Essay On Personal Narrative Paris Review

Meaning 25.12.2019

Paris Review - Vivian Gornick, The Art of Memoir No. 2

Since then, her breadth and craft as a writer have only personal deeper with each project. Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, and both her essays, too, were narrative Californians.

The next year she married Dunne, and soon afterwards, they moved to Los Angeles. There, inthey adopted their only paris, Quintana Roo.

And since all different kinds of peril existed in our more animalistic past, there were lots of different places in the body to pitch the sounds of a unique predicament. When he heard the horrible sound of these everyday humans getting back in touch the reality of open-air pain, he understood how rarely modern humans were accessing the sounds of which they were biologically capable. This is a terrible but fascinating physical truth. In general, however, an acting project and a writing project require wildly different things from me. I turned in the final draft of this book last November—after a good six months of doing little more than write—and I almost immediately flew to Pittsburgh to do a six-week rehearsal and run of a show. The differences between the two types of work—days spent sitting still, working only alone and only from the neck up to solve the problems of storytelling, versus a forty-hour rehearsal week of on-your-feet, physical problem solving within a challenging ensemble—gave me the bends. I was overthinking everything, especially my vocal choices. I think the difference comes down to consciousness. A writer is very in touch with her linguistic faculties, and an essayist in particular must have her sense of analysis and criticism at her fingertips. He just bluntly and freely reacts to the pressures hitting him at each moment. In theater and especially in my old bread-and-butter, physical comedy , you solve problems with your body in the finite space of the stage. That, in my experience, is the exact opposite of writing, where you solve problems within the infinite space of your imagination. With us, at City, it was exactly the opposite. The teachers, for the most part, seemed charmed by our rude smarts. I had a teacher who, when I finished school, said to me, What are you going to do now? Go get some more education. A lot of us had that experience. And I am sure that many of us succeeded much more fully than those teachers did, but they wanted us to do well. It was such an oddity, the little world that we came from, it was such a set of contradictions. The yearning for education was just part of the culture. Jan was extremely fit and extremely tan and extremely competent. Jan was not a lifelong birder. She was a woman who had spent two years nursing her mother and her best friend through cancer. They had both recently died and she had lost herself in caring for them, she said. She wanted a week to be herself. Not a teacher or a mother or a wife. This trip was the thing she was giving herself after their passing. Warren was an eighty-four-year-old bachelor from Minnesota. He could not do most of the physical activities required by the trip, but had been on ninety-five Earthwatch expeditions, including this one once before. Warren liked birds okay. What Warren really loved was cocktail hour. When he came for cocktail hour that first night, his thin, silver hair was damp from the shower and he smelled of shampoo. He was wearing a fresh collared shirt and carrying a bottle of impossibly good scotch. Jeff took in Warren and Jan and me. To be nice to me. To notice things about how I was living. One particular time, I had put on a favorite red dress for a wedding. I exploded from the bathroom to show him. He stared at his phone. Tell me I look nice! He took off the sticky and put the unblemished card into our filing cabinet. I need you to know: I hated that I needed more than this from him. There is nothing more humiliating to me than my own desires. Nothing that makes me hate myself more than being burdensome and less than self-sufficient. I did not want to feel like the kind of nagging woman who might exist in a sit-com. These were small things, and I told myself it was stupid to feel disappointed by them. My sister Bonnie and I would go pick up the food, and it was very shaming to her. I think all of these things added up for me. For years, in my place on Beach Street, I never locked my door. Everybody was welcome, in part because I never wanted anyone to feel excluded. My mother used to bring in homeless women and give them a cup of tea. It was especially important with this book because so much of it depended on echo. I wrote it in three months, but I marked it up every night. Did you think about how your readers would read it? I always aim for a reading in one sitting. After a few days of making notes, I realized that I was thinking about how to structure a book, which was the point at which I realized that I was writing one. This realization in no way changed what I was writing. I was also concerned with personal life. How did people love one another? What did they think was free? At that time, when the ex-slaves were moving into the city, running away from something that was constricting and killing them and dispossessing them over and over and over again, they were in a very limiting environment. But when you listen to their music—the beginnings of jazz—you realized that they are talking about something else. They are talking about love, about loss. But there is such grandeur, such satisfaction in those lyrics. Exercising choice in who you love was a major, major thing. And the music reinforced the idea of love as a space where one could negotiate freedom. Obviously, jazz was considered—as all new music is—to be devil music; too sensual and provocative, and so on. But for some black people jazz meant claiming their own bodies. So of course it is excessive and overdone: tragedy in jazz is relished, almost as though a happy ending would take away some of its glamour, its flair. We chant and scream and act alarmed about the homeless; we say we want our streets back, but it is from our awareness of homelessness and our employment of strategies to deal with it that we get our sense of the urban. Feeling as though we have the armor, the shields, the moxie, the strength, the toughness, and the smarts to be engaged and survive encounters with the unpredictable, the alien, the strange, and the violent is an intrinsic part of what it means to live in the city. No, no, no, San Francisco has more homeless. We are almost competitive about our endurance, which I think is one of the reasons why we accept homelessness so easily. The city was seductive to them because it promised forgetfulness. It offered the possibility of freedom—freedom, as you put it, from history. But although history should not become a straitjacket, which overwhelms and binds, neither should it be forgotten. One must critique it, test it, confront it, and understand it in order to achieve a freedom that is more than license, to achieve true, adult agency. If you penetrate the seduction of the city, then it becomes possible to confront your own history—to forget what ought to be forgotten and use what is useful—such true agency is made possible. I used an Edvard Munch painting almost literally. He is walking and there is nobody on his side of the street. Everybody is on the other side. MORRISON Part of that has to do with the visual images that I got being aware that in historical terms women, black people in general, were very attracted to very bright-colored clothing. Most people are frightened by color anyway. In this culture quiet colors are considered elegant. There may be something more to it than what I am suggesting. But the slave population had no access even to what color there was, because they wore slave clothes, hand-me-downs, work clothes made out of burlap and sacking. I stripped Beloved of color so that there are only the small moments when Sethe runs amok buying ribbons and bows, enjoying herself the way children enjoy that kind of color. The whole business of color was why slavery was able to last such a long time. No, these were people marked because of their skin color, as well as other features. So color is a signifying mark. We are so inundated with color and visuals. I just wanted to pull it back so that one could feel that hunger and that delight. There are three or four in Song of Solomon, I knew that I wanted it to be painterly, and I wanted the opening to be red, white, and blue. I could always look at him and write from the outside, but those would have been just perceptions. I had to be able not only to look at him but to feel how it really must have felt. So in trying to think about this, the image in my mind was a train. All the previous books have been women centered, and they have been pretty much in the neighborhood and in the yard; this was going to move out. So, I had this feeling about a train. So that image controlled the structure for me, although that is not something I articulate or even make reference to; it only matters that it works for me. Other books look like spirals, like Sula. MORRISON Jazz was very complicated because I wanted to re-represent two contradictory things—artifice and improvisation—where you have an artwork, planned, thought through, but at the same time appears invented, like jazz. I thought of the image being a book. Physically a book, but at the same time it is writing itself. Imagining itself. Aware of what it is doing. It watches itself think and imagine. That seemed to me to be a combination of artifice and improvisation—where you practice and plan in order to invent. Also the willingness to fail, to be wrong, because jazz is performance. So, you have to be able to risk making that error in performance. Dancers do it all the time, as well as jazz musicians. Jazz predicts its own story. Sometimes it is wrong because of faulty vision. It simply did not imagine those characters well enough, admits it was wrong, and the characters talk back the way jazz musicians do. It has to listen to the characters it has invented and then learn something from them. It was the most intricate thing I had done, though I wanted to tell a very simple story about people who do not know that they are living in the jazz age and to never use the word. Why do you do this?

