Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fragment: Autobiography vs. Memoir

Fragment from Frye, Richard N. Greater Iran: A 20th-Century Odyssey. Costa Mesa: Mazda, 2005.
An autobiography is the story of one's life, while memoirs, we are told, are more ambiguous than events in life, including what one heard or witnessed, sometimes of historical interest, but more often of personal situations in which he or she has participated. A story or anecdote, either true or fictitious, may have been heard or even read by the author, and included in either memoirs or autobiography, or even expanded into a work of literature. In the pages which follow I plead guilty to a mixture of autobiography and memoir, but a lifetime of writing historical prose, much of it accessible to the lay public, has given me a sense of the sweep of 3000 years of the history of 'Greater Iran', and this enters these pages, as well as some of the actors in the cultural and political history of the Middle East and Central Asia.
page xi.

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