Recent Articles on Psychology, Personal Writing, and Storytelling
Recently my husband and I saw a news story about a WW II veteran who had died recently. His grandson googled him and discovered that the soldier had won a medal for bravery that his family, even his wife, knew nothing about. This reminded me of a conversation that came up in my book group several years ago. Many baby boomer children said that their fathers who had served in WW II never talked about their experiences, even when specifically asked.
These facts suddenly fell into place when I came upon Jane Brody’s New York Times article about moral injury:
No doubt in the course of your life, you did something, or failed to do something, that left you feeling guilty or ashamed. What if that something was in such violation of your moral compass that you felt unable to forgive yourself, undeserving of happiness, perhaps even unfit to live? …
For some veterans, this leaves emotional wounds that time refuses to heal. It radically changes them and how they deal with the world. It has a name: moral injury. Unlike a better known casualty of war, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, moral injury is not yet a recognized psychiatric diagnosis, although the harm it inflicts is as bad if not worse.
Brody discusses a new documentary film called Almost Sunrise that “depicts the emotional agony and self-destructive aftermath of moral injury and follows two sufferers along a path that alleviates their psychic distress and offers hope for eventual recovery.”
Anyone who engages in autobiographical writing of any kind has to deal with the issue of whether to write about events that will adversely affect other people, particularly family members. In this piece a woman blogger describes why she continues to publish autobiographical essays on her blog:
The best writing comes from challenging life scenarios. It’s during times of struggle and duress that the captivating stories of life are forged from pain and gripping emotions. To an artist, this is a gold mine.
She concludes with “my lessons learned from writing about things my family didn’t want me to write about.”
If you’re like me, you enjoy good TV shows whose episodes tell a good story through deep, complex characterization in addition to engaging plot turns. Here, actors from five shows discuss all this:
“These are our novels,“ says “Ray Donovan” star Liev Schreiber of the quality of current television programming. And who can argue? With the depth and complexity of characters being written today, it’s storytelling at its finest – so let’s all gather around the new Tolstoy, shall we? Schreiber wasn’t alone in marveling at the intricacies of modern plotting. He was joined in a conversation with The Envelope by fellow actors Tom Hiddleston (“The Night Manager”), Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife“), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and Jean Smart (“Fargo”) to talk about character development, changing roles for women, and remembering what it is your character doesn’t know.
© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown