Saturday, September 19, 2009

Margaret Drabble

The Writing Life: Margaret Drabble - "Writers of a certain age are tempted by the art of memoir. Memoir, or life-writing, is a seductive genre. We all have had a life, of sorts, so we all think we have a story to tell. But the difficulties have always seemed to me to outweigh the advantages.

It's the problem of all those other people -- those husbands, wives, siblings, children, grandchildren, rivals, enemies, friends. (Parents, by this stage, are almost invariably dead, although that does not mean that they are quiet in their graves.) The living have their own version, their own secrets, and the dead have a right to privacy.

Considering these issues, I decided it would be unwise to write a memoir. I had written a novel ('The Peppered Moth') in which I had lightly fictionalized my mother's life, and that had caused trouble enough. So I decided: no memoir and, for the time being, no more fiction."


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