Thursday March 19th, 2009

The (Hazy) Remembrance of Things Past

I just discovered a piece by Jim Knipfel that ran in the New Haven Review late last year, called “To Be Perfectly Honest: Why fiction can be more truthful than memoirs.” It’s inspired by the James Frey controversy, about which I’ve heard more than enough, but Knipfel makes it fresh by recounting his own experience writing about (and trying to accurately remember) real life. (I read and enjoyed his memoir Slackjaw a few years back.)

The whole essay is worth a read, but the conclusion is brief: “Point being, in this day and age, all memoirs are novels, thanks to illiterate, paranoid lawyers.”