Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Million Little Comments

I have not read James Frey's now infamous memoir and I can't say that I have been all that interested in the bruhaha, but I was reading the Onion and couldn't resist this. And because of the stink, it appears a new trend in memoirs is about to begin--the disclaimer sticker. It's a bit ridiculous if you ask me, which you haven't. But I must wonder, do people really believe that an author remembers word for word exactly what he and other people said and did 10 years ago? Five years ago? Last year? I'm lucky if I remember things I said and did from a week ago. Do memoir readers really expect complete and utter Truth? Do people not realize that writing a memoir is like when they tell their favorite story about that family Christmas get together six years ago when Grandma dropped the turkey on the floor and Uncle Edgar drank too much wine and passed out in the cranberries? You embellish the story to make it funnier and more interesting, you put Dad's words in Mom's mouth because it makes the story better. Writers do the same thing. I don't think that means they lie, but if you tell it exactly how it happened it's kinda boring. I do expect a certain truth in memoir, I mean if the author says she spent the summer in France when she was 18 and goes into detail about all the people and sites and what not, but she actually spent the summer in France just last year when she was 28, not 18, that's something else entirely. That's lying. Maybe I'm missing something but it all seems so silly. On a different note, some of you may recall me mentioning a few times over the last several months that my Bookman and I are planning a trip to Hay in April. Well, we got the trip all planned and were about to finalize everything when it all fell apart. The problem is our diabetic who cat needs an insulin shot every day at 5:30 am and 5:30 pm give or take 30 minutes. The person who was going to care for our cat is not going to be able to arrange her schedule to fit the cat's needs. A desperate search for an alternate solution has turned up no one and boarding a special needs cat and our dog would cost almost as much per day as our B&B. So the trip to Hay has been indefinitely postponed. We're still going to take a vacation but we've moved it to May and the B&B will be our own house. We're planning day trips and other fun literary and non-literary activities. It's not Hay, but it will still be fun. And at least when the opportunity to go to Hay does arise, we've already got everything planned, all we need to do it book the room and buy the plane tickets.