Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Radio 3: Childhood, memory, autobiographical narrative & fiction

I have been for some time now been attempting a novella which involves a fierce scraping of my memories in order to fictionalise events in the life of my Pakistani doctor father. Apart from the usual writing/energy challenges, it feels like quite a brutal mining of myself, and for reasons beyond me the narrative is emerging as third person omniscient. A writer friend suggested that the technical challenges of this point of view mirror the emotional challenges. I like that theory.

I am, therefore, fascinated more than ever by childhood, memory and  narrative.

Some interesting radio programmes from Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' series:

Autobiographical writing and Contemporary Fiction', a 15 minute essay slot which explores the complex intertwining of autobiography and fiction, the blurring of selves: 'These gaps between the different versions of the self leave spaces for fictional invention'.

References are made to Lydia Davis, Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt.

I also liked the sentence: 'Memories are revised every time we remember'.

And here on childhood and memory, a longer 45 minute programme: 'Who's Got Hold of Children's Imaginations', writer Patrick Ness suggests that writing is 'the novelist's way to pin down the world and . . .  contain anxiety'. (8.30 mins)

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