Memoirs are bullshit
James Frey was forced to sit down and let Oprah tear him to pieces before a studio audience because he committed the greatest crime a writer could commit. He made a bunch of people feel something when they read a novel. They thought they were reading something real. They connected with it and felt something. Turned out it wasn’t precisely real. It was embellished. It was changed to serve the story instead of the reality that the story was based on. All those folks who spend their lives vicariously feeling something through other people’s tragedies were angry that they felt something for a story instead of something that happened in the real world. They pilloried the jerk who went and made them feel something over a work of fiction.
This fetish for “real” is the most embarrassing part of the contemporary reading public. The memoir is, for the most part, just exhibitionists flashing their genitalia at voyeurs. Our Puritan ancestry is likely to blame for all of this.
Let’s hope the memoir dies soon and we can get back to the more important writerly pursuit: making shit up.
“What America needs most is tact.”
(Have I posted this before? Am I a broken record? Sorry.)