Friday, February 03, 2012


JH: What inspired you to write an autobiographical book? I'm looking forward to it! Do you see autobiography as yet another narrative, with authorial insight which may or may not be shared with the reader? Can more be omitted from an autobiography than can be omitted from a poem? In other words, is there an essential of autobiography as there is an essential of poetry? The omission of a single word, phrase, or line can strip a poem of the poetic, leaving it a text. Is there such a fatal omission in autobiography? Would the omission lie in the author's approach to the autobiography rather than in specific words?

AHB: Autobiography is narrative, and an available one (I know the subject). For me, I must speak of specific events in my family that has left me ruptured from my brothers. That’s a deep well. But I do not want to omit goofy things, happy things, and the radiating spans of life. Reading the first volume of Twain’s autobiography last year helped me formulate the idea to write. He wrestled with format then finally just wrote as it came. So I have allowed myself to ramble. What I consciously omit will be what seems boring to me. Jung writes about how the conscious mind refuses what it cannot comprise, hence the unconscious. Yet the unconscious, we understand, makes itself known. I have always trusted that the less I get in the way of the writing process the more valuable, or at least interesting, the writing. In a sense, whatever I omit is still there.


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