Xue Er De -Fen Library

American Literature

Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography by G. Thomas Couser

By G. Thomas Couser

This paintings explores the "authority" of autobiography in numerous similar senses: first, the concept autobiography is authoritative writing since it is most likely verifiable; moment, the concept one's existence is one's specific textual area; 3rd, the concept that, due to the obvious congruence among the implicit ideology of the style and that of the country, autobiography has a distinct status in the United States. conscious of the new reviews of the thought of autobiography as issuing from, decided by way of, or bearing on a pre-existing self, Couser examines the ways that the authority of specific texts is named into question--for instance, simply because they contain pseudonymity (Mark Twain), the revision of a most likely spontaneous shape (Mary Chesnut's Civil warfare "diaries"), bilingual authorship (Richard Rodriguez and Maxine Hong Kingston), collaborative creation (Black Elk), or outright fraud (Clifford Irving's "autobiography" of Howard Hughes). Couser examines either the way canonical autobiographers may perhaps playfully and purposely undermine their very own narrative authority and how within which minority writers' regulate in their lives will be compromised. Autobiography, then, is portrayed the following as an area during which contributors fight for self-possession and self-expression opposed to the restrictions of language, style, and society.

Show description

Read or Download Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography PDF

Similar american literature books

Nexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, Book 3)

Nexus, the final booklet of Henry Miller's epic trilogy The Rosy Crucifixion, is greatly thought of to be one of many landmarks of yank fiction.

In it, Miller vividly recollects his a long time as a down-and-out author in long island urban, his pals, mistresses, and the bizarre conditions of his eventful existence.

After thirty Falls: New Essays on John Berryman (DQR Studies in Literature)

Prefaced via an account of the early days of Berryman reports by means of bibliographer and student Richard J. Kelly, "After thirty Falls" is the 1st choice of essays to be released at the American poet John Berryman (1914-1972) in over a decade. The publication seeks to impress new curiosity during this vital determine with a gaggle of unique essays and value determinations via students from eire, the uk, Hong Kong, and the U.S..

Sports, Narrative, and Nation in the Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Studies in Major Literary Authors)

This research examines the ways in which F. Scott Fitzgerald portrayed prepared spectator activities as operating to aid constitution ideologies of sophistication, group, and nationhood. Situating the learn within the panorama of past due nineteenth/early twentieth-century American activity tradition, bankruptcy One indicates how narratives of attending ballgames, interpreting or hearing activities media, and being a ‘fan,’ domesticate groups of spectatorship.

A Companion to American Fiction 1865-1914

A spouse to American Fiction, 1865-1914 is a groundbreaking number of essays written via best critics for a large viewers of students, scholars, and basic readers. a really broad-ranging and available spouse to the examine of yankee fiction of the post-civil warfare interval and the early 20th century Brings jointly 29 essays via most sensible students, each one of which offers a synthesis of the simplest learn and gives an unique standpoint Divided into sections on old traditions and genres, contexts and issues, and significant authors Covers a mix of canonical and the non-canonical issues, authors, literatures, and important methods Explores cutting edge issues, akin to ecological literature and ecocriticism, children’s literature, and the impact of Darwin on fictionContent: bankruptcy 1 The perform and merchandising of yank Literary Realism (pages 15–34): Nancy GlazenerChapter 2 pleasure and cognizance within the Romance culture (pages 35–52): William J.

Additional info for Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography

Example text

One way of reading it is to determine what is "wild or deceitful" in it (and hence the significance of its untruth) by scrutinizing its iconic function and comparing it with its indexical one—a strategy not demanded, or permitted, by most other genres. Of course, it is not always easy—nor is it enough—to do so. As we have seen in the prologue, it is quite possible for a counterfeit autobiography to pass itself off not only as an accurate icon but as an authentic index of its subject; neither its (Dietrich-derived) style nor errors in reference gave Irving's hoax away.

The people thus left behind them a testamentary trust that has something of the character of a sacred text" (255). With a very different 32 ALTERED EGOS implication—the demystification of authorship—recent theory has suggested that all writing momentarily incarnates its author: an "author" is brought into existence by an utterance, and is thus its effect, rather than its cause. While this may not be disturbing when said of lyric poetry or the novel—utterances long construed as issuing from person ae not necessarily identical with their creators—it may be unsettling when said of the Constitution or of an autobiography—texts we imagine to have greater authority than that of fiction or poetry, and a more stable relation to historical events.

The people thus left behind them a testamentary trust that has something of the character of a sacred text" (255). With a very different 32 ALTERED EGOS implication—the demystification of authorship—recent theory has suggested that all writing momentarily incarnates its author: an "author" is brought into existence by an utterance, and is thus its effect, rather than its cause. While this may not be disturbing when said of lyric poetry or the novel—utterances long construed as issuing from person ae not necessarily identical with their creators—it may be unsettling when said of the Constitution or of an autobiography—texts we imagine to have greater authority than that of fiction or poetry, and a more stable relation to historical events.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.53 of 5 – based on 35 votes