We All Have a Life. Must We All Write About It?

Memx

In 1884, Ulysses S. Grant, desperate for money and terminally ill
with cancer, did what countless statesmen and military leaders had done
before him: he sat down to write his memoirs. Racing against the clock,
he turned out two substantial volumes on his early life and his
military experiences in the Mexican and Civil Wars.

By any
measure, he had a lot to write about and a lot to tell. He produced a
classic memoir, as the genre was then understood: important events
related by a great man who shaped them.

But that was then.

Today,
Grant’s memoirs fall into the same sprawling category as "Callgirl:
Confessions of an Ivy League Lady of Pleasure," "Bat Boy: My True Life
Adventures Coming of Age With the New York Yankees" and "Rolling Away:
My Agony With Ecstasy," to pluck just three titles from the memoir
mountain looming in the next month or two."

"We All Have a Life. Must We All Write About It?"
William Grimes
The New York Times [Reg. required]

Image: Joan Chiverton/NYT

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One Response to We All Have a Life. Must We All Write About It?

  1. Fred says:

    We All Have a Life. Must We All Write About It?

    The question is: To whom must we all write about it? Are we writing for ourselves or for others? Personally I write for myself. Other will write to get published. But I think that when we talk about journals and diaries, that can eventually lead to a memoir, we can’t really talk about to get published. It’s sure that they are really good foundations to future writings. But, in themselves, they are not wrote for others, but firstly for yourself, eventually, for your family, and finally, possibly, for the world. There are some quotes that can help you to answer that question that I extract from the book: Leave a Trace by Alexandra Johnston:

    http://radio.weblogs.com/0140770/2005/03/27.html#a114

    I hope you’ll enjoy the reading.

    Salutations,

    Fred

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