What is a memoir? The word memoir comes from the Latin word memoria, meaning “memory”. It is different from an autobiography in two ways: it does not have to tell someone’s life (sometimes, it can focus only on an event through a person’s perspective), and it does not have to provide facts. Therefore, many writers take advantage of a memoir to creatively retell an event that they experienced. Since a memoir serves as a lens on how the authors perceive what happened, it can be very emotional and psychological. 

Kurt Vonnegut expands the memoir definition in his memoir “Slaughterhouse Five”. He claims it is a memoir in the first sentence:”All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true.” Vonnegaut expands it by writing it as a science fiction novel, since its main protagonist is able to travel through time. By doing so, he shows us that the effects that war has on us are current, they are still there, we cannot forget about them.

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One Response to Memoir

  1. mountzero says:

    I agree with your statement about time. The effects of war described by Vonnegut sounds very unappealing and unattractive to me. Why did you think Vonnegut chose to write a science fiction theme? Did it couple the notion of his time travels better? Was it to tap into a cultural fever of that certain time? His use of fiction is interesting as he is able to tell a story without destroying it’s authenticity. It may not be truth, but it is certainly authentic. In a sense that the book is a memoir, I do believe Vonnegut adds his flair and signature style within the texts. If anything, I was glad to have had a glimpse of the moments during the war and afterward as well.

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