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The Culture of autobiography : constructions of self-representation

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  • "Long neglected by critics and theorists, though not by readers, autobiography is now beginning to receive the critical attention it deserves. Diverse tendencies in recent critical and cultural theory, from the use of linguistic and rhetorical models to an opposed emphasis on "reality," have combined to give autobiography a new importance. The ten essays in this collection address from different vantage points the larger problems posed by the form and the question of its institutional and cultural marginality. Delving into the history, theory, and practice of autobiography, the essays address such current concerns as women's writings, minority autobiography, and non-Western writing. After the editor's Introduction, which, among other things, traces the history of the term "autobiography," John Sturrock investigates the relationship between autobiographers and theorists. Utilizing insights from anthropology, psychology, philosophy, sociology, law, portraiture, and speech acts, Jerome Bruner explores how autobiography comes into being. Julia Watson considers autobiographies that test canonical notions by countering the "bios bias," and surveys recent theories of autobiography, notably those by a variety of feminists. Linda H. Peterson's essay appraises the historical canon of women's autobiography as it was constructed in the nineteenth century. The next three papers, which deal with specific autobiographers, focus on relations between the autobiographer and some "other." Lindon Barrett scrutinizes the institutional other of the court of law as reflected in the autobiography of the ex-slave Lucy Delaney. Using the test case of the pseudonymous Ramon Gonzales, Genaro M. Padilla questions the way sociologists have constructed the narratives of anonymous Mexican immigrants to the United States through oral autobiographies. Barbara D. Metcalf examines the Mecca pilgrimage narrative of the highly westernized Mumtaz Mufti as a way of showing the conventions of Islamic self-representation. Like these three essays, Roger J. Porter's contribution deals with a relatively unknown figure, and reads the artist and suicide Benjamin Robert Haydon in terms of Romantic concepts of the artist and the autobiographical tradition of Rousseau. Ronald Paulson, the biographer of Hogarth, analyzes both Hogarth's autobiography and the self-representations in his art. Ranging from Augustine to Roland Barthes, the editor concludes the book by focusing on the moment when the autobiographer sees himself or herself as other."

  • "Autobiografia"
  • "Aufsatzsammlung"
  • "Biografia"

  • "The Culture of autobiography : constructions of self-representation"
  • "The Culture of autobiography constructions of self-representation"
  • "The culture of autobiography : constructions of self-representation"