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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Literary genres I would like to see #1: The Premoir

(The first in a possible occasional series....)

A premoir is a speculative memoir, detailing the imagined future life of the author after the point at which it is written.

It is distinguished from mere near-future SF metafiction by focus. If your future self merely makes a cameo in a book otherwise concerned principally with adventure or futurology, it is no premoir. The concerns of the premoir are those of the memoir -- self and selfhood, family, identity, memory (in this case predictive memory), striving, character, the texture of everyday life as well as any momentous intrusions into it....

Anyone know of any examples in the wild?

Posted by benrosen at June 24, 2008 11:50 AM | Up to blog

Huey Long's My First Days in the White House comes to mind, although that's a lot more about politics than "self".

Posted by: T. Hodler at June 24, 2008 02:19 PM

I really like this idea. I can imagine getting the box set edition, which would be the premoir followed by a memoir covering the same time period. I still think Choose your own adventures are wholly underrepresented as a genre and this seems like a fitting application - I can imagine having several premoirs woven into a memoir to create a sort of choose-your-own biography of an author's life.

Posted by: Ben Parzybok at June 25, 2008 05:55 PM

Well, VALIS is kind of like that. Another kind of hit is the movie Adaptation, which is cool and demented in that same regard.

It was Mr. Parzybok's notion of the choose-your-own-memoir genre that made me think of Adaptation. The movie almost seems like someone based it on one linear reading of a choose-your-own-memoir book of the writer's life, and that there are other possible movies, all called Adaptation, that could be made from the other story branches.

I like it.


Posted by: Matt Hulan at June 25, 2008 06:48 PM

Little children (and many adults) are writing these every night in their heads before they go to sleep. Human nature and the fear of embarassment stops them ever hitting the paper, I guess...

Posted by: susan at June 28, 2008 07:01 AM

No, but I'm writing one immediately.

Posted by: Haddayr at June 30, 2008 08:49 PM
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