I Remember  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

I Remember (Angel Hair, 1970) is a memoir by American artist and writer Joe Brainard. It radically departs from the conventions of the traditional memoir. It is neither chronological nor thematic; rather, each sentence begins “I remember…” and is followed by a single memory delivered with uniform weight and declaration. His deft juxtapositions of the banal with the revelatory, the very particular with the seemingly universal accumulate into a complex portrait of his childhood in the 40s and 50s in Oklahoma as well as his life as an artist and gay man in the 60s and 70s in New York City.

I Remember has inspired many homages, none more notable than OuLiPian Georges Perec’s Je me souviens which was dedicated to Brainard. Poet Kenneth Koch was the first to utilize “I remember…” in the classroom as a prompt in teaching children to write poetry. The simplicity of the form has had great appeal to both writers and teachers, and most who use it are unaware of its origins.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "I Remember" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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