Claiming Her Back

Richard Lea, “The Truth About Memory and the Novel,” The Guardian 14 June 2012

[…] The US novelist Francisco Goldman admitted he also called Say Her Name, his portrait of his late wife Aura, a “novel” as a way of avoiding the memoir police, but for him the moments he invented were more than just artistic licence. By making up something that Aura really would have done, or finding exactly the turn of phrase she would have used he was in some sense claiming her back.

[…] In Say Her Name, Goldman examines his late wife’s unpublished fiction, looking for clues to her life in her drafts, her notes. Barthesians may shake their heads at this all-too-human reaction to the death of the author, but perhaps the fact they were still unfinished holds out the hope that these stories contain traces of the author that can still be made out, that the memories which had in some way inspired them can be caught before they have made the transition into fiction.

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