Sunday, January 14, 2007

Family History

While slogging through one of the readings I have to finish before class tomorrow I came across a line that really struck me.

"Any life story, written or oral, more or less dramatically, is in one sense a personal mythology, a self-justification."

This really brings into fresh focus my paternal Grandfather and his desire for one of my cousin's and I to collaborate in writing his biography. It is a request that I have a hard time acquiescing to for various reasons. I have difficulty putting in to words exactly why this project makes me cringe, but this line really sums it up for me- personal mythology and self-justification.

Ironically I'm more qualified now to write an accurate history of his life because of my academics, but it would be a biography that would most likely displease him. My biography would be quite different from my younger cousin's interpretation of his life which would dwell more on the myth of the figure than the reality. Also, she's just finishg up a degree in Criminology and English which again shapes her perspective. I've made no moves whatsoever to begin this project, however my cousin has bought him a tape recorder to record his personal anecdotes and things he believes are important aspects of his life.

At some time I'd like to write my family history since it is complex and interesting, but my grandfather will be one figure in the story and not the key component. I think I'm more interested in the lives of the women of my family and their personal stories.

No comments: