Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms [2 vols., 1 ed.] 157958232X, 9781579582326

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Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms [2 vols., 1 ed.]
 157958232X, 9781579582326

Table of contents :
Dedication
Contents
Editor’s Note
Board of Advisers
Contributors
Alphabetical List of Entries
Thematic List: Entries by Category
Encyclopedia of Life Writing
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
Index
Notes on Advisers and Contributors

Citation preview

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIFE WRITING Edited by Margaretta Jolly

Encyclopedia of Life Writing Autobiographical and Biographical Forms

Edited by Margaretta Jolly

ISBN 978-1-57958-232-6

,!7IB5H9-ficdcg! www.routledge.com  an informa business

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encyclopedia of

Life Writing Autobiographical and Biographical Forms

Volume 1

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encyclopedia of

Life Writing Autobiographical and Biographical Forms

Volume 1 A–K Editor Margaretta Jolly

FITZROY DEARBORN PUBLISHERS london · chicago

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Copyright © 2001 by fitzroy dearborn publishers All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. For information write to: fitzroy dearborn publishers 919 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 760 Chicago, Illinois 60611 USA or 310 Regent Street London w1b 3ax England

British Library and Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data are available ISBN 1–57958–232–x

First published in the USA and UK 2001 Typeset by Regent Typesetting, London Printed and bound by Edwards Brothers Cover design by Hybert Design Cover illustration: M.C. Escher’s Drawing Hands © 2001 Cordon Art B.V., Baarn, Holland. All rights reserved.

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To my parents

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CONTENTS

Editor’s Note Board of Advisers Contributors

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ix xiii xv

Alphabetical List of Entries

xix

Thematic List: Entries by Category

xxv

Encyclopedia of Life Writing, A–K

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Aims, Scope, and Selection of Entries The writing of lives is an ancient and ubiquitous practice. Biographies have been important as genealogical, religious, and didactic forms since the start of recorded literature. Autobiography, diaries, and personal letters have been widespread since the 18th century. But in the postmodern era the story of a life has seemed to demand explanation in a new way. As the individualism unleashed by capitalism cracks and reshapes in the fire of globalization and the communications revolution, a literature that foregrounds the shape of a single life and its span seems to focus the anxieties of the age. Life writing is now being explored in literary criticism, anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, theology, cultural studies, and even the biological sciences in order to explain an apparent dissolution of life into story. Just as busy is the investigation into our continuing need for stories that confirm or reinvent a reference to lived experience. The academic imagination has been galvanized by the challenges this has offered to its own epistemological traditions and by the democratizing of knowledge that life writing so charismatically represents. As the first encyclopedia to provide a map of the field across discipline and region, this book reflects the excitement and idealism that characterises its scholarship. But a word of warning must be offered to those who expect any final definition of its topic. While the conception of any encyclopedia involves a measure of foolhardy ambition, the hope of describing fully a subject of such celebrated ambiguity and disciplinary iconoclasm is certainly vain. In fact, it would not only be undesirable but also impossible to offer a final account of this immense and protean literature, that some might argue encompasses virtually all forms of narrative. This book rather aims to provide a guide to a fast-changing terrain, which adopts a historical and reflexive approach to definition. The term “life writing” itself, recorded in the 18th century, and gaining wide academic acceptance since the 1980s, has been chosen for the title because of its openness and inclusiveness across genre, and because it encompasses the writing of one’s own or another’s life. (Readers will also find the term “auto/biography” used frequently by contributors as a convenient way of indicating a scope that is both autobiographical and biographical.) On this basis, it is also appropriate to shelter under life writing’s umbrella several entries on life story originating outside of the written form, including testimony, artifacts, reminiscence, personal narrative, visual arts, photography, film, oral history, and so forth. Within these terms, the aims of the book are four-fold: to offer an overview of its central genres and themes; to provide international and historical perspective through accounts of life writing traditions and trends from around the world, from Classical times to the present; to summarise the significance of outstanding individual writers and works in the field; and to reflect the main social, political, religious, and academic contexts in ix

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which life writing is fertilized and analysed. A particularly important feature is the focus on life writing in popular and everyday genres and contexts – from celebrity and royal biography to working-class autobiography, letter writing, interviews, and gossip. There has also been a special effort to map non-Western interests in the field and to promote comparative approaches that give nuance to over-easy generalisations that can be made about autobiography as a Western genre. The entries on life writing in relation to world religions and religious contexts is one response to this. A variety of disciplinary approaches has also been encouraged – from an experimental psychologist on “Children’s Life Writing” to a literary critic on “Childhood and Life Writing”. In this regard, the entries should be read as critical essays as well as sources of reference, very often written with the personal engagement characteristic of the study of life writing. They reflect the rich diversity of terms in the debate, while a number of entries trace the course of the different disciplines that have led the enquiry into life writing, as well as examine the history of life-writing theory and criticism within and without the academy. The crucial influence of Women’s Studies, Cultural Studies, African-American, and Postcolonial Studies has also prompted the inclusion of entries on political contexts that have inspired life writing, for example “Disability and Life Writing”, “Lesbian and Gay Life Writing”, “Trauma”, and “Testimony”. The selection of entries was made by the editor in consultation with the Advisers (listed on page xiii) and the Commissioning Editor, Mark Hawkins-Dady. The entries were originally conceived of within five flexible working categories: (1) genres, (2) common themes in life writings, (3) contexts and criticism, (4) regional surveys, and (5) writers and works. It should be noted that in the latter category, there are more autobiographers than biographers, diary, letter or travel writers. This is in part because the study of autobiography is the most long-standing and sophisticated branch of analysis in the field; but in the case of biography, it is also for pragmatic reasons, to keep the criteria for inclusion the form and the skill in the writing – rather than the fame of the life recounted, which often governs perceptions of biography. An effort to balance the emphasis on autobiography, however, has guided the regional and historical surveys, which often cover biography and the less canonical genres of letter and diary writing. Finally, there are many aspects of this wide-ranging field, not to mention regions of the world, where lifewriting scholarship remains in its infancy, or has yet to emerge. In this respect and in general, it is hoped that the Encyclopedia will be read as an indication of, and inspiration for, work still to be done.

Arrangement of the Entries Entries appear in alphabetical order, and a complete list can be found in the “Alphabetical List of Entries” (p. xix). There are other means of access to the contents of the Encyclopedia, as follows: 1. Thematic List (p. xxv). This provides the reader with classifications of the entries, according to chronological, regional, and subject areas. The categories therefore often, and intentionally, overlap: for example, the 18th-century Afro-British slave writer Olaudah Equiano appears in the “18th Century”, “Africa and the Middle East”, “Britain and Ireland”, “United States and Canada”, “Social and Political Contexts”, and “Writers” categories.

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2. Cross References. At the end of many of the entries on topics and themes there are See also references to other relevant entries of a similar type. 3. Index (p. 983). This gives page numbers for proper names, titles, and selected key life-writing terms. This index is intended to be particularly useful for (a) locating coverage of individuals who do not have their own entries, and (b) locating titles of life-writing works when the author is not known or remembered by the reader.

Format within Entries All entries contain a signed descriptive and critical essay, and a list of “Further Reading”. Each entry on an individual writer also contains a biographical sketch of the entrant (primarily known facts rather than commentary) and a list of “Selected Writings” by that individual, which gives – in chronological order of publication – those works considered as life writings, including English translations where appropriate. Frequently there are more items in “Selected Writings” than are discussed in the accompanying essay. This is because the essayist’s aim was to highlight important or representative works, while the “Selected Writings” list was intended to be as reasonably comprehensive as possible within the generic boundaries. Dates attached to the titles of books and articles are generally their first known publications, usually in book form; occasionally dates are those of composition, normally indicated as such. In the essays, where an English-language translation is known to exist for a foreignlanguage work, this is given in parentheses after the date of the original work, in the following manner: … Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée (1958; Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter) Where no published translation has been located or verified, the essayist has very often provided – and especially for non-Western European languages – a literal translation, in square brackets and without italic, for example: … Istoriia moego znakomstva s Gogolem [1855; A History of My Acquaintance with Gogol] …

Acknowledgements This project has grown out of so many hands, minds, and hearts, that befitting acknowledgement would require another volume in itself. However, in the space available, I would like first to offer my thanks to the distinguished Board of Advisers who so kindly guided the book. The editor is extremely grateful for their insights and support for a project that in some ways was an unknown quantity. My special thanks must go to Craig Howes, Philippe Lejeune, and Julia Watson who consistently and generously supported a tome as capacious and capricious as Virginia Woolf said a diary should be. Zhao Baisheng added an invaluable contribution with his vision of auto/biography studies in China. Their humour and enthusiasm were very much appreciated. I would also like to thank the nearly 400 scholars who contributed to the book, whose imagination and

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patience with the collaborative process went far beyond the call of duty. My thanks also to the Mass-Observation Archive at the University of Sussex. This unique collection of life writings is run by a uniquely supportive group of women, whose Director, Dorothy Sheridan, not only offered help as an Adviser but took me on as Honorary Research Fellow for the duration of the Encyclopedia’s construction. The years of intellectual stimulation and practical help I have received from Dorothy and her colleagues are much treasured. I also offer thanks to the School of Cultural and Community Studies at the University of Sussex and the School of English at the University of Exeter, which provided me with warm and congenial academic environments within which to work. Working with Alistair Thomson at the Centre for Continuing Education was another delight at Sussex. Many thanks to him and to the Brighton Women’s Workers’ Educational Association, with whom I learned so much about life history work. I would also like to acknowledge Jenny Bourne Taylor and Treva Broughton, inspirational supervisors of my studies in the field, along with Julia Swindells, who started me off on the prickly trail of autobiography before I know what is was. I thank her for a timely prod regarding the politics of encyclopedia-making. Thanks must also be given to Lydia Fakundiny at Cornell University who found a moment at the very beginning of the project to encourage a young stranger. I owe heartfelt thanks to the freelance editorial staff whose work is so crucial to any book of this nature: Delia Gaze (editorial compilation); Martha Bremser, Delia Gaze, and Richard Shaw (copy editing); Caroline Howlett and Cathy Johns (research); Caroline Howlett and Alison Worthington (proofreading); Patrick Heenan (indexing); Nina Bunton and Helena Lyons (text preparation); as well as to Daniel Kirkpatrick at the FDP London office. Finally, an immeasurable thank-you to my Commissioning Editor, Mark Hawkins-Dady. His unfailing calm, humour, judgement, and above all his light-handed, scholarly touch have made this work a joy to do. Margaretta Jolly University of Exeter

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BOARD OF ADVISERS

Janet Altman University of Iowa

Françoise Lionnet University of California – Los Angeles

William L. Andrews University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Laura Marcus University of Sussex

Gillian Beer Clare Hall, University of Cambridge

Brian Matthews Europe–Australia Institute, Victoria University

Rosi Braidotti University of Utrecht

James Olney Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge

Treva Broughton University of York

Alessandro Portelli University of Rome – La Sapienza

Jerome S. Bruner New York University

Dwight F. Reynolds University of California – Santa Barbara

Patrick Chabal King’s College, University of London

Shoichi Saeki University of Tokyo

A.O.J. Cockshut formerly University of Oxford

Minoli Salgado University of Sussex

Denise De Caries Narain University of Sussex Paul John Eakin Indiana University – Bloomington

Dorothy Sheridan Mass-Observation Archive, University of Sussex

James D. Fernández New York University

Michael Sheringham Royal Holloway, University of London

George Gömöri University of Cambridge

Sidonie Smith University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Graham Good University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Verity Smith Honorary Research Fellow, Queen Mary, University of London

