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Literary overstatement of the week

Posted by Christopher Shea  November 5, 2009 07:21 AM

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Ben Yagoda has a new book out, with the nice title "Memoir: A History." Covering it, the Philadelphia Inquirer states:

The emphasis on memoir is so strong that autobiography, history and fiction may be endangered. And the reasons for memoir's popularity may rest in our very nature as Americans: In a land where the majority rules, individuality is exalted and memoir is more befitting the American ideal of resourcefulness.

"When it comes to proving points and making cases, fiction's day is done," Yagoda says.

I can't decide whether Yagoda or his profiler is the more egregious hyperbolist, but Yagoda has the excuse of flogging a book.

(Also, how curious to suggest that the value of fiction lies in "proving points and making cases.")

Hat tip: Jennifer Howard

P.S. Hold on. The memoir also endangers autobiography?

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