A Memoir of No One in Particular

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Today has been a very busy day. In fact, I'm still working on making cookies for a bake sale as I write this. I have to keep stopping every few minutes to put more cookies in the oven. . . oh my goodness, I just realized that I'm writing this blog entry the same way my Grandmother also wrote letters. She would write them as if the break in writing was somehow going to be apparent to whoever read them. She would write things like, Sorry but I'm going to have to take a break now so I can put the clothes in the dryer. Or, The doorbell just rang, so I'm going to have to sign off for a few minutes so I can go and answer the door. She also used the words "sign off" frequently, as if she was a newscaster from the 60's.

Today's book; "Oh, joy, another writer's memoir. Not quite. Early on, Harris establishes his disgust for the genre and its sudden burgeoning. He instead offers a sort of metamemoir intended to parody such literary reminiscers and the current rage for them. Drawing on his own clever knowledge of critical theory, he regards his life, not just his writings, as text. Oh, he starts with boyhood letters and angst-ridden college journal entries, comparing them to his recent and caustic book reviews, but his everyday life intrudes."

Today's book annoyed me, which is better than books that bore me senseless. But, still, annoyance isn't really what I look for in a book. There were many things that annoyed me about today's book; the way the author took 50 words to say something that could have been said in 5 words (although being annoyed by that doesn't reflect well on me since I tend to do the same thing quite often), the way he threw himself a great big pity party about how mean other people are to him while sharing with glee all the mean things he has done to other people, the pretentious way the author tried to cram as many big words into each sentence as possible. But, the author does make a few good points, and share an occasional funny anecdote.

Good things (I feel so very Martha Stewart-ish right now):

  • I enjoyed his anecdote about the letter writing he did in college. He wrote letters home to his parents as if he was a character in a 19th century novel. I love that idea. I have always wanted to write letters to someone as if we're in another time period, but I can never get anyone to go along with my idea. I am generally greeted instead with a blank stare and the words, "You are so weird." Maybe I should write one of my blog entries as if I'm in another time period. Dear readers, I write to you from the turret of my castle. . . Oh wait, there were no blogs back in medieval times.

  • And I do kind of agree with the author in his disgust towards memoirs. I enjoy an occasional memoir, but I think the genre has gotten a bit too bleak. Doesn't anyone have a happy story to tell, or at least one that isn't so depressing I have to watch 5 episodes of Brady Bunch afterwards just to shake off the doldrums. I've always wanted to write a memoir, but since depressing memoirs seem to be the only ones getting published right now it seems rather futile. No one ever locked me in a closet or beat me with a hanger as a child, I don't have any dysfunctional stories filled with childhood pain, so what on earth would I find to write about? Although I did have a really bad perm for most of the 80's that is a source of great pain to me when I reflect back upon it. Oh but that doesn't count, everyone had a bad perm in the 80's.

Well I'm going to sign off now dear readers, because I have a batch of cookies that have to be taken out of the oven.