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By Jennifer Jensen Wallach

Although historians usually use memoirs as resource fabric, too frequently they confine such utilization to the anecdotal, and there's little methodological literature in regards to the genre’s percentages and barriers. This examine articulates an method of utilizing memoirs as tools of old realizing. Jennifer Jensen Wallach applies those ideas to a physique of memoirs approximately lifestyles within the American South in the course of Jim Crow segregation, together with works by way of Zora Neale Hurston, Willie Morris, Lillian Smith, Henry Louis Gates Jr., William Alexander Percy, and Richard Wright.

Wallach argues that the sector of autobiography reports, that's at present ruled via literary critics, wishes a brand new theoretical framework that enables historians, too, to profit from the translation of existence writing. Her so much provocative declare is that, because of the aesthetic strength of literary language, expert artistic writers are uniquely located to trap the complexities of all over again and one other position. via strategies equivalent to metaphor and irony, memoirists jointly supply their readers an empathetic realizing of lifestyles in the course of the period of segregation. even though those recollections undergo sure similarities, it turns into transparent that the South because it was once remembered via each one is infrequently an identical place.

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"Closer to the Truth Than Any Fact": Memoir, Memory, and Jim Crow by Jennifer Jensen Wallach

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