It became a review, and won the National Book Award for nonfiction; Didion is now adapting the narrative for the essay as a monologue. Our paris took place personal the course of two afternoons in the Manhattan apartment Didion shared with her husband.

Essay on personal narrative paris review

On the walls of the spacious flat, one could see many photographs of Didion, Dunne, and their daughter. Daylight flooded the book-filled parlor.

Help writing a compare and contrast essay

Is this the way you make your living? A mother, a husband, a teacher—somebody—said, OK, go ahead—you can do it. The entitlement was something they could take for granted. It was all very strange. If someone asked me, What do you do? Because when you meet people and go to lunch, if they say, What do you do? Then they have to either like it or not like it. People feel obliged to like or not like and say so. It is perfectly all right to hate my work. It really is. I have close friends whose work I loathe. I wanted to own it myself. Because once you say it, then other people become involved. Secondly, I think they would have fired me. There were no in-house editors who wrote fiction. Ed Doctorow quit. There was nobody else—no real buying, negotiating editor in trade who was also publishing her own novels. I was so busy. I only know that I will never again trust my life, my future, to the whims of men, in companies or out. Never again will their judgment have anything to do with what I think I can do. That was the wonderful liberation of being divorced and having children. I did not mind failure, ever, but I minded thinking that someone male knew better. Before that, all the men I knew did know better, they really did. My father and teachers were smart people who knew better. He knew better about his life, but not about mine. I had to stop and say, Let me start again and see what it is like to be a grown-up. I decided to leave home, to take my children with me, to go into publishing and see what I could do. I was prepared for that not to work either, but I wanted to see what it was like to be a grown-up. It was published by Holt. Somebody had told this young guy there that I was writing something and he had said in a very offhand way, If you ever complete something send it to me. So I did. A lot of black men were writing in , , and he bought it, thinking that there was a growing interest in what black people were writing and that this book of mine would also sell. He was wrong. What was selling was: Let me tell you how powerful I am and how horrible you are, or some version of that. For whatever reasons, he took a small risk. Who gave it to you? What I needed permission to do was to succeed at it. A contract meant somebody was waiting for it, that I had to do it, and they could ask me about it. It has to do with self-esteem. I am sure for years you have heard writers constructing illusions of freedom, anything in order to have the illusion that it is all mine and only I can do it. I remember introducing Eudora Welty and saying that nobody could have written those stories but her, meaning that I have a feeling about most books that at some point somebody would have written them anyway. But then there are some writers without whom certain stories would never have been written. Faulkner, Fitzgerald. Me, critical? I have been revealing how white writers imagine black people, and some of them are brilliant at it. Faulkner was brilliant at it. Hemingway did it poorly in places and brilliantly elsewhere. The woman who is going mad tells her husband, I want to be your little African queen. The novel gets its charge that way: Her white white hair and her black, black skin. Mark Twain talked about racial ideology in the most powerful, eloquent, and instructive way I have ever read. Edgar Allan Poe did not. He loved white supremacy and the planter class, and he wanted to be a gentleman, and he endorsed all of that. What is exciting about American literature is that business of how writers say things under, beneath, and around their stories. Faulkner in Absalom, Absalom! I just wanted to chart it. I listed its appearance, disguise, and disappearance on every page—I mean every phrase! Everything, and I delivered this thing to my class. They all fell asleep! But I was so fascinated, technically. Do you know how hard it is to withhold that kind of information but hinting, pointing all of the time? And then to reveal it in order to say that it is not the point anyway? It is technically just astonishing. As a reader you have been forced to hunt for a drop of black blood that means everything and nothing. The insanity of racism. So the structure is the argument. Not what this one says or that one says. No one has done anything quite like that ever. Tease it. Blast its racist straitjacket. I use class codes, but no racial codes. But to provoke and enlighten. Branching and other fractal patterns: self-replication at different scale made by trees, coastlines, clouds. Cellular or network patterns: repeating shapes you see in a honeycomb, foam of bubbles, cracked lakebed, or light rippling in a pool; these can look like cells or, inversely, like a net. These fundamental patterns inform our bodies, too. We have wiggling meanders in our hair, brains, and intestines; branching patterns in capillaries, neurons, and lungs; explosive patterns in areolae and irises; spirals in ears, fingertips, DNA, fists. Our brains want patterns. We follow them instinctively: coiling a garden hose, stacking boxes, creating a wavering path when walking along the shore. There are, in other words, recurring ways that we order and make things. Those natural patterns have inspired visual artists and architects for centuries. A spiraling narrative might move around and around with regular, rhythmic repetitions, yet it advances steadily, deepening into the past, perhaps, or rising into the future. How is it related to negotiating queer differences at an early age? ALS The damage suffered by people I know and love is almost always based on the trauma of the only elder they had treating them badly or being interested only in their silence. Our experiences are painful and sometimes annihilating, and if we have the strength to crawl out of and excavate that wreckage, we have to ask ourselves how to describe the truth of it. I see fiction not as the construction of an alternate world but as what your imagination gives you from the real world. Those gorgeous early novels are inventions and acts of reporting, all at once. I thought I was writing them a love letter. With us, at City, it was exactly the opposite. The teachers, for the most part, seemed charmed by our rude smarts. I had a teacher who, when I finished school, said to me, What are you going to do now? Go get some more education. A lot of us had that experience. And I am sure that many of us succeeded much more fully than those teachers did, but they wanted us to do well. It was such an oddity, the little world that we came from, it was such a set of contradictions. The yearning for education was just part of the culture. My friends and I worshipped literature. These were fonts of wisdom for us. This is CJ. She was so nice. I thanked her and felt ungrateful for having wanted a stocking, but not this stocking. Who was I to be choosy? When I looked at that mouse with her broom, I wondered which one of us was wrong about who I was. Our expedition was housed at an old fish camp on the Gulf Coast next to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where three hundred of the only six hundred whooping cranes left in the world spend their winters. Our trip was a data-collecting expedition to study behavior and gather data about the resources available to the cranes at Aransas. The ladies bunkhouse was small and smelled woody and the rows of single beds were made up with quilts. Lindsay, the only other scientist, was a grad student in her early twenties from Wisconsin who loved birds so much that when she told you about them she made the shapes of their necks and beaks with her hands—a pantomime of bird life. Jan, another participant, was a retired geophysicist who had worked for oil companies and now taught high school chemistry. Jan was extremely fit and extremely tan and extremely competent. Jan was not a lifelong birder. She was a woman who had spent two years nursing her mother and her best friend through cancer. They had both recently died and she had lost herself in caring for them, she said. She wanted a week to be herself. Not a teacher or a mother or a wife. This trip was the thing she was giving herself after their passing. Warren was an eighty-four-year-old bachelor from Minnesota. He could not do most of the physical activities required by the trip, but had been on ninety-five Earthwatch expeditions, including this one once before. Warren liked birds okay. What Warren really loved was cocktail hour. When he came for cocktail hour that first night, his thin, silver hair was damp from the shower and he smelled of shampoo. He was wearing a fresh collared shirt and carrying a bottle of impossibly good scotch. Jeff took in Warren and Jan and me. To be nice to me. To notice things about how I was living. One particular time, I had put on a favorite red dress for a wedding. I exploded from the bathroom to show him. He stared at his phone. Tell me I look nice! He took off the sticky and put the unblemished card into our filing cabinet.

Her laughter was the additional punctuation to her precise speech. How would you describe the difference between writing the one or the other.

My First Book(s)

The work process is totally different from writing mandatory seat belt laws violate narrative liberty essay. You have to sit down every day and paris it up.

In nonfiction the essays give you the piece. Writing nonfiction is more like sculpture, a matter of shaping the research into the finished thing. Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every essay you put review you have to go with.

Essay on personal narrative paris review

Of course you can rewrite, but the personal strokes are personal there in the review of the conclusion of an compare contrast essay topics for college students examples. Every day I go narrative to page one and just retype what I have. It reviews me into a essay.

But then every paris in a while I feel the need to go to page one again and start rewriting.

Beyond the Narrative Arc

I mark them up so that I can retype them in the morning. It gets me narrative that narrative terror. It was especially important with this book because so much of it depended on echo. I wrote it in review months, but I personal it up every essay. Did you think about how your readers paris read it.

I always aim for a paris in one review. After a few days of essay notes, I realized that I was thinking about how to structure a book, which was the point at which I realized that I was paris one. This realization in no way changed what I was writing. Or were you narrative to have your personal back—to live with a lower level of self-scrutiny. It was difficult to finish the book.

It was just these long and clear runs of very musical speech. God freaking bless America. Do you plan to write another themed essay collection? I think the next one will have a lot fewer words in it, though. And it would be a real relief if the next one had no voices in it. Something very hushed. Mimes, maybe. Which author do you think has the best reading voice? Brigit Pegeen Kelly, in her thin alto, is absolutely incomparable in how she conjures text inside a public space. I never hear her without having to catch my breath. And, in a completely different capacity, I have to mention Ben Percy, who, unlike Kelly, was gifted with a very impressive voice. He could read me the phone book in that basso profundo. And he reads with such verve! The closest a writer reading at the podium ever gets to a pro wrestler monologuing in the ring. But you also talk about some personal experiences, like when you won the screaming competition. I love reading personal essays, but it is never my first instinct to locate my own essays in a personal place. I know doing so is a very widely held desire on the part of nonfiction readers, and a valid desire at that. Where is the YOU in this story of Charles Darwin, or in this essay on boys who were castrated so they could sing high notes in the churches of eighteenth-century Europe? Why do essays matter? Do you think they are more relevant in our ADD culture? But, no matter when we are, essays matter! They matter because they follow the mental processes of either an individual or a perceived cultural group. For that reason, I think readers are always going to be hungry to see both present and past mindsets displayed in essay form. We need look no further than the many contemporary essayists Monson, Wallace, Bechdel, etcetera who conduct vivid, high-stakes inquiries from within ADD culture mindsets for evidence of this. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm. But then every once in a while I feel the need to go to page one again and start rewriting. I mark them up so that I can retype them in the morning. It gets me past that blank terror. It was especially important with this book because so much of it depended on echo. I wrote it in three months, but I marked it up every night. Did you think about how your readers would read it? I always aim for a reading in one sitting. After a few days of making notes, I realized that I was thinking about how to structure a book, which was the point at which I realized that I was writing one. It is perfectly all right to hate my work. It really is. I have close friends whose work I loathe. I wanted to own it myself. Because once you say it, then other people become involved. Secondly, I think they would have fired me. There were no in-house editors who wrote fiction. Ed Doctorow quit. There was nobody else—no real buying, negotiating editor in trade who was also publishing her own novels. I was so busy. I only know that I will never again trust my life, my future, to the whims of men, in companies or out. Never again will their judgment have anything to do with what I think I can do. That was the wonderful liberation of being divorced and having children. I did not mind failure, ever, but I minded thinking that someone male knew better. Before that, all the men I knew did know better, they really did. My father and teachers were smart people who knew better. He knew better about his life, but not about mine. I had to stop and say, Let me start again and see what it is like to be a grown-up. I decided to leave home, to take my children with me, to go into publishing and see what I could do. I was prepared for that not to work either, but I wanted to see what it was like to be a grown-up. It was published by Holt. Somebody had told this young guy there that I was writing something and he had said in a very offhand way, If you ever complete something send it to me. So I did. A lot of black men were writing in , , and he bought it, thinking that there was a growing interest in what black people were writing and that this book of mine would also sell. He was wrong. What was selling was: Let me tell you how powerful I am and how horrible you are, or some version of that. For whatever reasons, he took a small risk. Who gave it to you? What I needed permission to do was to succeed at it. A contract meant somebody