Jane Gary Harris University of Pittsburgh

Patricia M. Spacks University of Virginia – Charlottesville

Craig Howes Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawaii

Julia Swindells Homerton College, University of Cambridge

Maggie Humm University of North London

Alistair Thomson University of Sussex

Niels Lyhne Jensen Aarhus University

Julia Watson Ohio State University

Philippe Lejeune Université Paris-Nord

Zhao Baisheng Peking University xiii

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CONTRIBUTORS

Helen M. Buss Pierre Cachia Alex Calder Angus Calder Robert Carballo Brycchan Carey Kimberly K. Carter-Cram Lynn A. Casmier-Paz Jane Chamberlain Roopa Chauhan Gail Chester Julie Chiu Mary Marshall Clark John C. Clarke Albrecht Classen Christine Cloud A.O.J. Cockshut Julie F. Codell Ampie Coetzee Lesley Coia Richard Collins Christy Collis Kay Cook Kevin L. Cope Ian Copestake Rachel Cottam Judith Lütge Coullie G. Thomas Couser Sarah A. Cox Ralph J. Crane Cheryl Cowdy Crawford Sylvie Crinquand Ivan Crozier Christopher Cunneen Joan Curbet Rosamund Dalziell Martin A. Danahay Tony Davenport William De Genaro Odine de Guzman Paulo De Medeiros Charles De Paolo Massimiliano Demata Paul W. DePasquale G.N. Devy

Gabriel E. Abad Peter Abbs Edward A. Abramson Stephen M. Adams Timothy Dow Adams Tony E. Afejuku Doris Aichholzer Laurie Aikman Deborah Lee Ames Kristine J. Anderson Andrew J. Angyal A.B. Apana R. Victoria Arana Katherine A. Armstrong Katherine Ashley Jennifer Ashton Marina Balina John D. Barbour Andrew Barratt Justyna Beinek Alana Bell Edith J. Benkov Philip E. Bennett Betty Ann Bergland Josie Billington Abigail Burnham Bloom Lynn Z. Bloom Tonya Blowers Jens Kristian L. Boll Drummond Bone Mandakranta Bose Janet Bottoms David Boughey Anne L. Bower Michael P. Branch Bernard Bray Anette Bremer Mary F. Brewer Jens Brockmeier Bella Brodzki Ralph W. Buechler Pérette-Cécile Buffaria Rosemarie Buikema John J. Burke Jr Raymond L. Burt xv

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contributors

Dian Li Hilary Dickinson Mark Dinneen Risa Domb Lisa Dresdner David L. Dudley Ay¸se Durakba¸sa Isabel Durán Andrew R. Durkin Patricia Dutton Jennifer V. Ebbeler Grace Ebron Sarah M. Edwards Rainer Emig Susan Engel Michael Erben Wendy Everett J.K. Fairless Lydia Fakundiny Rena Feld John Ferns Ian Finseth Joachim Fischer James Fitzmaurice Jorge Fondebrider Richard Freadman Robert S. Freeman Traci Freeman Stacy Gillis Leigh Gilmore Rainer H. Goetz Vesna Goldsworthy George Gömöri Katherine R. Goodman Katie Gramich Johnnie Gratton Helena Grice Larry D. Griffin Margaret Morganroth Gullette Bonnie J. Gunzenhauser Garry L. Hagberg Seán Hand Michael Hanne Lynne Hapgood Barbara Harlow Jerry Harp Jane Gary Harris Jennifer Harrison Jason Haslam Evelyn J. Hawthorne Charlotte Heinritz Gabriele Helms María Henríquez Betancor Gregor Hens Jean-Pierre V.M. Hérubel H.P. Heseltine Nick Hewlett Kevin M. Hickey Jeremy Hicks Colin Hill

