Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
MemoirAn Introduction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

G. Thomas Couser

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199826902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199826902.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 December 2019

Memoir’s Forms

Memoir’s Forms

Chapter:
(p.54) [3] Memoir’s Forms
Source:
Memoir
Author(s):

G. Thomas Couser

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199826902.003.0004

Memoir has been crucial to the development of the novel and has increasingly become an art form in its own right. Readers of contemporary memoir can benefit from knowledge of its relationship with the novel. An understanding of fiction may also be enhanced by a better grasp of the nature of life writing. This chapter explores both similarities and differences between the memoir and the novel. The two forms share a good deal in the way of technique. In fact, often they are indistinguishable in form. But where they diverge, their differences reflect their distinct natures, aims, and strengths. For instance, ethical matters are relatively simple and straightforward for the novelist; it is enough to avoid plagiarism and libel. Memoir is very different; authors necessarily portray others, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to conceal their identities. Unlike fiction, memoir is rooted in the real world and therefore makes certain kinds of truth claims. As a result, memoirists assume two distinct kinds of obligations—one to the historical or biographical record and another to the people they depict.

Keywords:   memoir, novels, life writing, fiction, novelists

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .