I learned from Salman Rushdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton, that it is somewhat less egotistical, perhaps more literary, and certainly more unusual to refer to oneself in the third person singular than to constantly place oneself in the “I” of the story. To refer to oneself in the second person plural, as in “We did such and such,” is too biblical, and certainly pretentious. In the case of my own memoir (to be published in the next century), you’ll read that “He did this and that,” and he hopes he hasn’t lost you by the end of the first page. Maybe he should use a pseudonym also.
If you think the above is just too weird for words, do yourself a huge favor and read “Joseph Anton.” By page 10, you’ll wish there were at least double the 600 or so pages left to read. By page 15, you’ll learn what great writing is all about and why Rushdie is a great writer. By page 20, you’ll learn how and why Rushdie lives under the threat of death – the fatwa. By page 25, you’ll learn how Islam became one of the world’s great religions. And by page 30, you’ll learn to put off food, sleep, sex, and other stuff just so you can keep on reading.
He is a great writer. I mean he - as in him, not me. What a book. He means, what a memoir! (You know what he means.)