memoir quotes

Memoir Quotes: Borderlines by Caroline Kraus

Memoir quotes are often my favorite quotes. I really love reading memoirs. There is something so special about individual stories. In a memoir, the deeply personal becomes universal. We find what resonates for us. We read the words as though they are in our own voices. Somehow, one person’s story becomes the story of each of us.

I’ve been digging through the archives of this blog to find items that were lost in a blog transition. I came across the following memoir quotes. They’re from a post I did in 2014 when reading the book Borderlines.

Borderlines: A Memoir

I recently read Borderlines: A Memoir by Caroline Kraus. This moving book tells the true story of the author’s experience of losing her mother in her early teens. Furthermore, she shares how that grief made her ripe and raw for enmeshment. She ends up in a tangled relationship, mostly platonic, with a woman who lives with borderline personality disorder. This memoir is intense and interesting and sometimes funny.

Three Favorite Memoir Quotes from Borderlines

Here are the three memoir quotes that I identified back in 2014 as standing out for me.

Memoir Quotes: San Francisco

“Looking back, I see San Francisco as a curious siren. Almost everyone I was about to meet had migrated west for their own vague reasons, following some strange instinct that promised hope. It was a place that seemed ripe with possibility.”

There’s something about that quote that resonates so much. People do “move west” because they have a certain pioneering spirit. More than that, people move to San Francisco for unique reasons. It’s an expensive place, so it’s not an easy place to live. However, it’s also one of the best places in the world to live. One of the reasons that I love it is precisely because it’s “ripe with possibility.” I love the description of this home of mine as a “curious siren”.

Memoir Quotes: Depression

“There is a particular kind of depression of the spirit sometimes associated with the deep introspective stage of transition and change. When this occurs, the Bear is a reminder that there is a parallel between depression and the natural state known as hibernation, when involvement with the outer world is minimized in order to focus more energy on the inner processes necessary for a successful transition.”

I think it’s so true that transitions can trigger depression. However, it doesn’t have to be a bad kind of clinical depression. Instead, it can be a time of rest, of hibernation. Transitions require space for the change to unfold.

Memoir Quotes: On Memoirs

“Memoir is, fundamentally, a literary investigation – a mystery that is cracked by re-creating dialogue and translating settings and action into words. But these are the vehicles to truth and not in themselves the end. There are the facts of this story, and then there is what I make of them. The curved lens of memory adds its angles to the process, shaping every setting, stretch of dialogue, and scene. But the aim of memoir – to transcend personal experience – is a corrective voice to that lens. In the end, the most distilled, captured “truth” is what the author has gleaned, with earnest motivations.”

The author herself has shared exactly some of the things that I love about the genre of memoir.

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