David Shields‘ autobiographical account of autobiography and everything else that may have happened to him sometime between then and now: Enough About You: Notes Toward The New Autobiography.
David Shield’s talks about Proust and I reflect on the fashion of loving Proust, not just A Remembrance of Things Past, but the man and his words.
Shields loves him for being a fiction within his fiction-he is at once the author and the character. Maybe, in a deconstructed world, we go back to Proust, who goes back into himself, because when our reality is in question, we realize that the answer is always ME.
The common thread to all of life in the global village is the self.
I like writing, fiction or otherwise, that dances on this border between authority proper and this other thing, this ‘reality’ that is a construct deconstructed, that is fated and is built up the moment prior to your experience of it.
The way Shields describes (with authority) the project of other autobiographers, other artists, when he really acknowledges that his authority is only over the Kingdom of himself. The ol’ Sartrean etc. We live for others, but others live for us. Or at least before us. Or in front of us?
Identity, reality and other ditties. Writing and reviewing are clichés of culture, and we try our damnedest to revive these clichés. My grandest failure is that I doubt my own authority. I can’t name the projects of others with resounding resoluteness because I am unable to really and truly discern or determine the course of my own life.
“Are these my questions, or my parent’s questions?”
David Shields in Enough About You
This is the reason I constantly talk about my Mother. Her life is mine as a pre-parable, and I have seen her from both the in- and the outside. Identity. She is a mirror that I can see my before and after in. Stuttering. Adolescence.
David Shields talks about himself as an invitation for representation, for what may only amount to his experience as experienced for others, his book born for the empathetic imagination. He says he liked John Donne in College, and I get it, because the bell tolls so loudly. That’s the best part of autobiography.