Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Drowning in Memoirs

If   we could learn everything we needed to know about writing fiction by seeing it masterfully executed, we could just stay in bed and read Chekhov. 

  Politics and war, science and sports, memoir and biography — there's a great big world of nonfiction books out there just waiting to be read. We picked the 100 best and most influential written in English since 1923, the beginning of TIME ... magazine.  Notorious

Notes of a Native Son -  Noticeably missing from the pages of Cheney’s memoir are references to books examining the big issues of our day — issues of crucial importance during his tenure with the Bush administration. From his memoir, it is impossible to know if he took any counsel at all from the estimable books of the past decade on national security, terrorism, torture, Islam, domestic surveillance. He remains opaque to the end -  That night, like every night, I stand on the balcony and stare at where the forest shadows were deepest, where the wild things were. Where Devlin could be standing. I feel the house sliding into blackness and I look out and wonder, If you can’t see me, am I invisible?   Swimming in a Cold Sea with Ann Patchett   Drowing in a Cold Sea with Jozef  

"Of all animals, authors are the vainest. No eulogies of their works can be too gross or too often repeated."

Aaron Burr (quoted in James Parton, The Life and Times of Aaron Burr)