In an essay on Emily Dickinson, the poet Adrienne Rich once wrote,
“It is always what is under pressure in us, especially under pressure
of concealment—that explodes in poetry.”
The pressure valve—the one that every writer is intimate with—
rarely has a chance to fill and fill to the point of explosion.
Literary memoir is born of this explosion. It is born of the powerful
need to craft a story out of the chaos of one’s own history.
One of literary memoir’s greatest satisfactions—both for writer
and reader—is the slow, deliberate making of a story, of making
sense, out of randomness and pain.
In the inimitable words of Annie Dillard, “You may not let it rip.”
— Dani Shapiro notes, “Memoir Is Not a Status Update”
The New Yorker, August 2014
Given the new millennium–now 14 years [in] sic. engulfed
as surfing a wave or the manifold global drowning into the
digital online; writers are a burgeoning entanglement of
wired interactivity–blogging, facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram,
downloading applications, privy to the latest self-expressive
tactic. I’m inclined to suggest the above can be put to scrutiny
and debate. All these online techniques re-define a new epoch
of using different tools to keep Life Writing moving. As such,
“Memoir” NOT as Status update is questionable in the
digitized epoch that is now with us. Our updates do define us
and not! as though they [perhaps] are fleeting, it is a
momentary unmentionable memory with the unmistakable
possibility of memoir, albeit in live wire.