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Since the release of Prince Harry’s memoir earlier this week, there’s been much discussion surrounding what is accurate in Spare.
Some facts are clearly wrong—for example, he said he was at Eton when he found out about the death of his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, when he was documented to be on a ski trip with his brother, Prince William, and father, King Charles, at the time.
In response to the debates swirling around the accuracy of Spare, Prince Harry’s ghostwriter, J. R. Moehringer, took to Twitter to seemingly subtweet the discussion, sharing a series of quotes.
He posted three quotes from Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir. In one, Karr writes, “The line between memory and fact is blurry, between interpretation and fact. There are inadvertent mistakes of those kinds out the wazoo.” In another, Karr writes, “Neurologist Jonathan Mink, MD, explained to me that with such intense memories as David’s, we often record the emotion alone, all detail blurred into unreadable smear.”
Moehringer also posted quotes from Spare, including this passage about memory: “Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory, it does what it does, gathers and curates as it sees fit, and there’s just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts. Things like chronology and cause and effect are often just fables we tell ourselves about the past.” And this one: “Landscape, geography, architecture, that’s how my memory rolls. Dates? Sorry, I’ll need to look them up. Dialogue? I’ll try my best, but make no verbatim claims, especially when it comes to the ’90s.”
The writer also retweeted a bunch of praise of Spare, including tweeters defending how Harry remembers events.
In the acknowledgements of Spare, Harry specifically thanks Moehringer. He writes, “Thanks to my collaborator and friend, confessor and sometime sparring partner, J. R. Moehringer, who spoke to me so often and with such deep conviction about the beauty (and sacred obligation) of memoir.”
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