University of Hertfordshire

" A word-web woven": autobiography in old English poetry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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  • G. Holderness
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
JournalE-rea: Revue électronique d’études sur le monde anglophone
Journal publication date2007
Volume5
Issue1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Abstract

Today Philippe Lejeune's concise definition of “autobiography” raises many problems of ontology, psychology and gender. Terms such as “real person”, “own existence”, “development of (…) personality” could no longer be so innocently employed. Nor would it be legitimate to imply, if only grammatically, that autobiographical interest belongs “naturally” to masculine gender (see for example Marcus, and Stanley). Lejeune himself acknowledged the limitations of the definition, noting for instance that fictional narratives as well as factual ones can be autobiographic. He insisted on only one qualifying condition for autobiographical discourse: there must be “identity between the author, the narrator, and the protagonist”(193). The writer must be telling his/her own story about him/herself. [opening paragraph]

Notes

E-rea is an “Open Access” journal as specified on the revues.org platform and as defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), in that users shall have the right to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link” to the full texts of articles. No charge is levied for contributing to or for consulting the journal.

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