Are your memories real enough to qualify as nonfiction? Probably not.
Let’s get the point out of the way first, then expand on it: memoirs are works of fiction. Specifically, memoirs as artifacts of “truth” or “reality” are neither true nor real. They are constructions founded in subjectivity and the malleability of human memories; and as products of the written word, they are constructed using techniques similar, if not identical, to works of fiction.
At first glance, memoirs seem to hold a place separate from fiction and non-fiction. Memoirs appear to some as the vehicles through which truth, in some sense objective, travels.
Memoirs are strictly subjective, incapable of anything approaching objectivity.
How can I make such an assertion? Without giving a dissertation, I’ll sum up some findings of modern cognitive science: our experiences of everything are products of our brains; our sense of self are products of our brains; what we experience and how we experience it…
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