Details

ISBN-10: 022679380X
ISBN-13: 9780226793801
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 09/10/2021
Dimensions: 8.50" L, 5.50" W, 0.51" H

Artful Truths: The Philosophy of Memoir

Paperback

Price: $22.50

In stock

Overview

From social media to the return of the personal essay to the rise of “autofiction,” it seems we inhabit an era of unprecedented self-display. But self-display in its literary form, the memoir, has been around for ages, always freighted with formal and philosophical complexity from Augustine’s Confessions on. In this book, philosopher Helena de Bres tackles the philosophy of memoir. What is memoir? Is all memoir really fiction? Should memoirists aim to tell the truth? What do memoirists owe the people they write about? And finally: Why write a memoir at all?”–

Offers a philosophical perspective on the nature and value of writing a memoir.

Artful Truths offers a concise guide to the fundamental philosophical questions that arise when writing a literary work about your own life. Bringing a philosopher’s perspective to a general audience, Helena de Bres addresses what a memoir is, how the genre relates to fiction, memoirists’ responsibilities to their readers and subjects, and the question of why to write a memoir at all. Along the way, she delves into a wide range of philosophical issues, including the nature of the self, the limits of knowledge, the idea of truth, the obligations of friendship, the relationship between morality and art, and the question of what makes a life meaningful.

Written in a clear and conversational style, it offers a resource for those who write, teach, and study memoirs, as well as those who love to read them. With a combination of literary and philosophical knowledge, de Bres takes the many challenges directed at memoirists seriously, while ultimately standing in defense of a genre that, for all its perplexities–and maybe partly because of them–continually proves to be both beloved and valuable.

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Reviews
"Artful Truths is wonderful, beautifully written, consistently amusing, and very useful. De Bres unpacks all the philosophical and ethical questions imaginable surrounding the genre of memoir and charges fearlessly into accusations against the form, examining and dissecting each doubt before celebrating the genre with panache. How she is able to discuss the viewpoints of Kant or Nietzsche in such conversational language is a wonder, and the examples she invents to bring these sometimes abstruse matters to life are wryly amusing."–Phillip Lopate, author of The Art of The Personal Essay
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Details

ISBN-10: 022679380X
ISBN-13: 9780226793801
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 09/10/2021
Dimensions: 8.50" L, 5.50" W, 0.51" H
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