Lynda Hill Carole Hillenbrand Ruth Hoberman Janis Butler Holm Margaret Homberger Joy Hooton Julia Horne Alfred Hornung Louise K. Horowitz Mark Houlahan Craig Howes Robert Hubbard Nick Hubble David Huddart Cynthia Huff Eamonn Hughes Edward J. Hughes Celia Hunt Emilia V. Ilieva Susan Ireland Anna Iuso Ann Jefferson Carol Jenkins Niels Lyhne Jensen Mary Joannou Laurie R. Johnson Alison Jolly Margaretta Jolly Angela D. Jones Lawrence Jones Steven L. Jones Marlene Kadar Andrzej Karcz Eva C. Karpinski Joanne B. Karpinski Debra Kelly Lionel Kelly Michelle Keown Ian Ker David Kilpatrick Hilary Kilpatrick Patricia Grace King James Kirwan Mark Knight Wulf Koepke Sharon Krummel Peter Kulchyski Udaya Kumar Par Kumaraswami Ioanna Laliotou Jordan Lancaster Kristin M. Langellier Phyllis Lassner John Laudun Maria Lauret Benjamin Nicholas Lawrance Jid Lee A. Robert Lee Lim Beng Choo Clary Loisel

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contributors

Barbara Lounsberry Richard D. McGhee Lisa McNee Sue McPherson Laurent Mailhot Dominic Manganiello Marvin Howard Marcus Michael Mascuch Adeline Masquelier Andrew Maunder Sarah Meer Ildikó Melis Marsha Meskimmon John Milloy Irene Morra Fatma Moussa-Mahmoud Alun Munslow Sara E. Murphy Chris Murray Stefan Neuhaus Judie Newman Thengani H. Ngwenya Irina Novikova Amira Hassan Nowaira Jamey Nye George O’Brien Kathleen M. O’Connell Sybil Oldfield Barry N. Olshen Barbara Onslow Melek Ortabasi Norman Page Benjamin Paloff Ruth Panofsky Kenneth Paradis Pushpa Naidu Parekh Catherine N. Parke Adele Parker David Parker Margaret Parmenter Patrick Parrinder James Robert Payne Ann Pearson John D. Perivolaris Jason R. Peters Andrea Peterson Jan Pilditch Mary Ellen Pitts Kristina Popova David A. Powell Julian Preece C.A. Prettiman Luca Prono Jay Prosser Patrice J. Proulx Patrick J.M. Quinn Vincent Quinn Roland Racevskis Patricia Rae Paramjit Rai

Bryony Randall Pallavi Rastogi Deborah E. Reed-Danahay Verna Reid Dwight Fletcher Reynolds Velma Bourgeois Richmond Christopher Ringrose Daniel Sanjiv Roberts Clara Rocha Jennifer C. Rodgers Carl Rollyson José Romera Castillo J.P. Roos John R. Rosenberg Anna Rotkirch Anira Rowanchild Linda Haverty Rugg Anita Rupprecht Nirmala S. Salgado Valerie Sanders Richard K. Sanderson Angie Sandhu Natalie Sandomirsky Gerlinde Ulm Sanford Elizabeth D. Schafer Kay Schaffer Joseph Schaller Ulrich Schmid Steven Schneider William Todd Schultz Shlomit C. Schuster Eiji Sekine Dongfang Shao W. David Shaw Michael Sheringham Alvin F. Sherman Jr Kristi Siegel Catherine Silverstone James T. Simmons Myron Simon Urmilla Sinha Anne M. Skabarnicki Joseph T. Skerrett Jr Vieda Skultans Alexandra Smith Thomas R. Smith Verity Smith Alvin Snider Madeleine Sorapure Noel Stanley Blandine Stefanson Rebecca Steinitz Eugene Stelzig Malynne M. Sternstein Nongpath Sternstein Derrick Stone Paul D. Streufert Tridip Suhrud Debra Taylor Richard C. Taylor

