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Extra info for The Crying of Lot 49
The focus, in the chapters on 12 It is worth noting here that the chapter on the woman Hellman calls 'Julia' which was later made into a film, has caused some controversy. Muriel Gardiner Buttinger has come forward explaining that her life matches in detail what Hellman describes as the life of her childhood friend Julia, but Buttinger claims she never met Hellman. See William Wright, Lillian Hellman: The Image, the Woman (London: Sigdwick and Jackson 1987), pp. 402-412. Hellman's memoirs have been fiercly criticised for lack of accuracy and fictionalisation of events by a number of people, for instance Martha Gellhorn and Mary McCarthy, but for some reason not until many years after their publication.
45. 42 Borderlines revision constantly through different periods in our lives and revision, of course, is activated when people write on their past. 'The light behind' her and the difficulty in getting it to illuminate properly past events is one of the themes of Hellman's autobiographical works. The comments she adds are small additions to the text and do not give completely different versions of events, as is the case in Perec's text. Her questioning of the past is an integral part of the text from the start.
Memory and the Autobiographical Process 27 tells one exactly how things were and in the sense that it can never be 'completed'. That is also why Hellman includes more notes on the texts in the later edition. The reader feels closer to the events in reading the diary entries, they seem to invite the reader to be present to the past. But time, distance, remembering and rewriting all offer if not quite another version of events, then at least a different interpretation and analysis of what was important and what was not.