The first is an excerpt from Gertrude Stein's Everybody's Autobiography that has a vastly different style from anything we have seen in class and would certainly be fun to edit (if it needed it).
It is funny this knowing being a genius, everything is funny. And
identity is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself
to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course
you do not believe yourself. That is really the trouble with an
autobiography you do not of course you do not really believe
yourself why should you, you know so well so very well that it is not
yourself, it could not be yourself because you cannot remember
right and if you do remember right it does not sound right and of
course it does not sound right because it is not right. You are of
course never yourself.
This passage, besides being hilarious, really made me think how challenging it would be to analyze and maintain the style while editing.
The second thing that I came across was the idea of Autobiographical Truth, which relates back to our discussion that we had on James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. This isn't really related to editing at all, but I found it enlightening and wanted to share. Smith and Watson refer to autobiography as "an intersubjective truth" that requires the reader to bend their version of truth while reading. Although I don't think they would necessarily agree that purposely altering truth for the purpose of selling more novels is an ethical decision, they do state that, "any utterance in an autobiographical text, even if inaccurate or distorted, characterizes its writer." Food for thought.