There is only one rule in writing a memoir, but it’s an important one: You can’t intentionally lie. This one rule has the effect of form on poetry, setting up a challenge that often forces creativity and makes the work more powerful than free verse.In context (he's defending recent memoirs against novelists who claim that memoirs are too easy), this analogy strikes me as especially odd. Isn't he basically saying that free verse is too easy? In other words, my kid could paint that? Seems like a very fuddy-duddy approach to poetry. Poems should rhyme, paintings should look like landscapes, memoirs should be true. (All memoirs lie, it's degree and intention that matter.)
Friday, January 29, 2010
Form more powerful than free verse?
In a post on the Rumpus called "Defending Memoir," Stephen Elliot makes the following aside: