About Confessions in Third Person

Conceived as an experiment in literary non-fiction, Confessions in Third Person is a cumulative anthology of prose. Based on personal experiences, feelings, and thoughts, the series was intended to systematically document a collection of personal writings that aim to be at once cerebral and emotional, self-indulgent and self-deprecating.

Despite the autobiographical nature of each piece, all are written in the form of a third person narrative. This rule was established not only to comprehensively unite this body of work, but also to make room for a detached critique of the self, in which introspection can exist as an internal dialogue. The writer disembodies herself from her person — perhaps simultaneously, perhaps after a long interval — in order to better evaluate herself. The act of confession is, after all, an act of reflection; the word ‘reflection’ suggests looking into a mirror that could display the causes and implications of one’s behaviour, and the consideration of all potential outcomes and alternative possibilities. As such, the third person narrative serves as a necessary bifurcation of the self, allowing the writer to deepen her understanding of her psyche.

Berny Tan