Friday, September 21, 2012

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The Things I Carry

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of publishing an essay on The Paris Review Daily about book collections, clutter, and my grandparents. Its gestation was long and painful; its aftermath has been pleasant, with one hiccup: my uncle pointed out that I'd mistakenly reported that the photo of my grandfather discussed in the essay was taken the day after his Alzheimer's diagnosis, not a year before. A detail that certainly changes how I view the photo, lends it poignancy: my grandpa's beaming smile, even after a diagnosis that promised only shadows. However, as my piece is an essay and not journalism, I let the error stand, a testament to my own fallibility and to memory's tendency to craft the story as it remembers it, not necessarily as it was.