Thursday, June 28, 2012

"I Remember" in Memoir Writing

A student asked about her repeated use of the phrase, “I remember,” in her memoir. I suggested that she could eliminate the phrase instead of using it as an introduction to an experience or thought.

"I remember" is a lot like using “I believe” or “I feel that” in formal, academic essays. As you write, trust the reader to understand that you are presenting your own memories. After all, that’s an important part of what a memoir is: a collection of memories unified by a theme or event and written using literary techniques.

If you are contrasting your remembrance with someone else’s, then you might want to qualify your thoughts with the phrase, “I remember.” For example, “I remember that we all went to the wedding, but my sister remembers staying home.”

What do you think? Is "I remember" a helpful, clarifying phrase or a repetitive introduction to an obvious memory?

2 comments:

Alana said...

In my opinion, "I remember" is never necessary in a memoir. It's implied in every sentence, right?

Chloe Yelena Miller said...

Exactly!