I presented two creative pieces and one exegetical (draft) chapter to my lab class today, with positive feedback to the creative work and helpful, constructive feedback to the exegetical work. I have been worried about the tone and content of the memoir pieces, so hearing that I’m pleasing readers is really building my confidence. While I feared self-indulgence and monotony, others found the stories ‘personal and captivating’.
Feedback for the exegetical chapter was mainly the suggestion that I give more examples and clarification — which is something I’d worried I’d overdone, so I was surprised to hear this. Be prepared then — examples galore are on the way!
I’ve been reading the acknowledgments and commentary around Jo Case’s recent memoir, Boomer & Me. It is a memoir about her son who has Asberger’s. The story is told lovingly and openly and honestly, and invites the reader to relate to the experiences depicted. The response from critics and readers is very positive. But what I haven’t found to be questioned, is the fact that this woman has published a memoir about her young son. Regardless of good intent, is this an ethical issue? What has Case done to evade this ethical question? What boxes has she ticked? How has she overcome the ethical problem of writing about someone else — someone who is a minor, and who is under her care?
I’m feeling creative this week, and less stressed. Yesterday Francesca and I worked out a structure through which to present my project and exegesis, and also the form. We talked about the constant references throughout the project to childhood crafts, the aesthetics of Japanese culture, and also the physicality of writing — I’m thinking about referencing these in the presentation of my work, through making the ‘volume’ (or three) by hand. I also published this memoir piece.
Less stress also achieved by preparing all my food in advance this week and lifting weights at the gym! Distracted from impending deadlines by eating lamb shank soup and watching muscles grow.