The Cambridge Companion to Autobiography offers a historical overview of the genre from the foundational works of Augustine, Montaigne, and Rousseau through the great autobiographies of the Romantic, Victorian, and modern eras. Sixteen essays from distinguished scholars and critics explore the diverse forms, audiences, styles, and motives of life writings traditionally classified under the rubric of autobiography. Chapters are arranged in chronological order and are grouped to reflect changing views of the psychological status, representative character, and moral authority of the autobiographical text. The volume closes with a group portrait of late-modernist and contemporary autobiographies that, by blurring the dividing line between fiction and non-fiction, expand our understanding of the genre. Accessibly written and comprehensive in scope, the volume will appeal especially to students and teachers of non-fiction narrative, creative writing, and literature more broadly.
Maria DiBattista is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She has written extensively on modern literature and film, and her books include First Love: The Affections of Modern Fiction; Fast Talking Dames, a study of American film comedy of the thirties and forties; Imagining Virginia Woolf: An Experiment in Critical Biography; and Novel Characters: A Genealogy. Emily O. Wittman, Associate Professor of English at the University of Alabama, has published widely on literary modernism, translation studies and autobiography. She is co-editor (with Maria DiBattista) of Modernism and Autobiography (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and co-translator (with Chet Wiener) of Felix Guattari's Soft Subversions: Texts and Interviews, 1977-1985 (2009).
Introduction Maria DiBattista and Emily O. Wittman; Part I. Foundations: 1. Augustine Adam Becker; 2. Medieval European autobiography John Fleming; 3. Montaigne Lawrence Kriztman; 4. Rousseau Eli Friedlander; Part II. Consolidations: 5. Romantic autobiography Frances Wilson; 6. Victorian autobiography Deborah Nord; 7. American autobiography Robert Sayre; Part III. Deflections: 8. Kierkegaard/Nietzsche Alistair Hannay; 9. Pessoa Alfred MacAdam; 10. Gide/Genet Jean-Michel Rabate; Part IV. Prisms: 11. Nabokov Leland de la Durante; 12. African American autobiography Trudier Harris; 13. Holocaust memoirs Michael Bernard-Donals; 14. Women's autobiographies Maria DiBattista; 15. The 'new' memoir Patrick Madden; 16. Creative non-fiction Mary Cappello.
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