Writing a Book about yourselfWrite a book about yourself
Truth about fiction from your lifetime
I have been working for years - okay, for years - on various books without releasing them. There' many, many causes why it took so long, but one of them is that I'm wavering between memoirs and notion. At the beginning of the 1990s I was involved with MFA programmes, concentrating on clichés.
I started to write something on the basis of my own experience, but it was also very inventive. In the mid-1990s, after cancelling two different programmes in a row, Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation, Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss and Mary Karr's The Liar's Club were published and triggered a memory booming.
I became a non-fiction addict when I was a read. When I was a novelist, I changed courses, began to publish my own essay.... and then invested a great deal of my life annoying others by telling the story - or my own account of it. I' m going back and forth these few working on memoirs and some autobiographic fantasy and spending a great deal of my life discussing the advantages of others with other authors.
At the bottom you can enjoy the sound - which includes Albert listening to a part of After Birth and Gould listening to a part of Friendship, and a question and answer with the public. Elsewhere you both spoke a great deal about your lives and wrote about them. I was fascinated, and I thought other folks would want to know about it, too.
So is there a distinction in your brain, one of you, between a pure and an autobiographic one? ELIZABETH: We could have a one-word response on three, yes or no. I also want recognition for being such an inventive character, but then I look at every page of this one and I am like, well, yeah, I ate in this place, and I actually have exactly the same interact.
We both wrote a bunch of non-fiction, too, and we both think that there is a bright line in my head between the two of them. You both have also wrote a great deal of essays and memoirs, and so folks recognise certain things in your live that they can put on your book by saying that it is simply your being.
Albert: Just go back and name it. about where the election began. You had a rough one after you write a memorandum, and your heart says whatever. You had a tough day typing in the first character.
You wanna have a little chat about this layer? Yes. In order to be able to rewrite after the kind of catastrophic and interhuman catastrophe that was the receipt of my first volume, I have just begun to rewrite in the third character as an exercice, although I was still essentially still a memoirist.
Then, slowly, it became something other than memoirs. I now teach literature, and my college friends keep coming to me and saying things like: "I'm so tired of myself. I' m tired of all my thoughts about everything. I' ve told the same thing to all my friends in this workshops a thousand fold and they' re tired of my dong.
Sketch a cartoon, even if you can't do it. Be a songwriter or a poet about the things you normally do, instead of just doing what you normally do. and outwit your brains. So, if you begin to post about yourself or your history in the third party.... although, Elisa, After Birth is in the first party, right?
Albert: Yes. Albert: The storyteller of my first volume is dying of a cerebral tumour at the end of the work. So I don't know how that could be autobiographic. For what they say when they accept or project these things, or whatever, is that you have built a universe that is so visible and direct and persuasive that you are natural.
that would make the folks who read it think this crap is all fiction. The other thing is a novel, everything you are writing, but a novel above all, just the extent of it, it must be an obsession. What you are writing is a novel. Even if it's not about you, it's your profound need to think about something, look at it and investigate it.
So, once you start to write, either in the third or first character - but have decided that it is a myth - how do you then take the items of your own lives and turn them into something that is not your world? Albert: Lorrie Moore said in her astonishing tale "How to Become a Writer", which is in the second character and is very autobiographic, that "it is like precombinant genetic material.
Albert: The things I'm kind of obsessive about looking at or turning or turning or turning or turning or whatever, that's what I'm going to do these years. I don't have to use my energies on the other items, because, you know, maybe those items need to be adjusted in another manual, but yes.
I' m sure this is something you've all thought about before, but I sometimes think about doing something fictional, almost like a way to act a while. I have never seen a crumbling romance of treason that I am reporting in Friendship.
This is what folks in "The Actor Prepares" are talking about, which I completely learnt in the theatre group. Albert: Sometimes I get approached like they want to argue with me about what the figure spits out of me, and it's like, man, you're not gonna go after Al Pacino about his mob work.
I sent you an e-mail and asked: "Are we going to discuss car fiction? "Well, I'm not writing car fiction. "And then Chloe Caldwell[who had to withdraw from the event] said: "I'm writing car fiction. Exactly what is car fiction? I was wondering if you could have a little chat about what it is and why it's not what you do.
Now, I mean, the simplest, I think, modern example of car fiction that most folks in this room have probably been reading, just on the basis of the best-seller lists, is Knausgård. They are in the home, smell the odours, move the particular object from room to room with it as long as it lasts, almost in near-realtime.
