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Look Inside The Language of Autobiography

The Language of Autobiography
Studies in the First Person Singular


  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521131636

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • The urge to autobiography reveals itself every day, in the stories we tell about ourselves. Literary autobiography is the most highly developed form of this universal activity of self-promotion, a kind of writing practised in the west over many centuries. In this major study of the western tradition, John Sturrock analyses the means by which more than twenty of the greatest literary autobiographers have gone about their task. The book concentrates on the productive tension between the writer's will to singularity and the autobiographical act itself, which restores by conventional and rhetorical means the harmony between the writer and a community of readers. By attending closely and sceptically to the truth-claims made by autobiographers from Augustine through Rousseau and Darwin to Sartre and Michel Leiris, Sturrock establishes some of the deep, hidden continuities of autobiographical writing, and shows how artful and self-conscious this supposedly most sincere of literary genres can be.

    • Major book by well-known author (his other books include Structuralism and Since (ed.), 1980, and translations of Proust).
    • Accessibly written book covering a range of widely read texts.
    • Major study on literary autobiography with this focus and coverage.
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521131636
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Augustine
    2. A case to answer
    3. By force of nature
    4. The historiography of self
    5. Rousseau
    6. Subject to revision
    7. The representative mind
    8. The attraction of style
    9. Leiris

  • Author

    John Sturrock

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