By James Olney
Professor Olney gathers jointly during this e-book the superior and most crucial writings on autobiography produced long ago decades.
Originally released in 1980.
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Extra info for Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical
The historic personage now appears, and biography, taking its place alongside monuments, inscriptions, statues, is one manifesta tion of his desire to endure in men's memory. Famous men— heroes and princes—acquire a sort of literary and pedagogical im mortality in those exemplary "Lives" written for the edification of future centuries. But biography, which is thus established as a literary genre, pro vides only an exterior presentation of great persons, reviewed and corrected by the demands of propaganda and by the general sense of the age.
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. Au gustine to Gide's Si Ie grain ne meurt, with Rousseau's Confessions, Goethe's Dichtung und Wahrheit, Chateaubriand's Memoires d'outre tombe, and Newman's Apologia in between.
Au gustine to Gide's Si Ie grain ne meurt, with Rousseau's Confessions, Goethe's Dichtung und Wahrheit, Chateaubriand's Memoires d'outre tombe, and Newman's Apologia in between. Many great men, and even some not so great—heads of government or generals, minis ters of state, explorers, businessmen—have devoted the leisure time of their old age to editing "Memoirs," which have found an atten tive reading public from generation to generation. Autobiography exists, unquestionably and in fine state; it is covered by that rever ential rule that protects hallowed things, so that calling it into ques tion might well seem rather foolish.
Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical by James Olney