Nonfiction: Spec­u­la­tive Mem­oir

Poets and Writers - - The Literary Life -

In an in­ter­view pub­lished ear­lier this year by Elec­tric Lit­er­a­ture, Sofia Sa­matar dis­cusses the con­cept of spec­u­la­tive mem­oir with au­thors Matthew Cheney, Car­men Maria Machado, and Ros­alind Palermo Steven­son, all who have writ­ten work that blends mem­oir with el­e­ments of the highly imag­i­na­tive that is typ­i­cally re­served for sci­ence fic­tion, fan­tasy, and fab­u­list lit­er­a­ture. Machado talks about al­ter­nat­ing be­tween real events and genre fic­tion that act as ex­tended metaphor. Steven­son says, “In some ways in­tro­duc­ing the imag­ined is per­haps a way of dar­ing to ap­proach the ma­te­rial.” Think of a spe­cific mem­ory whose par­tic­u­lars seem blurry or dif­fi­cult to ap­proach. Write a spec­u­la­tive es­say or short mem­oiris­tic piece in which you ap­proach this mem­ory by in­sert­ing a bla­tantly fic­tional as­pect or char­ac­ter. How does this el­e­ment of fic­tion open up new or al­ter­na­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties for the way you’ve long re­called this event, sit­u­a­tion, or re­la­tion­ship?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.