A memoir is a literary genre which consists of a collection of memories that a person writes about events or moments related both to his/her private and public context. Originally, a memoir has been classified as a branch of biography or autobiography. However, in the late 20th century, this genre has been recognised as a differentiated literary form. Indeed, a biography or autobiography outlines the story of a person life, while a memoir tells a story from a life. The author of a memoir is known as memories or memorialist.
Memoirs date back to the ancient time, to the period of Julius Caesar, author of the ‘Commentarii de Bello Gallico’. In his, work Caesar outlines the battles against the Gallic. As well as this, Caesar wrote another memoir the ‘Commentarii de Bello Civili’ which outlines the events which took place between the 49 and 48 BC.
Also in the Middle age and during the Enlightenment period memoirs have been important with authors such as Geoffrey of Villehardouin, Jean de Joinville, and Philippe de Commines.
During the 1990s, memoirs written by ordinary people started disappearing, due to new opportunities and the technological development. However, with the development of digital books in the 21st century, memoirs started to become very important focusing above all on the history of families.
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