Drinking from the River of Mnemosyne: Memoir, Truth, and Rhetoric
The modern concept of the memoir has a complex relationship with traditions of art, history, memory, rhetoric, and even ethics. Memoir is usually distinguished from autobiography by its inclusion of reflection—the examination of a life that borrows techniques from fiction to render its story interesting. Generically, it is often classified as ‘Creative Non-fiction,” a categorization that seems unwilling to confront the divide between fiction and non-fiction. That reluctance, however, may recall a more classical interpretation of truth, fiction, memory, and history.