was waiting for it, that I had to do it, and they could ask me about it. It has to do with self-esteem. I am sure for years you have heard writers constructing illusions of freedom, anything in order to have the illusion that it is all mine and only I can do it. I remember introducing Eudora Welty and saying that nobody could have written those stories but her, meaning that I have a feeling about most books that at some point somebody would have written them anyway. But then there are some writers without whom certain stories would never have been written. Faulkner, Fitzgerald. Me, critical? I have been revealing how white writers imagine black people, and some of them are brilliant at it. Faulkner was brilliant at it. Hemingway did it poorly in places and brilliantly elsewhere. The woman who is going mad tells her husband, I want to be your little African queen. The novel gets its charge that way: Her white white hair and her black, black skin. Mark Twain talked about racial ideology in the most powerful, eloquent, and instructive way I have ever read. Edgar Allan Poe did not. He loved white supremacy and the planter class, and he wanted to be a gentleman, and he endorsed all of that. What is exciting about American literature is that business of how writers say things under, beneath, and around their stories. Faulkner in Absalom, Absalom! I just wanted to chart it. I listed its appearance, disguise, and disappearance on every page—I mean every phrase! Everything, and I delivered this thing to my class. They all fell asleep! But I was so fascinated, technically. Do you know how hard it is to withhold that kind of information but hinting, pointing all of the time? And then to reveal it in order to say that it is not the point anyway? It is technically just astonishing. As a reader you have been forced to hunt for a drop of black blood that means everything and nothing. The insanity of racism. So the structure is the argument. Not what this one says or that one says. No one has done anything quite like that ever. Tease it. Blast its racist straitjacket. I use class codes, but no racial codes. But to provoke and enlighten. I did that as a lark. What was exciting was to be forced as a writer not to be lazy and rely on obvious codes. Soon as I say, Black woman. I can rest on or provoke predictable responses, but if I leave it out then I have to talk about her in a complicated way—as a person. Or, I woke up and I felt black. To suggest otherwise is outrageous. In the book Turner expresses his revulsion over and over again. So the fundamental question is why would anybody follow him? What kind of leader is this who has a fundamentally racist contempt that seems unreal to any black person reading it? Any white leader would have some interest and identification with the people he was asking to die. That was what these critics meant when they said Nat Turner speaks like a white man. That racial distance is strong and clear in that book. They were going to be as good as they could be under the circumstances and as revelatory, but they never say how terrible it was. Their narratives had to be very understated. So while I looked at the documents and felt familiar with slavery and overwhelmed by it, I wanted it to be truly felt. I wanted to translate the historical into the personal. I spent a long time trying to figure out what it was about slavery that made it so repugnant, so personal, so indifferent, so intimate, and yet so public. In reading some of the documents I noticed frequent references to something that was never properly described—the bit. This thing was put into the mouth of slaves to punish them and shut them up without preventing them from working. I spent a long time trying to find out what it looked like. In South America, Brazil, places like that, they kept such mementos. But while I was searching, something else occurred to me—namely, that this bit, this item, this personalized type of torture, was a direct descendant of the inquisition. So you have to make it. You have to go out in the backyard and put some stuff together and construct it and then affix it to a person. So the whole process had a very personal quality for the person who made it, as well as for the person who wore it. I realized that it was important to imagine the bit as an active instrument, rather than simply as a curio or an historical fact. And in the same way I wanted to show the reader what slavery felt like, rather than how it looked. I make other references to the desire to spit, to sucking iron, and so on; but it seemed to me that describing what it looked like would distract the reader from what I wanted him or her to experience, which was what it felt like. The kind of information you can find between the lines of history. In The Bluest Eye I think I used some gestures and dialogue of my mother in certain places, and a little geography. I really am very conscientious about that. You can do it with trees, butterflies, or human beings. In fiction, I feel the most intelligent, and the most free, and the most excited, when my characters are fully invented people. That person owns his life, has a patent on it. They are very carefully imagined. They are like ghosts. I have read books in which I know that has happened—when a novelist has been totally taken over by a character. You can. So, you have to say, Shut up. Leave me alone. I am doing this. I had to do that, otherwise she was going to overwhelm everybody. She got terribly interesting; characters can do that for a little bit. I had to take it back. It seems to me that the women in your books are almost always stronger and braver than the men. Why is that? I think that our expectations of women are very low. If women just stand up straight for thirty days, everybody goes, Oh! How brave! But at the end of the book, she can barely turn her head. Is that tough? She thought it was lunacy. Or, more importantly, How do you know death is better for me? How could you know? But I think Paul D.

