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Memory and Imagination January 11, 2010

Filed under: Reading Response — AmiRizo @ 10:45 PM

Patricia Hampl wrote her essay about the use and importance of memoirs. I really liked reading her memoir. I made me think back on my very first lesson on the violin. I can definitely say that it is a moment in my life I will never forget. Though, there are some things I don’t remember very clearly. Memories are moments in our lives that have significantly impacted us. Yet, when we think back on things, we can never remember 100% of all the details. Sometimes we change or edit memories to how we would really want them to go. Hampl brings up the topic of writing terrible first drafts and how important they are. They have the potential to be absolutely anything. I agree with what she stated that, “A careful first draft is a failed first draft”. Yes, memoirs are a recount of the past, but not all of it can be accurate. You have to stretch the truth a little bit to engage the readers and keep them interested in the path of the story. This makes me wonder how truly accurate history is, since it is all a recollection of people’s memories.

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2 Responses to “Memory and Imagination”

  1. jessicaparry Says:

    This essay reminded me of my first violin lesson too. Although I don’t remember it anywhere near as clearly as Patricia Hampl did, probably because it was not a significant moment to me. I agree with you about changing and editing memories. I have a twin sister and sometime I’ll say “remember when I…” and she will say “that didn’t happen to you, it happened to me!” We will then argue about what exactly happened and who it really happened to. Its strange how our minds work. Its so hard to even remember our own histories, I also wonder what is truth and what is an exaggeration.

  2. danahws Says:

    Your response was beautiful. You summed up the main ideas of the reading in a good paragraph. You are absolutely right, memory is not accurate and it is okay to streched the truth at times in a work of writing.


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