Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Personal Narrative: The Art and the Health of It

Here are some random notes that will probably mean nothing to anyone but me and the one billion other people who were at the AWP panel with Kyoko Mori, Michael Steinberg, Molly Peacock, Phillip Lopate, and Mindy Lewis. I've got to get them down somewhere besides this crumpled piece of notebook paper on my desk!

Molly Peacock: Fact and metaphor are a way of "buttressing the personal voice" to prevent "dull midvoice lyricism" (and navel-gazing). They anchor voice in the conscious world. "Fact creates a neutral shared reality with the reader."

"Operation Gomorrah" [Marione Ingram] Best American Essays 2007 [not sure who recommended this: M. Steinberg?]

Elizabeth Gilbert [Yes, and....? Who mentioned her?]

Phillip Lopate: shame about personal narrative--there are good and bad reasons to be defensive about it. "The reader is not your mother." The reader wants to be stimulated--turn yourself into a character. [where I have heard that before?] "I've always regarded myself as slightly obnoxious...[my character] became a curmudgeon."

Mindy Lewis: "Facing Shame in Personal Narrative." Memoir
Life Inside "Era is important in writing memoir."

My own notes for Little Star:
era of aggressively [ostentatiously] responsible parenting
era of post-9/11 insecurity (esp. in NYC)

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