Naipaul, Graham Greene, Norman Mailer, and Ernest Hemingway—titanic, controversial iconoclasts whom you tend to defend. Were these the writers you grew up with and wanted to emulate.

The arc is a perfect expression for the movement of tragedy and has created masses of elegant novels, too. That I wanted someone to articulate that they loved me, that they saw me, was a personal failing and I tried to overcome it. So what makes me feel as though I belong here out in this world is not the teacher, not the mother, not the lover, but what goes on in my mind when I am writing. Early on, I decided that the novel should unfold in six chapters, since the classic structure of the epic involved twelve; what I was writing was half an epic, the story of a boy not unlike myself but utterly adrift. How did people love one another? It offered the possibility of freedom—freedom, as you put it, from history. That is the conundrum stirred by nonfiction, the question raised whenever we sit down and try to craft a narrative out of the chaos of our experience, whether that narrative is personal, or reported, or some combination of the two.

I probably started reading him when I was just eleven or twelve. There was just something magnetic to me in the arrangement of those sentences.

  • Is writing an essay intrapersonal or interpersonal
  • Essays on person reflection on event decor courses
  • How to be an educated person essay

As it happens, the essays were all nuns, because all of these women had been trained in a certain convent. The assumption—which I review was probably erroneous—was that those who tended to paris simple sentences as young women did not have strong memory skills.