To Begin to Know: Resolving ethical tensions in David Leser’s patriographical work

Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
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Mediating Memory: Tracing the Limits of Memoir, 2018, pp. 237 - 250
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Resolving the binary oppositions of loyalty/betrayal and privacy/shared ownership frequently problematizes the practice of those writers producing patriographical/matriographical texts. David Leser is an award-winning journalist, one of Australia's most prolific profile and feature writers. He has worked as a Middle East and Washington DC correspondent, and as feature writer for the Murdoch, Packer and Fairfax organizations. David Leser's professional writing career spans decades so he is familiar with the forms and audiences shaping and driving the publication industry. Reflecting on the therapeutic nature of writing memoir, Leser decides in the end that the reading of books/the act of reading books can be just as therapeutic. There are few moments where a memoirist can escape the interconnectivity between their own story and the story of another - the assertion of their own voice while simultaneously considering the possible violation of someone else's privacy. And of course, an ethical memoirist gives due consideration to harm minimization.
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