A to Z Theme 2016
For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Memories (Elements of Memoir) #AtoZChallenge
The term memoir as might be expected comes from the French mémoire which means memory. A memoir is in essence a particular memory or series of memories from a time of a person's life as opposed to an autobiography which covers an entire life or most of a life. The memoir is steeped in memories and the events, emotions, and reactions from others that relate to those memories.
Memories are sometimes rather elusive and skewed when seen through the biased eyes of the one telling the story. Without journals or any aids from sources other than the memoirist's own mind, the memories are not always quite as remembered by others. This might work okay if balanced by some recollections of the ways others saw things, but if only relying upon the memory of the one telling the story then the faulty memories can lead to inaccurate story-telling.
This consideration of the flawed story-telling can make the memoir an interesting perspective that is not quite accurate history. When composing a memoir the writer should engage in memory checks wherever possible though others who were present, reliable media accounts of the time covered, and any other resources that might test the accuracy of the story teller's memory.
We know that memory can play tricks on us, deceiving us to believe the point of view that puts us in the most positive light if the story is about us. On the other hand, issues of low self esteem or other distorting factors can blow a story out of proportion to make things seem much worse than they were. Often our memory of what we think happened to us in the past is the story we have told ourselves for whatever purpose we are trying to achieve. This is probably not the story we should tell in a memoir.
Do you think most of your memories of your own past are fairly accurate? Have you ever been told that things were not as bad in the past as you had thought they were? How far back can you remember with fairly assured accuracy?
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I think my memories are accurate, esp. how my mom mentally and emotionally abused me throughout my life. She says it's all in my head, but I have since heard from older cousins that no, it is NOT in my head at all. In fact my mom's sister passed away last year and left me a little bit of money and wanted me to know how bad she felt about the way I was treated by 'certain members of the family'. So there it is.ReplyDelete
If you get confirmation from others then it's probably a good bet that you got a memory right. It's a good idea to ask others for an objective point of view rather than solely relying on your own memories when compiling a memoir.Delete
Memories are only as good at the beholder. AND our memories are our truths and should not be dismissed.ReplyDelete
True, but nevertheless they can become and likely are skewed in the direction that we somehow want or expect to see them. They shouldn't be dismissed, but it doesn't hurt to question them as well.Delete
I find most of my memories from childhood are from photo's and stories people share. I think my first real memories are from grade 3. But they are very limited ones.ReplyDelete
It's kind of the same for me. And if I compare notes with my sister her perception can often be very different than mine. It was good when my mother was around to add her point of view, but even hers could often differ wildly from mine.Delete
I have memories going back to age 4 or so, but I also have some from earlier, only not as clear.ReplyDelete
Generally speaking I tend to remember things as being better than they actually were.
Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
2015 A to Z of Vampires
I think I've done similarly though my childhood was pretty darn good so maybe there are some things that seemed worse than they were. It's helpful when people around us have kept journals. In my case no one did.Delete
In the weeks before my dad passed, the family gathered around and there was lots of reminiscing. I was surprised how differently we remembered the same family events. Who's to say which version was closest to the truth?ReplyDelete
That's what I'm saying too. It's like eyewitness views of an accident or some incident. There will be different story versions of exactly what happen and many of them will contain different details that the others don't have. You need to hear it all and then piece the puzzle together in its entirety.Delete