12 December 2006

Double roles

Why would we want to write our autobiographies? Isn’t there enough reading material in this world, both fiction and non-fiction, to entertain readers? And, how do we know that our autobiographies will entertain others? What do we really know about the reading habits of billions of readers that inherit this Earth? Why would any of them ever be interested in our life stories?

If it isn’t to entertain others, then would it be simply to tell our tales? Would it be to chronicle our lives, our experiences, and our learning in order to assert ourselves on this planet as individuals with distinct egos which need to be fuelled? If this be true, then isn’t writing an autobiography nothing more than a matter of conceit?

Or, is it to discover ourselves, to give social context to our individual experiences, to understand our relationship with the world around us in a self-investigative mode? In which case, isn’t writing an autobiography nothing more than empowering our pens – or our keyboards – into asking questions about ourselves, about our lives, which we are too afraid to ask aloud in the real world we inhabit?

If this be true, then are we not re-making ourselves as bolder, more assertive characters in our autobiographies than we really are? And, in the process, are we not creating fictional characters and telling their tales which are truthfully not ours?

As we write our autobiographies, are we not playing double roles?

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