By James Olney

ISBN-10: 0691616264

ISBN-13: 9780691616261

Professor Olney gathers jointly during this publication the superior and most crucial writings on autobiography produced long ago decades.

Originally released in 1980.

The Princeton Legacy Library makes use of the most recent print-on-demand expertise to back make on hand formerly out-of-print books from the celebrated backlist of Princeton collage Press. those paperback variations look after the unique texts of those vital books whereas providing them in sturdy paperback variants. The target of the Princeton Legacy Library is to enormously bring up entry to the wealthy scholarly historical past present in the hundreds of thousands of books released by way of Princeton college Press considering that its founding in 1905.

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Extra info for Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical

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I do not believe so, but I do think that the direction taken in the performances of structuralist, poststructuralist, and deconstructionist critics is a revealing one, for, however much they talk about genre or linguistics or deep-lying structures, what they are still troubling about is the self and consciousness or knowledge of it, even though in a kind of bravura way some of them may be deny­ ing rather than affirming its reality or its possibility. And this is the crux of the matter, the heart of the explanation for the special ap­ peal of autobiography to students of literature in recent times: it is a fascination with the self and its profound, its endless mysteries and, accompanying that fascination, an anxiety about the self, an anxiety about the dimness and vulnerability of that entity that no one has ever seen or touched or tasted (unless perhaps G.

If the student of autobiography is, as I believe, a vicarious autobiographer, he does not want, indeed cannot allow, the work to be whole, complete, finished, and closed. Not until he abandons his autobiography— giving up his autos, his bios, and thegraphe (which is in the reading as well as the writing) that unites and brings the autos and the bios to being—can he ever assent to that eventuality. " Conditions and Limits of Autobiography Georges Gusdorf Translated by James Olney Autobiography is a solidly established literary genre, its history traceable in a series of masterpieces from the Confessions of St.

Prior to the refocusing from bios to autos there had been a rather naive threefold assumption about the writing of an autobiography: first, that the bios of autobiography could only signify "the course of a lifetime" or at least a significant portion of a lifetime; second, that the autobiographer could narrate his life in a manner at least approaching an objective historical account and make of that inter­ nal subject a text existing in the external world; and third, that there was nothing problematical about the autos, no agonizing questions of identity, self-definition, self-existence, or self-deception—at least none the reader need attend to—and therefore the fact that the individual was himself narrating the story of himself had no trou­ bling philosophical, psychological, literary, or historical implica­ tions.

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Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical by James Olney


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