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Not 'bearing' in that sense; 'bearing' in the navigational sense: the memoir is steering toward soul.
And you call yourself a pedant.
There seem to be at least three different books catalogued on LT with titles like The compass of the soul - didn't check if any of them are memoirs.
...and a little Googling reveals a 19th century American hymn that starts
Then again, it could have been a typo: see Sole-bearing fantasy shoe exhibition
It's a neologism. A bear, in stock market jargon, is one who is pessimistic about the value of the market. The NYT constructs soul-bear by analogy and uses it as a verb to describe memoirs that make one pessimistic about the value of souls. Quite an act of linguistic inventiveness!
...and this page confirms that soul-bearing is quantifiable. It's measured in octaves, so it's clearly a ratio of some sort.
Ha! An ex of mine, who had been through a divorce, also had to transfer the house ownership back into his name. The letter he received from his solicitors solemnly informed him that the house was now in his "soul name". Aaaargh!
In his soul name... throws up all sorts of implications for ownership post-mortem, Beetlejuice style.
Soul-bearings: all those little things that go round and round and smooth the passage of your soul as it rolls along its path through life. A soul-bearing memoir is obviously an account of the little things that made your life easier.
You people! It's just a simple typo. It is supposed to be 'baring' (to bare: to expose). Sole-baring.
(just don't inspect the url too closely. I googled it, ok?)
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