Why Are We Suspicious of the First Person Voice?

A thoughtful post from biographer Julija Šukys on her blog Writing. Life. Thanks to Andrew Westoll for the link.

“It’s easy to sneer at the glut of memoirs of the past decade, and to discredit the genre as somehow dishonest or narcissistic, but autobiographical texts and personal essays that really work are always about something bigger than the person writing them.

The best first-person texts flirt with navel-gazing, but are redeemed by insight, artistry, self-criticism, and honesty. By telling a story about their own singular lives, skilled autobiographers and personal essayists inspire revelations. In other words, these texts not only reveal something about the person writing them, but also about the one reading them.”

Comments (2)

  1. Shaun Hunter May 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Susan — I’m having trouble with the link. It takes me to the current page in Julija’s blog, but not to the piece you talk about. Thanks.

  2. Susan Olding May 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks, Shaun. I think I have it fixed now!

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