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contributors

Bogusia Temple Judy Nolte Temple Harald Tersch Winfried Thielmann Roger K. Thomas Lynda M. Thompson Ann Thwaite D.J. Trela Susan Tridgell Alison Truelove Robin Valenza Sabine Vanacker Phiroze Vasunia Donald Phillip Verene Alex Vernon Sue Vice Andrés Villagrá Amber Vogel Karin Voth Harman Peter Wagstaff Wang Dun

George Wasserman C.W. Watson Julia Watson Diane Watt Barbara Frey Waxman Wendy Webster David N. Wells Marie Wells James Whitlark Gillian Whitlock John R. Whittaker Sonia Wichmann Caroline Elizabeth Wiebe Min Wild Kari J. Winter Tom Woodin Wu Pei-yi Michael W. Young Stephenie A. Young Ulises J. Zevallos Aguilar Zhao Baisheng

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ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ENTRIES

Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Australia: 20th-Century Life Writing Australia: Indigenous Life Writing Australian Dictionary of Biography Authenticity Authority Autobiography: General Survey Autobiography and Biography: Their Relationship Autobiography and the Essay Autobiography and Poetry Autoethnography Autofiction Avvakum

VOLUME 1 Abélard, Peter and Héloïse Adams, Henry Addams, Jane Adolescence and Life Writing Africa: North Africa: East Africa: Southern Africa: West and Central (Francophone) Africa: Oral Life Stories Africa: European Exploration and Travel Writings Africa: Auto/biographical Fiction Africa: Autobiographical Poetry African American Life Writing Age and Life Writing Agee, James Agency Aksakov, Sergei Akutagawa, Ry®nosuke Alfieri, Vittorio American Civil War Writings Amiel, Henri-Frédéric Andersch, Alfred Angelou, Maya Anthropology and Life Writing Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Life Writings Apologias Arabic Autobiography Arabic Biography Arabic Travel Writing Archives Arenas, Reinaldo Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von Artifacts and Life Writing Asian American Life Writing Aubrey, John Augustine, Saint Aung San Suu Kyi Aurelius, Marcus Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Auto/biography

Bâ, Amadou Hampâté Barnet, Miguel Barnum, P.T. Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Barthes, Roland Bashkirtseff, Marie Bashπ Beauvoir, Simone de Behan, Brendan Benjamin, Walter Bernhard, Thomas Bethlen, Miklós The Bible The Bildungsroman Biographical Dictionaries Biographie universelle; Dictionnaire de biographie française Biography: General Survey Biography and Fiction Biography and History Biography and Poetry Black Elk Blixen, Karen The Body and Life Writing Boswell, James Brandes, Georg Brazil Breytenbach, Breyten xix

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alphabetical list of entries

Britain: Medieval Life Writing Britain: Medieval Letters Britain: Renaissance Life Writing Britain: 17th-Century Life Writing Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Auto/biography Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Britain: Romanticism and Life Writing Britain: Travel, Exploration, and Imperialism Britain: 19th-Century Auto/biography Britain: 19th-Century Diaries Britain: 19th-Century Letters Britain: 20th-Century Auto/biography Britain: 20th-Century Diaries Britain: 20th-Century Letters Brittain, Vera Buddhism and Life Writing Bulgaria Bunyan, John Burney, Frances [Fanny] Business Auto/biography Byron, George, Lord Canada: Auto/biography to 1900 Canada: Diaries and Letters to 1900 Canada: 20th-Century Auto/biography Canada: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Canada: French Canadian Life Writing Canada: Aboriginal Life Writing Canetti, Elias Caribbean: Anglophone Caribbean: Francophone Carlyle, Thomas Carossa, Hans Carr, Emily Casanova, Giovanni Giacomo Case Histories Cavendish, Margaret [Duchess of Newcastle] Celebrity Autobiography Celebrity and Popular Biography Cellini, Benvenuto Censorship and Life Writing Charke, Charlotte Chateaubriand Chaudhuri, Nirad Chesnut, Mary Boykin Chesterfield, Earl of Chesterton, G.K. Childhood and Life Writing Children’s Life Writing China: to the 19th Century China: 19th Century to 1949 China: 1949 to the Present Christianity and Life Writing Churchill, Winston Cicero Classical Greece and Rome Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Colette

