Writing “I”: Autofiction, Memoir – the Space Between
How do we approach the first person? The narrative “I” vacillates. It confesses, brags, moans and lies. “I” often presents fiction as fact and fact as fiction. The “I” can be complicit, defenceless, or even a god. From the Old Testament omnipotent proclamation from the Hebrew God, “I am that I am,” to Popeye’s defensive and braggadocio laden claim, “I am what I am,” to the “I” of the witness or the “I” of victim, the first-person pronoun’s weight is grounded in immediacy, primacy and power, or the lack thereof.
This full-day workshop explores distinctions between the “I” of autofiction and the “I” of memoir. Are these distinctions a matter of aesthetics, ethics, gender or power?