3.10.2008

true v. false



the fake memoir is quick becoming the modern-age freeway chase, a stunt wherein the guilt carried by those involved is seemingly neutralized by the publicity generated. what other possible explanation could be laid at the feet of margaret jones? at some point she must have weighed the possibility of getting caught, right? if no, she's an amoral goon. if yes, and she proceeded anyway she's a self-serving, amoral goon.

this had some ripples at our house due to our memoir-in-progress. we think our experience is pretty verifiable (see below post) so we're not worried about that as much as the public conception of memoir in general. Once you begin to introduce the concept of malleability things start spiralling downward pretty quickly. We're not talking about creative license or some fuzzy artistic shortcut but wholesale manufacture. Not just the text of her memoir but her 'character', this phony gang-banger who rose from the ashes to turn things around. A person she played in multiple interviews and across several years of editing the book. Sheer putrefaction.

this was all addressed more deftly than i am able yesterday by daniel mendelsohn (a man i've always admired since his dismantling of jonathan franzen). take a gander...

3 comments:

Margaret said...

not to mention she either had a child that she was lying to all these years, or a child that was lying right along with her.

i have no idea which is more disturbing.

thanks! and a margaret no less. ugh.

Bone-a-fide said...

Well said. I'm going to vote for self-serving amoral goon.

I'm happy to read you're still working on your (actually true) memoir! What stage in the writing process are you in?

bp said...

man, hard to say. it's taking us forever. the book is split into quarters and we've finished one quarter. so 25% i guess. but that's misleading b/c it's cumulative and picking up steam. it demands full-time attention which we have trouble giving it w/ our day jobs and whatnots. we'll see :)