Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For Thursday

For Thursday, I'll give you a few topics that you can discuss in any way you please. As always, please reference specific passages in your response.

1. Form. One of the questions on your midterm was about literary form and structure. I'm interested in your initial thoughts about the structure of Lying. Some (not all) of the things I notice in this opening section are an introduction by a Professor of Philosophy named Hayward Krieger, a quoted excerpt from a textbook on childhood seizures, a book that appears to be divided into four sections that correspond with the four stages of a grand mal seizure, an opening chapter that consists of only two words, and titled chapters.

2. Mother/Daughter Relationship. Much of the text thus far focuses on the relationship between Lauren and her mother. I am very interested in hearing what you think about this relationship. Among other things, you might (but are not required to) discuss how it relates to what we are learning about Lauren's illness. 

3. Memoir. A memoir is "an autobiography or other historical account based on personal experience and observation, written by a person having intimate knowledge of events." It is classified as nonfiction. We have discussed "truth" in many different ways, but we have discussed it primarily in the context of fiction. What about nonfiction? Read this short article from the British newspaper The Guardian about the controversy surrounding the memoir Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs. In the article, the author argues that "Memoirs will get away with whatever they can." But if you read the first several comments by readers of the article, you will see that many of them take issue with the fact that a memoir can "get away" with anything. And I suppose an important question is this: why would an author want to bend truth in a memoir anyway?

See you on Thursday. 

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