Stephanie (thesilentsenshi) wrote in metaquotes,

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Tell-all Memoirs

sevendials is fed up with tell-all memoirs.

The original post. The whole thing is great. Could be offensive.

Okay, here goes: I fucking hate the recent trend for tell-all memoirs.


I don't doubt that some people out there genuinely do have stories to tell. I don't doubt that some people genuinely have had absolutely horrific lives. I don't doubt that, in some cases That said, though, I honestly don't see what we're supposed to gain out of everyone and their dog publishing stories of My Abusive Childhood or My Abusive Marriage. Reading this stuff, you'd be forgiven for coming away with the impression that every man in the country was either a wife-beater or a pedophile, and every woman or child a tearful, waiflike victim who simply hadn't understood How Strong They Truly Were.

(Honestly, I think it's a sad sign of how utterly and totally hosed up some of these people still are that they think publishing a goddamn book is going to help. Who the Hell would want to be a professional survivor?)

These things are like the 'true confessions' section of a woman's magazine, exploded into book form. Ultimately uplifting, supposedly, but let's not skip on the prurient details: how many people do you suppose even get that far? How many people do you reckon lose interest as soon as all the nasty stuff's out the way? I have a horrible feeling the answer is far more than their authors would think. People aren't necessarily reading these things to be uplifted by the author's message of hope or what-have you. They're reading it to perve over someone else's misery. For two hundred goddamn pages.

Am I alone in finding these books voyeuristic, pornographic and exploitative?

It's getting to seem to me like writing one of these things is one of the sure-fire ways to get yourself published. Just add one crappy childhood and the bare minimum of talent and you're away.

But what do you do if you're - well - normal?

What do you do if, say, you're a perfectly average person who had a no more than averagely difficult life and would still like to be published, please? Never mind that you, for example, think that your daddy is one of the most amazing guys in the world, and suspect he has only ruined you for other men because he's been such a good father, not because he was the cliche abusive-molester-and-pervert boogeyman figure that just about all the men in these goddamn books appear to be? What do you do then? Make shit up?


snips = cut parts of the post
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