The First-Person Confessional

Stfrancis (@Stfrancis) 8 years, 10 months ago

Recently, a class I’m taking at school has required students to read a series of books, under certain pretenses, roughly fitting into the memoir/autobiography genre. The titles and authors are the following.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Confessions
Thomas De Quincey – Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Tom Andrews – Codeine Diary – Confessions of a Reckless Hemophiliac
Dave Eggers – A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

These works, although autobiographical, all seem to push at, for me, a completely novel way of writing, being both a memoir of personal experience but also a meta-text probing into one’s own personal and social psychology. It is less the deeds and words, thoughts and descriptions which capture my attention, but the purpose with which they are made. Experience, though peppered with prideful motives, seems to be a window into reality itself. These authors try to explain what it means to live, to be constantly in this flow of sensory information, to process the vast absurdity of life into a digestable and meaningful narrative.

I am wondering :
1. If anyone has read these works or others of similar style and has thoughts on them.
2. Your thoughts on the meaning of relating personal experience, in a literary manner or just in general to those you know. How it can be done, how it should be done, and what such an act does to the listener and most importantly to the story teller.

Thanks for your consideration.

October 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm
Stfrancis (110) (@Stfrancis) 8 years, 10 months ago ago


Noah (1) (@NO4H) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@stfrancis, I am definitely gonna read some of the books you listed, they seem very interesting.

And sorry for not being able to answer your questions.


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