Finally, it’s your story. You’re the one who has done all the work. If your sister has a problem with your memoir, she can write her own memoir, and it will be just as valid as yours; nobody has a monopoly on the shared past. Some of your relatives will wish you hadn’t said some of the things you said, especially if you reveal various family traits that are less than lovable. But I believe that at some level most families want to have a record left of their effort to be a family, however flawed that effort was, and they will give you their blessing and will thank you for taking on the job—if you do it honestly and not for the wrong reasons.
One of the differences between a memoir and a reflective essay is the time period written about. Memoir comes from the French word "memoire," literally meaning memory. Memoirs are written about a person's memories and experiences. A reflective essay can be written about whatever the writer wishes to discuss, including future plans or current happenings.
The potential questions Moore asks in this exercise are meant to be answered in the memoir. While the memoir tries to make sense of experience, it also shares something in common with the personal essay - the exploration of the question, and the process of trying to arrive at an answer, is at least as important as the answer or resolution you may arrive at.
Over the latter half of the 18th through the mid-20th century, memoirists generally included those who were noted within their chosen profession. These authors wrote as a way to record and publish their own account of their public exploits. Authors included politicians or people in court society and were later joined by military leaders and businessmen. An exception to these models is 's 1854 memoir , which presents his experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near .
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In the , , , and wrote memoirs, while the genre was represented toward the end of the , through the works of of France. Until the encompassing the 17th and 18th centuries, works of memoir were written by ; , Prince de Marcillac of France; and , who wrote at his family's home at the castle of . While Saint-Simon was considered a writer possessing a high level of skill for narrative and character development, it wasn't until well after his death that his work as a memoirist was recognized, resulting in literary fame.
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The formed in , in the early days of the modern memoir as an international trade association for professionals who assist individuals, families, and organizations in documenting their life stories, preferably in archival formats.
Memoirs have been written since the ancient times, as shown by 's , also known as . In the work, Caesar describes the battles that took place during the nine years that he spent fighting local armies in the . His second memoir, (or ) is an account of the events that took place between 49 and 48 BC in against and the . The noted , teacher of rhetoric who lived between an estimated 314 and 394 AD, framed his life memoir as one of his literary , which were written to be read aloud in the privacy of his study. This kind of memoir refers to the idea in and , that memoirs were like "memos", or pieces of unfinished and unpublished writing, which a writer might use as a memory aid to make a more finished document later on.
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Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction is devoted to publishing notable, innovative work in nonfiction. The title reflects the intention to give nonfiction its due as a literary genre to give writers of the fourth genre a showcase for their work and to give readers a place to find the liveliest and most creative works in the form. To reflect the genre's flexibility and expansiveness, the journal includes works ranging from personal essays and memoirs to literary journalism and personal criticism.