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When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do well, that's Memoirs.
How much energy is wasted in Italy in trying to write the novel that obeys all the rules. The energy might have been useful to provide us with more modest, more genuine things, that had less pretensions: short stories, memoirs, notes, testimonials, or at any rate, books that are open, without a preconceived plan.
Anyone who believes you can't change history has never tried to write his memoirs.
A lot of presidential memoirs, they say, are dull and self-serving. I hope mine is interesting and self-serving.
William J. Clinton
The reader of these Memoirs will discover that I never had any fixed aim before my eyes, and that my system, if it can be called a system, has been to glide away unconcernedly on the stream of life, trusting to the wind wherever it led.
Someone asked me if I was afraid to write my memoirs. I told him: 'We have to stop drawing up accounts of fear! We live in a society in which people are allowed to tell their story, and that is what I do.'
People write memoirs because they lack the imagination to make things up.
Men's memoirs are about answers; women's memoirs are about questions. Most male authors want to look good in their memoirs and have a place in posterity, while most women know that posterity is what happens when you no longer care. Women want to connect with others here and now; they couldn't care less about legacy!
What are you going to do with astronauts who first reach the surface of Mars and then turn around and rocket back home-ward? What are they going to do, write their memoirs? Would they go again? Having them repeat the voyage, in my view, is dim-witted. Why don't they stay there on Mars?
I love all insider memoirs. It doesn't matter whether it's truck-drivers or doctors. I think everybody likes to go backstage, find out what people think and what they talk about and what specialised job they have.
You might think that religion was the one area in which professional jealousy would take a back seat. But no: ecclesiastical memoirs are as viperish as any, though their envy tends to cloak itself in piety.
People can lie in letters, but they tend not to. They certainly lie in memoirs.
I've given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can't divorce a book.
Memoirs are the backstairs of history.
Memoirs are a well-known form of fiction.
Listen, in England people are already writing their memoirs at the age of 23.
At its best, fiction cultivates fantasy and compassion; at its worst, memoir provokes schadenfreude and prurience. The ugly truth, I fear, is that many people are drawn to sensational memoirs for the same reason they watch 'The Apprentice': they like to witness actual suffering, before-your-very-eyes humiliation.
'Memoirs of a Geisha' is everything you'd expect it to be: beautiful, mesmerizing, tasteful, Japanese. It's just not very hot.
I think most memoirs, though they purport to be about this particular time or this person you met, are really about the effect that person or time had on you.
My memoirs were written, and a portion of them already in the hands of the publishers, when the startling news came which has thrilled all Europe and filled her inhabitants with horror - the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.
I love memoirs and autobiographies in general.
The memoir industry is, what's the word? Under regulated. I think it needs to be pruned. If there are too many books right now and the market for readers is shrinking, I think we can get rid of many of the memoirs. Another memoir should be awfully well justified before it gets published.
I have been presented with roles with demand not just a physical ability but mental disciplines as well. 'Memoirs of a Geisha' was not so much about physical exertion... it was much more graceful and contained than that.
If you read the memoirs of slave-owning families, you'd be hard pressed to find evidence of black people in the lives of the whites, even though for most of the time on the plantations black people outnumbered whites by a ratio of seven to one.
I have more freedom when I write fiction, but my memoirs have had a much stronger impact on my readers. Somehow the 'message,' even if I am not even aware that there is one, is conveyed better in this form.
John F. Kennedy
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