"Penetrating the familiar"
I'm reading a book called The Situation and the Story; The Art of Personal Narrative by Vivian Gornick. On page nine, she writes, "Penetrating the familiar is by no means a given. On the contrary, it is hard, hard work." This sentence leapt from the page and grabbed me and then I did that thing I do where I fold the bottom up the page up, so I can return to it. I think Gornick is right. Seeing, penetrating, capturing the familiar... these are profoundly complex tasks. And yet many of us try, spend a lifetime trying.
I think about memoir sometimes, about what it would be like, and feel like, to write one. I have ideas, but I know that's just the beginning and not the hardest part. To penetrate the familiar, to mold memories and moments into a narrative that works, is a tall tall order. Will I do it? Who knows. Only time will tell.
Are you familiar with Vivian Gornick and this book?
What are your favorite writing/craft books?
Do you agree that it's hard, hard work to penetrate the familiar?