Thursday, February 02, 2023

Foregone by Russell Banks

 Terrific, moving, mysterious. An American film-maker consents to a documentary ostensibly about his career in Canada making films after dodging the Vietnam War draft and escaping north. Instead, he spends several hours relating, sometimes out loud, and sometimes internally, the mixed up pieces of his past and his emotional reckoning of how and why he had lived.

But it was her memoir, not theirs, her memories, not theirs. And if all her memories were self-serving rationalizations of behavior that, seen in another's light, 
would seem stupid, narcissistic or superficial, in her own view her memories were redemptive. They revealed the reasons for her life of pain and suffering and confusion. They made sense of an otherwise incomprehensible, meaningless life and, in her own eyes, redeemed it.

Is that why Fife is trying to do? Tell his autobiography as he remembers it? Yes, he says, that is what he's trying to do today and tomorrow and for however long he is trying to tell it. [136]

Korsakoff syndrome: confabulation is a symptom, fairly common with advanced alcoholism. [238]

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