Collaborative Autobiography Collective Lives Computers and Life Writing Conduct Books Confessions Confucianism and Life Writing Conversations, Dialogues, and Table Talk Conversion and Turning Points Conway, Jill Ker Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Criminal Autobiography Criminal Biography Crisp, Quentin Criticism and Theory: 16th to 18th Centuries Criticism and Theory: Romanticism and the 19th Century Criticism and Theory: 1900 to 1950s Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Structuralism and Poststructuralism Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Feminism Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Postcolonialism Croce, Benedetto Czech and Slovak Life Writing Dante Alighieri Darwin, Charles Das, Kamala De Quincey, Thomas Denmark Déry, Tibor Diaries and Journals: General Survey Díaz del Castillo, Bernal Dictionary of American Biography Dictionary of Canadian Biography / Dictionnaire biographique du Canada Dictionary of National Biography Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Diderot, Denis Dillard, Annie Disability and Life Writing Döblin, Alfred Dolgorukaia, Natali’ia Dostoevskii, Fedor Douglass, Frederick Drama and Life Writing Du Bois, W.E.B. Duras, Marguerite Eckermann, Johann Edel, Leon Edmond, Lauris Edwards, Jonathan Elegies Ellmann, Richard Emerson, Ralph Waldo Epistolary Fiction Epistolary Poetry Epitaphs Equiano, Olaudah

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alphabetical list of entries

Erasmus, Desiderius Ethics Ethnicity, Race, and Life Writing Ethnography Evelyn, John Ewald, Johannes Exemplary and Model Lives Exploration Writings Facey, A.B. Family Relations and Life Writing Fatherhood and Life Writing Film Finland Fontane, Theodor Fontenelle, Bernard de Fox, George Frame, Janet France: Medieval Life Writing France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Memoirs France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 18th-Century Autobiography France: 19th-Century Auto/biography France: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 20th-Century Auto/biography France: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Frank, Anne Franklin, Benjamin Freud, Sigmund Frisch, Max Froude, J.A. Gandhi, Mohandas [“Mahatma”] García Márquez, Gabriel Garibaldi, Giuseppe Gaskell, Elizabeth Gatheru, Mugo Gaulle, Charles de Gender and Life Writing Genealogy Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Auto/biography Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Romanticism and Life Writing Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Auto/biography Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 20th-Century Life Writing al-Ghazƒl¡ Gibbon, Edward Gide, André Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Ginzburg, Evgeniia

Ginzburg, Lidiia Ginzburg, Natalia Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Goldman, Emma Goldoni, Carlo Goldschmidt, Meïr Gombrowicz, Witold Goncourt, Edmond and Jules Gordimer, Nadine Gor’kii, Maksim Gosse, Edmund Gossip Gottsched, Luise Goytisolo, Juan Gozzi, Carlo Gramsci, Antonio Graves, Robert Greece, Modern Green, Julien Grillparzer, Franz Grove, Frederick Philip Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Guo Moruo Hagiography Hakluyt, Richard Handbooks and Guides Havel, Václav Hazlitt, William Hebbel, Christian Friedrich Heiberg, Johanne Luise Heine, Heinrich Hellman, Lillian Herder, Johann Gottfried Herling-Grudzinski, ´ Gustaw Herzen, Aleksandr Hinduism and Life Writing Hispanic American Life Writing Historiography Hitler, Adolf Hoffman, Eva Holberg, Ludvig Holocaust Writings Horne, Donald Hu Shi Hughes, Langston Hume, David Hungary Hurston, Zora Neale Huxley, T.H. The I-Novel Identity Illness and Life Writing Immigration Writings, American Indian Subcontinent: Early Life Writing Indian Subcontinent: Autobiography to 1947 Indian Subcontinent: Auto/biography 1947 to the Present Individualism and Life Writing

