Judith Barrington Quotes from Writing Memoir

Judith BarringtonJudith Barrington was, for several years, on the faculty of the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Much sought after as a writing teacher, over the past thirty years she has taught creative writing at various universities and at many summer writing workshops.  http://www.judithbarrington.com/bio/index.html
Here are two of her quotes I especially like:
“A word of warning here. The events as you remember them will never be the same in your memory once you have turned them into a memoir. For years I have worried that if I turn all of my life into literature, I won’t have any real life left – just stories about it. And it is a realistic concern: it does happen like that. I am no longer sure I remember how it felt to be twenty and living in Spain after my parents died; my book about it stands now between me and my memories. When I try to think about that time, what comes to mind most readily is what I wrote.”
Judith Barrington from Writing the Memoir, From Truth to Art, second edit
“Susan Griffin describes it as a time when “there is no intrinsic authority to my words.” “I…clean off my desk. I make telephone calls. I know I am avoiding the typewriter. I know that in my mind, where there might be words, there is simply a blankness. I may try to write and then my words bore me.” But when the time is right, the waiting will have been worth it. “Because each time I write, each time the authentic words break through, I am changed. The older order that I was collapses and dies. I lose control. I do not know exactly what words will appear on the page. I follow language. I follow the sound of the words, and I am surprised and transformed by what I record.” Excerpt from “Thoughts on Writing: A Diary,” in The Writer on her Work.”
Judith Barrington from Writing the Memoir, From Truth to Art, second edit

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