Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I've re-immersed myself in the toils of Malcolm X and am making incremental progress on the essay-chapter that is presently titled "Hated by Literature." Now that I've started, I'm finding it's no harder to write about Malcolm than it was to write about John Milton or William Blake, which is to say that it's no easier either. I admit to ignorance, I try to pay attention, I acknowledge superiority, I speak up. The result (beyond this shitload of comma splices) is humility but also, for some reason, an ease of discourse--imaginary discourse, of course. Which leads me to a question: can a memoir be called a memoir when the writer is inventing her conversations with books, speculating about her link with her subject, recollecting the lifetime she's spent pretending to be inside something outside of herself? I don't know what else to call it, but fact doesn't seem to have much to do with this work of so-called nonfiction.