Donald Murray: all writing is autobiography reading response

In this writing piece the author, Donald Murray, tries to convey the idea that all writing is autobiographical. In first person point of view, he goes on explaining how most of his writing has hints of his life by providing poems of his as examples. He started off this reading by making a very interesting statement, that whatever he is writing be it nonfiction to a newspaper column, he is the same person writing on his desk. This point he made really stuck out to me because it was a very good fact to point to help him explain his message and reflects on the type of mindset he as. The author later goes on describing his experiences with adulthood, suffering and death. He specifically mentioned his experience with taking care of his brother in law as he was slowly dying of cancer. As a reader you may ask yourself why the author is talking about his experiences in his life, and that can be explained by his statement saying how he wrote and writes for therapy and how writing autobiography is his way of making meaning of his life. I, as the reader, can infer from this knowledge that the author puts a little bit of his life in each of his works because he wants to bring significance to the life his is leading and writing, unconsciously makes him remember his childhood, his past experiences, leading him to write it on paper.

Even after reading this piece and taking in the points the author makes, I couldn’t help but disagree with his argument. Based on the various books and pieces of writings I’ve read, a writers work can be the complete opposite of the authors life. There are many people who write in order to escape reality or let their wildest of imaginations loose into a story. People write about things they deem impossible to ever experience and no matter if consciously or unconsciously, the writer will put some of their personality in the piece because it is their work. That doesn’t mean automatically mean it is a autobiography because a autobiography is a piece about the authors life. For these reasons I have to disagree with the author that all writing is autobiography.

1 Comment

  1. Rebekah Coleman

    Catherine, I like the inferences that you make about the piece and how you look closely at Murray’s argument. I really love how you disagree with him and explain why. I think the examples you provide are very interesting. I would love for you to discuss with us as a class more why you think not all your writing in particular is autobiographical. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *