The video below of a TED talk given by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman is a must-watch for all memoir writers. In this talk Kahneman, psychologist and inventor of the field of behavioral economics, describes how hard it is to study happiness.
A moment in time lasts about three seconds. The average person has over 600 million of these and remembers only a tiny fraction of them. This person can be called the “experiencing self.” What memoirists attempt, it seems to me, is to use the “remembering self,” which makes memories out of beginnings, peak moments, and endings, to recapture enough of the experiencing self so that some of those millions of erased moments can come back–and we get to live twice. Both selves are made stronger by a good memoir. Do you buy this thesis? What is your response to the fascinating video below?