Mary Karr — The Master of Memoir on Creative Process and Finding Gifts in the Suffering (#479)

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For me, the solution to fear is interest and existence. I cant be terrified and curious at the same time.
— Mary Karr

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Mary Karr (@marykarrlit) is the author of 3 award-winning, successful memoirs: The Liars Club, Cherry, and Lit. She is likewise the author of The Art of Memoir, which lays bare her own procedure as she breaks down the craft of narrative, and Tropic of Squalor, her newest volume of poetry.

A Guggenheim fellow in poetry, Karr has actually won Pushcart Prizes for both verse and essays. Other grants include the Whiting Award, PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and a Radcliffe/Bunting Institute Fellowship. Karr is also the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.

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Syracuse University.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr.

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Want to hear another episode with a writer who isnt scared to comfort the disrupted and interrupt the comfy? Listen to my discussion with Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk in which we go over keeping surface stress in a story, making people faint with words, the restorative application of hazardous writing, cross-cultural expeditions of folklore, and a lot more.


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Lit: A Memoir (P.S.) by Mary Karr.


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Mary elaborates on an exceptional, real-life illustration of why she ended up being a memoirist sharing her life maturing in what she calls “The Ringworm Belt.”
What does Mary consider to be the catalyst for expressing herself in the way she does and publishing it to the world? 06:59
On the function that checking out played for young Mary.
What was the sensation that elicited Marys desire to end up being a poet when she was five or six years of ages– even though she d never ever satisfied one?
” Art should comfort the disrupted and interrupt the comfortable” appears to be graffiti artist Banksys 21st-century adaptation of the Cesar A. Cruz 1997 poem title “To Comfort The Disturbed, and to Disturb the Comfortable: Onward Children of the Sun,” which was apparently modified from humorist Finley Peter Dunnes 1902 sarcastic media critique that mentioned: “Th paper … comforts th affected, affects th comfy.”
As a high school dropout, how did Mary weasel her method into college, and what was it about the environment that turned her from somebody who got a D in art her senior year to an A trainee in college? 17:57
How Mary, even after leaving the place where she d gone through a lot injury, brought the darkness with her wherever she went.
With as much as 1,200 applications sent for 12 positions, how is it chose who gets into Marys hyper-selective graduate workshop at Syracuse University? 26:06
What does the first day of this class appear like, and what is it created to illustrate about the method we process the memories that construct our memoirs? 29:10
Another efficient, memorable exercise: making a note of lovely pieces of language one might come across in a commonplace book, and possibly assisting others in need keep an eye out for door number 3 when the very first 2 appear needlessly rash. 35:02
Having grown up in an atheistic home, what is the value and energy of prayer in Marys life today? What part did it play in helping her preserve sobriety?
Now Catholic, what do the Ignatian exercises imply to Mary? How do they help her remain mindful of the daily experiences for which shes grateful– like the feeling she gets from seeing Steve Kornacki providing election updates on MSNBC?
Required Texas speak about weapons and hunting. 58:49
In what kind of forge did Marys unique wordsmithing come to be?
On outlines, the procedure of revision, and using previous memories for storytelling grist. 1:10:22
When dredging up previous memories hurts and draining, what does Mary do to cope with it all, and why does blogging about it seem to be such a different experience from expressing it in some other way?
At 65, why does Mary feel the happiest shes ever been, and what suggestions would she give her more youthful self about therapy?
What kind of treatment has been most effective for Mary (and whats been the least)? 1:26:04
Marys solution to fear, and how making it through an uneasy time can be like having a technique knee or trying to quit cigarette smoking. 1:30:16
We do not constantly recognize the gifts were offered by suffering through frustrating and challenging times till long after the fact. 1:35:37
What would Marys billboard say? 1:44:19
Parting ideas.

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What was the feeling that generated Marys desire to end up being a poet when she was 5 or six years old– even though she d never ever met one? As a high school dropout, how did Mary weasel her way into college, and what was it about the environment that turned her from somebody who got a D in art her senior year to an A trainee in college? With up to 1,200 applications sent for 12 positions, how is it chose who gets into Marys hyper-selective graduate seminar at Syracuse University? When dredging up past memories is agonizing and draining, what does Mary do to cope with it all, and why does writing about it seem to be such a various experience from expressing it in some other method? Marys solution to fear, and how getting through an uncomfortable time can be like having a trick knee or attempting to give up smoking.


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