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The art of time in memoir : then, again / Sven Birkerts.

Birkerts, Sven. (Author).

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Moorhead Public Library 808.0669 BIR (Text) 33500009499757 Main Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 1555974899 :
  • ISBN: 9781555974893 :
  • Physical Description: 194 p. ; 18 cm.
  • Publisher: Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2008.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-194)

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2008 January #1
    Time in memoir? Most analyses of this maligned literary form revolve around the fact-versus-fiction debate, but sophisticated literary critic Birkerts takes a deeper look, arguing convincingly that "the search for patterns and connections is the real point—and glory—of the genre." Drawing on epiphanies experienced both while reading outstanding literary memoirs and while writing his own, My Sky Blue Trades (2002), Birkerts explains why and how literary memoirs bend time, abandoning the chronological for the circular. Furthermore, Birkerts observes, memory itself is nonlinear and unpredictable: one shocking hour can resonate more powerfully than an entire decade. Writing with ardor, erudition, and conviction, he cites memoirs by such masters as Nabokov, Woolf, and Dillard; celebrates "the constraint of the actual"; explains the difference between sequential events and story; muses over why so many memoirs focus on family struggles and the writer's coming-of-age; and defines a subgenre, the "traumatic memoir." Birkerts' enlightening literary anatomy deepens appreciation for the memoir as it reveals how writers turn the indelible times of their lives into art that is timeless. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Sven Birkerts is the author of Reading Life: Books for the Ages, Readings,
The Gutenberg Elegies, and a memoir, My Sky Blue Trades. He teaches at Harvard University and at the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the editor of AGNI. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Subject: Autobiography > Authorship.

Additional Resources