That'?s car fiction to me. This is just so different from what each of us has done, even though we have been writing about people our age with the same colored hairdos. I' m also referring to Lisa Halliday's new novel, Asymmetry. It' about a Philip Roth type person.
She has a connection with Philip Roth, and she was interviewee in The Times, and she speaks about how she uses the fundamental detail of her own lives to create the world, and then she makes a narrative and works from there. Albert: Well, then, is there an notion that there are such things as non-fiction?
If you try to send a memoroir, someone else who was there might have a completely different one. I also have unbelievably powerful emotions for "non-fiction" books without belief, you know? Albert: Well, this was spelled as a novel. Oh, but released as memoirs. Albert:
Then we will also talk about markets and the different types of advertising that inform about what is referred to as fairy tales and what is referred to as non-fiction. Albert: Let's not include the markets. Albert: But you know the old saying that if you say it's a memoroir, they'll say that you made it all up, and if you say it's a myth, they'll say that every single words is tru.
Yeah, so why would someone just type car fiction instead of memoirs? Yes, like a memoroir has all these fanciful storyline items and textures, and car fiction is really about life in another spirit, no matter how dull it gets there. Albert: Well done, it's the best. That'?s the trade of memoirs.
I do have authors in my gym who keep talking to me about what to do with their work. You write things that feel like memoirs, but you want to research different results. I shared Michelle Tea's The Black Wave with someone. It used to be a novel.
No memoirs existed, and folks used to write tales and call them books, so it got even more bewildering when the memoirs were added. I think you're clearly doing a fictional story for me. Albert: Well, I think I'd be out of the footage really fast.
but it' not so much for me. While, I really feeling like for myself, article is where I began, and it is my comforts zone, and invention is much tougher, and it comes much less easil. While coming up with a reasonably acceptable first scheme of something fictitious is just.... My shadty first schemes of invention are like so shitty. so-so.
I' m mainly a writer of articles, memoirs and essays. I' m preoccupied with fantasy. And I began my postgraduate studies to become a writer of literature. However, I began typing about a year ago, and I had so much pleasure with it, but when I came back, I had to remember it over and over again - and it was also built on a personality similar to me - but I had to keep remembering the laws of that particular entity in which that individual lived.
But that doesn't mean it's not rewarding to spend more of my spare minute and energy on it, but for me it's like a tougher practice to keep in mind the laws of the cosmos I made. Albert: Sometimes. I' m able to sing with one vote for a long while. But then I can keep the facts straight. No.
These aren't structured things, so if you look at it like a physics one? But I don't know anything about this adage. Albert: It's like drapes. Fellowship was a long story in my whole lifetime, and I had never been born. All I had to do was make some changes in the meteorology, and it was nice, you know?
That is the kind of thing that - if you get stuck in this material in the first scheme, you are going to forestall ever shifting forward. This is one of my observations about which I have been writing a great deal and about which I have been interviewing many and I have been interviewing both of you, and it is because of what you have been writing and what has to do with them that I have been angry at you.
Sometimes when I work on memoirs and I'm worried that I' m gonna get angry with them, I think, "All right, I'll just name it. Was that something you came across or worried about, or is my imagination solving it? Albert: I don't think the fictional solving that. PeopIe just tended to select the ones who are not distantly related to them and are insulted by material they imagine might have something to do with them.
There aren't many folks in my whole world I have to keep safe like this. However, this requires a long period of patience, and not everyone has the luxuries of limiting their private sphere in this way. You' re having another experiance, at least with memoirs, yeah.
Like Elisa, I think that in the course of my lifetime, the most important thing about the lists of those whose views I really don't give a damn about is, you know, when I was in my twenties, like everyone else. Now it'?s just humans I don?t give a damn about.
I' m definitely not getting all the answer, but as the Tattoos on Sari's arms say, there comes a point where it becomes more difficult for the flowers to remain in the germ than to heal. It is like the suffering of retaining whatever it is, as opposed to the suffering you have to face when you struggle with the effects of writing your history.
Albert: Will you work it on the Tatto? Albert: Oh. Botton: She is the writer of After Birth, The Book of Dahlia, and How This Night is Different and publisher of Freud's Blind Spot. In New York City, she is teaching typing where she is living with her ancestors.