Origins of a Memoir
Roots of a Memoir/ Autobiography
I've read a whole lot of memoirs, autobiographies, personal essays, accumulated letters, and autobiographical books in my life, but this is the first-time I've studied the memoir/ autobiographical kind as a genre. An interesting fact I discovered right away is that the word " memoirвЂќ depends upon us in the Latin " memoria, вЂќ meaning recollection or memory, through the Anglo-FrenchВ memorie in the mid-1500s, meaning " a note, nota, something crafted to be considered, вЂќ for the first English usage of memoir in the 1670s, meaning a person's written account of his life (Rasois). Nowadays, the wordsвЂќ memoirвЂќ as well as " autobiographyвЂќ have become variously compatible between the two. When I first began researching this genre of literacy, I think I had an attractive vague, however decent, comprehension of the two words distinctions. I actually believed a memoir referred to an account of a portion of the writer's lifestyle, focused not only on the writer, but also on the people who were impacting on it and this an autobiography dealt entirely on yourself and known the writer's whole life. Afterwards, I found a very particular explanation, or perspective, of a memoir that caught my interest. В " A memoir is just how one remembers one's individual life, вЂќ said Gore Vidal, " while an autobiography is history, demanding research, dates, and specifics double-checkedвЂќ (Vidal 37). That struck me personally solely as a result of how different he defined each literary term, not coinciding with mine. It is generally agreed the author from the first memoir was St . Augustine, a Catholic theologian who resided during the end end from the Roman Empire. In his Religion, Augustine specifics the many sins of his youth in a Tom Sawyerish, bad-boy-stealing-apples method. The climax comes with his reading of St . Paul and succeeding conversion to orthodox Christianity and a life of chastity. Augustine also proven a fundamental convention of the genre, the rationale, the purpose up front where author...
Mentioned: Buell, Lawrence. " Autobiography in the American Renaissance. " American Autobiography:
Retrospection and Potential customer, Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1991. Print.
Cox, Wayne M. Recovering Literature is actually Lost Ground: Essays in American Autobiography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana St . U G, 1989. Printing.
Fabian, Ann. The Unvarnished Truth: Personal Narratives in Nineteenth-Century America. Berkeley: U of A bunch of states P, 2k. Print.
Rasois, J. " A Brief History of the Memoir. " 317am. net. Stratecomm, 06 Jan. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.
Spengemann, William C. The Forms of Autobiography: Shows in the History of a Fictional Genre. New Haven, CT: Yale U P, 1980. Print.
Thoreau, Henry David. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Streams, Walden, The Maine Timber, Cape Cod. New York: Collection of America, 1985. Printing.
Vidal, Gore. Palimpsest: A Memoir. New York: Penguin, 1996. Printing.