"Closer to the Truth Than Any Fact": Memoir, Memory, and Jim by Jennifer Jensen Wallach PDF

By Jennifer Jensen Wallach

Although historians often use memoirs as resource fabric, too frequently they confine such utilization to the anecdotal, and there's little methodological literature in regards to the genre’s probabilities and obstacles. This learn articulates an method of utilizing memoirs as tools of historic figuring out. Jennifer Jensen Wallach applies those ideas to a physique of memoirs approximately lifestyles within the American South in the course of Jim Crow segregation, together with works via Zora Neale Hurston, Willie Morris, Lillian Smith, Henry Louis Gates Jr., William Alexander Percy, and Richard Wright.

Wallach argues that the sphere of autobiography experiences, that is at the moment ruled by way of literary critics, wishes a brand new theoretical framework that permits historians, too, to learn from the translation of lifestyles writing. Her so much provocative declare is that, as a result of the aesthetic strength of literary language, expert artistic writers are uniquely located to seize the complexities of yet again and one other position. via ideas corresponding to metaphor and irony, memoirists jointly supply their readers an empathetic knowing of lifestyles in the course of the period of segregation. even supposing those memories undergo convinced similarities, it turns into transparent that the South because it was once remembered via each one is rarely an analogous place.

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"Closer to the Truth Than Any Fact": Memoir, Memory, and Jim Crow by Jennifer Jensen Wallach


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