Poetics of the Literary Self-Portrait

Critical Writing
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Year: 
1991
ISBN: 
9780814711545
0814711545
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Abstract (in English): 

The literary self-portrait is a genre struggling with its own identity and its place in the general body of Western literature. Contributors to this particular literary form include St. Augustine, Bacon, Montaigne, Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Barthes; the works, according to author Michel Beaujour, do not know how to designate themselves. Are they a valid form of written communication or are they a solipsistic exercise of little use to the reading community? Is the self-portrait merely a form of autobiography? Beaujour considers these questions and explores the self-portrait in careful detail, tracing its development from the Confessions, to the Essais, to its most recent manifestations in the 20th century.

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Pål Alvsaker