Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Memoirs, Soup Secrets, and Trivial Pursuit

The thing that surprises me about memoirs, or really the thing I didn't know about memoirs is that they usually are centered around one singular moment. I used to think that they were overall about the author's life and the experiences he or she has faced.

To me, the concept of one.defining.moment chosen from the mosaic of someone's life and have that one piece speak for the whole, is as amazing as it is disconcerting. Do not tiny, seemingly insignificant moments lead to that one turning point that changes everything?

Excuse me for my overly analytical rambling once again. But on another note, David Sedaris is God. I've loved his work since high school when he wrote about his boyfriend's childhood... or something like that, anyway it was simply amazing. What I love about his work is that he takes normal situations and people, and uses his poignant perspective to bring forth the truth of reality! Right off the bat, the connotations of his title Us and Them already sets up an air of distinction between groups of people, in this case "normal" suburban families vs. unorthodox families. Sedaris uses allusions to further cast distinction between the oddball Tomkeys and the normal TV watching neighbors and classmates. He is as strategic as he is artful using ironic quips such as, "I felt as if my favorite show had been canceled" when he could not spy on the Tomkeys.

As for Susan Jane Gilman's Mick Jagger Wants Me, Susan sets up the differing adjacent environments: the "small, windowless storefront with a small door set in far from the...urine-drenched sidewalk" which exemplifies the theme topics Reality vs. Fantasy. Susan mentions that "most of the time, none of us knew where we were, or who we were with" pertaining to the fantastical, dangerous lifestyle of psychedelic freedom. The whole making-out theory also gives way to the speaker's naive tone while she continues to question the dynamics of Reality. As with the shitty street and the studio, Susie and Michelle are juxtaposed as well, the former being Fantasy and the latter Reality. Susan uses descriptive imagery and a clipped tone when describing the reality of the experience: the desperation of not only the scenery but their obessive actions.

P.S. All of the titles of the memoirs we read for the homework assignment create an atmosphere of cleverness and question, causing the reader to want to find out what the author has to say and therefore creating a relationship of supsense.

I've also noticed that usually the writers of memoirs try to set up situations or use certain wording that instantly connects their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with those that are encountered by the mass majority in order to establish an automatic trust so that the reader feels comfortable in receiving the information bestowed upon them.

Now it is time for class...


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