“Confessions”, written in the great age of autobiography, is the the first recovery as well as the first misery memoir. The format devised by De Quincey still holds: the recovery memoir takes us through a moral journey into the depths and then assures the reader that all is well, and that the author has now seen the error of his ways. This was certainly not true in the case of De Quincey. And the misery memoir gives us a romanticized version of poverty and pain, written by a subject who has earned his place in ‘normal’ society. De Quincey’s sufferings were entirely self-inflicted, and yet he still asks for our pity.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
… Interview with NBCC Biography Finalist Frances Wilson. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)