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Memory and “True” Stories

September 28, 2015

In class on this Tuesday, we’ll watch a brief excerpt from an interview with Tim O’Brien to get a sense of how he reflects on his own work as a writer. Feel free to preview this excerpt before class, or search for some other interviews with O’Brien on YouTube:

In this particular clip, he observes that when we read something someone else has written, we are “partly a witness and partly a participant.” As we look at the final sections of The Things We Carried, let’s consider what this might mean. How are we, as readers, both a witness and a participant with the writer, and how is the writer both a witness and a participant in the process of reconstructing his or her memories? What does this have to do with O’Brien’s project for this text?

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