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Autobiography: A Very Short Introduction

Laura Marcus

July 2018

ISBN: 9780199669240

168 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

Very Short Introductions

Price: £7.99

Autobiography is one of the most popular of written forms. Laura Marcus defines what autobiographies are, considering their relationship with similar literary forms, and analysing the core themes in autobiographical writing. She also discusses how autobiography offers the most fundamental accounts of what it means to be a self in the world.

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Autobiography is one of the most popular of written forms. Laura Marcus defines what autobiographies are, considering their relationship with similar literary forms, and analysing the core themes in autobiographical writing. She also discusses how autobiography offers the most fundamental accounts of what it means to be a self in the world.

  • Defines what autobiographies are, and considers their relationship with similar literary forms such as memoirs, journals, letters, diaries, and essays
  • Discusses how this form of writing provides literary critics, philosophers, historians and psychologists with an understanding of the ways in which past lives have been lived
  • Analyses how autobiography offers the most fundamental accounts of what it means to be a self in the world
  • Considers the core themes in autobiographical writing, such as confession, romanticism, and family relationships
  • Explores the ways in which fiction and autobiography have shaped each other.
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over nine million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Laura Marcus, Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature and Fellow of New College, Oxford

Laura Marcus is Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature and Fellow of New College at Oxford. She is also a Fellow of the British Academy. Marcus has published widely on nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and culture, with books on autobiography, Virginia Woolf, modernist writing and literature and film. Her publications in the field of life-writing include Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice (Manchester Univerity Press, 1994), and numerous essays on autobiography and biography.

Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1: Confession, Conversion, Testimony
    2: The Journeying Self
    3: Autobiographical Consciousness
    4: Autobiography and psychoanalysis
    5: Family Histories and the Autobiography of Childhood
    6: Public Selves
    7: Self-portraiture, photography and performance
    References
    Further Reading
    Index