What Makes a Memoir?

I have no idea…

Honesty? Purging to excess? The bullimic child weeping inside us all, holding it all in, gorging on our woes until we vent every thought and feeling. Page upon page splurged with the blob of reality which we bend to our will. In memoirs, our opinion is fact.

The 1900’s were all for the cult of the ‘beautiful child’ but these days we are all for the child that is beaten black and blue. The child who is told he or she is “ugly” or an “it” only for said child to rise up, up into a brilliant and outstanding member of society.

That’s what we all want isn’t it? The under dog dog gone done good and making it big. Why the Hell not? As long as they have a sob story that ends with a smile we love them.

I read “Ugly” by Constance Briscoe last Summer. She suffered mental, physical and sexual abuse from her own Mother. Apparently the book is a lie. Constance Briscoe saw a buck could be made from being a child treated appalingly and ran with it. Part of me thinks “How could she?” and the other part thinks “Clever bitch. Why didn’t I jump on the bandwagon?”

Other novelists take another view on the memoir genre and mock the “Poor me” genre. Look at Bill Bryson’s ‘The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid’. Funny guy, old Bill.

That is about all I know about memoirs. Sad looking kids on front covers, sitting in corners or covering their faces. Will we grow cynical of it? Probably, which is why I am making my own wagon made of rubber bands: The memoir of me. I didn’t get pulled about by my nipples or fan of China, I didn’t get locked under the stairs for days at a time and I didn’t go on the game at four. I had a typically English family life mixed with the eccentricities that go on behind most doors. I guess that will just have to do.


One response to “What Makes a Memoir?

  1. You are right – there is defintely something going on with this ugly duckling to swan transformation. It has become the latest trend along with the self confessional, which will always sell,: voyeurs that we are. Look at Susan Boyle. Is it a kind of Cinderella syndrome though or a case of the Emporer’s new clothes?
    Lynda (from echostains and bookstains)

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