The personal narrative

I got this idea after reading Vivian Gornick’s “The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative.” I’m starting to explore this avenue.”

And I quote: “The writing we call personal narrative is written by people who, in essence, are imagining only themselves; in relation to the subject in hand. The connection is an intimate one; in fact, it is critical. Out of the raw material of a writer’s own undisguised being a narrator is fashioned whose existence on the page is integral to the tale being told. This narrator becomes a persona. Its tone of voice, its angle of vision, the rhythm of its sentences, what it selects to observe and what to ignore are chosen to serve the subject; yet the same time the way the narrator – or that persona – sees things is, to the large degree, the thing being seen.

“…To fashion a persona out of one’s own undisguised self is no easy thing…The unsurrogated [NB: without the “trappings” of fiction] narrator has the monumental task of transforming low-level self-interest into the kind of detached empathy required of a piece of writing that is to be of value to the disinterested reader.”

It is very much like journal writing in a sense that there is narration, but the voice, the voice should be strong and unique. 🙂

It’s a riveting book and is very well-written. I was entranced, and inspired.

(The rest of the book is here…)

What’s your favorite form of writing?

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