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Autobiographyin English

Is memoir writing a socially irresponsible activity?

By March 30, 2020January 29th, 2021No Comments

Is memoir writing an irresponsible activity in times of crisis? Ought I not rather focus on what I could do to alleviate the dire situation? Write someting that spreads positive vibes and contribute to societal optimism?

Or is it the other way around? Maybe by looking back on my own life and preparing myself for my own endgame is a more prudent alternative?

It might even be a small contribution to lowering the general unease? If all of us began writing our memoirs we might develop a more relaxed attitude to death. Just saying.

Originally published on Facebook 30 March 2020, this short post it gave rise to a handfull of comments:

Christian Abrahamsson Jag skriver just nu en text om de här två böckerna. Curtius var kvar i Nazityskland under kriget medan Auerbach tvingades i exil i Turkiet. De använde båda krigsåren åt filologiska studier. Ibland är det det bästa vi kan göra i kriser, skapa normalitet.

George Kenneth Berger Han skrev Mimesis nästan utan referensböcker eller noter. Ganska ur hans minne.

Ken Caneva Stop wringing your hands and put your fingers to more productive use.

Thomas Söderqvist Easy, easy, Ken — you sound like my thesis adviser 🙂 — I’m writing, writing ,writing — but also reflecting once in a while.

Mark Hineline Write.

Thomas Söderqvist Ken and Mark — anyway, the important thing is the last sentence: If all of us began writing our memoirs we might develop a more relaxed attitude to death.

Mark Hineline Sort of like taking LSD

Thomas Söderqvist Well, ‘sort of’ … rather ‘alternative to’.

Jonas Persson What can you do? Any thing essential? Do you have medical training? Are you not in the risk group? If you answer no on these questions: Write!

Thomas Söderqvist Well, I could contribute with my unfathomable historical knowledge and raise humankind’s awareness of epidemic diseases and civilisational collapses.

Jonas Persson In other words, you should write or be on TV.😜 Pestilence, war, famine, and death, with Thomas Söderqvist.

Margareta Grip Holmes Att gå som katten kring het gröt.

Lloyd Ackert I recommended that my Mother (78), in response to her asking for something to do, write her autobiography. She is loving it–returning to her roots in South China, Maine, USA, going back to her childhood and all the challenges of growing up on a small farm. She ran into some heavy emotions doing this. I recommended stepping back and discussing the broader context–history of agriculture in that area etc. She is now moving in that direction. My only worry is that she will become a much more accomplished historian than I. 🙂

Thomas Söderqvist There you are, Lloyd! That’s a common experience among memoirists — I think it’s a fantastic way of raising one’s awareness of life.


Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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