Autobiography of Rick James has been examined through the self-awareness of spiritual insight and African American criminality in the context of the artist’s public and private
Autobiographical exploration: Why We Have to Take It Seriously The genre of autobiographical exploration has become very popular as of late. It used to be a genre reserved for celebrities and famous business people who use their books to offer guidance on how to become like them. But the rise of autobiographies has created a new type of diversity in the genre. Now, we could be reading about someone who is as ordinary as us, but with something special that makes them stand out, such as a traumatizing event, a characteristic, or just their unique experiences. Through writing, these authors convey their most raw emotions and teaches us life lessons through giving us a real-lived experience, and most of all, the writers are able to find more truth
Why do people write memoirs? The most obvious answer is that to share their unique journey of life with others. However, it goes far beyond that. By writing memoirs, The writers can also reveal things in their life that they never notice before, some reminisces that become meaningful after time went by, and some decisions that were made subconsciously but profound. The memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City written by Nick Flynn tells Flynn’s arduous journey through life, having a father who never shows up and a mother who committed suicide during his time in college.
George Henry Lewes once said, “Personal experience is the basis of all real Literature.” Using personal experiences in appealing to ethos in political writing is common among most writers. Some will argue that they could care less about the past situations of the writer, but I see personal experiences as an opportunity for writers to speak truthfully from their own experiences and not from the accounts of others, which ultimately leads to a greater influence on the reader. The use of experiences shapes who the writer is and how they view society based on these encounters. This in, combination with the author’s ability to present his or her ideas, can greatly affect the audience’s view on the topics presented. History is littered with examples of writers who successfully use personal experiences in an effort to develop an ethical relationship with their readers.
This can also help to trace down the life of the writer and find out the autobiographical elements added in the fiction. These elements are to be inspected to find out whether they are in the same order as it had happened to the writer in the lifetime or to find the misplacement of events and know the reasons why the author decided to do