Welcome to the Center for Autobiographic Studies (CAS) website. CAS is a not-for-profit educational organization since 1997, dedicated to promoting the knowledge, appreciation, creation and preservation of autobiographic works. These works may be written for self-understanding, for preserving family and cultural history, or for pooling wisdom gained from diverse individuals’ life experiences.
Here, you will find updates about the most current happenings at CAS and you will find helpful information about writing and/or publishing your autobiographic writing. We thank you for your interest and welcome your comments and participation.
New blog by Tristine Rainer on Instant Memoir, PTSD, and Trauma
We can transform our past as a gesture of faith in the future. —Tristine Rainer
For the past decade, subsequent to publishing Your Life as Story, I have been interested in developing a form of instant memoir, a new form of diary writing that incorporates the narrative structure of memoir with the immediacy of journal writing. A cross between diary and memoir that offers the benefits of both. In Your Life as Story I distinguished between diary and memoir this way: “the difference between diary and autobiography is that elusive partner in the process, time. The diarist writes from an ever-moving present. Autobiographic writing is written from a later point in time, in retrospect. The autobiographic writer, to a far greater extent than the diarist, re-members the past to find within it thematic continuity and coherent meaning.”
What if, I’ve been asking myself, one could write significant episodes, particularly traumatic ones, without waiting for the alchemy of Wordsworth’s “emotion recollected in tranquility?” What if, … Read the rest