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alphabetical list of entries

Indonesia and the Malay World Insanity and Life Writing Interviews Ireland Isherwood, Christopher Islam and Life Writing Israeli and Modern Hebrew Life Writing Italy: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 19th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 20th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Jacobs, Harriet James, Alice James, Henry Jameson, Anna Brownell Japan: Heian Period (800–1200) Japan: Medieval Period (1200–1600) Japan: Tokugawa / Edo Period (1600–1868) Japan: Kindai Period (1868–1945) Japan: Modern Period (1945 to the Present) Jesus, Carolina Maria de Jewish American Life Writing Johnson, Samuel Jørgensen, Johannes Journalism and Magazines Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Judaism and Life Writing Jünger, Ernst Jung, C.G. Jung Chang Kafka, Franz Kallas, Aino Kassák, Lajos Kazantzakis, Nikos Kazin, Alfred Keats, John Keller, Helen Kempe, Margery Kepler, Johannes Kierkegaard, Søren Kilvert, Francis Kincaid, Jamaica Kingsley, Mary Kingston, Maxine Hong Kipling, Rudyard Korea Kuzwayo, Ellen

VOLUME 2 Latin America: 15th to 18th Centuries Latvia Leduc, Violette Leiris, Michel

Leonora Christina Leopardi, Giacomo Lesbian and Gay Life Writing Lessing, Doris Letters: General Survey Levi, Carlo Levi, Primo Lévi-Strauss, Claude Lewis, C.S. Liang Qichao Lionheart Gal Lister, Anne Literary Autobiography Literary Biography Lockhart, John Lorde, Audre Loss, Bereavement, and Life Writing Love, Sexuality, and Life Writing Loyola, Saint Ignatius of Lu Xun Luthuli, Chief Albert Luxemburg, Rosa McCarthy, Mary Malcolm X Malraux, André Mandela, Nelson Mandel’shtam, Nadezhda Mandel’shtam, Osip Mann, Heinrich Martin, Claire Martineau, Harriet Maximilian I Medical Autobiography Mehta, Ved Memoirs Memory Menchú, Rigoberta Mesonero Romanos, Ramón de Migration, Diaspora, and Life Writing Military Autobiography Mill, John Stuart Mi≠osz, Czes≠aw Mishima Yukio Mock and Parodic Life Writings Momaday, N. Scott Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley Montaigne, Michel de Moodie, Susanna Morgan, Sally Morris, Jan Motherhood and Life Writing Motivation Mphahlele, Es’kia [Ezekiel] Muir, Edwin Munby, Arthur and Hannah Cullwick Murasaki Shikibu Musical Autobiography Musical Biography

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alphabetical list of entries

Nabokov, Vladimir Naidu, Sarojini Naipaul, V.S. Narayan, R.K. Narrative National Identity and Life Writing Native American Life Writing Nature, the Environment, and Life Writing Nature Writings, American Nehru, Jawaharlal Neruda, Pablo Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) Neue Deutsche Biographie New Biography New Zealand and Polynesia: 19th Century New Zealand and Polynesia: 20th Century New Zealand and Polynesia: Indigenous Life Writing Newman, John Henry Nexø, Martin Andersen Ngugi wa Thiong’o Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn Nietzsche, Friedrich Nin, Anaïs Norway Obituaries O’Brien, George O’Casey, Sean Odinga, Oginga Oehlenschläger, Adam Old Age and Life Writing Oliphant, Margaret Ondaatje, Michael Oral History Orality Orwell, George Osborne, Dorothy Ouyang Xiu Päätalo, Kalle Park, Mungo Park, Ruth Pasek, Jan Pavese, Cesare Pedagogy and Life Writing Pellico, Silvio Pepys, Samuel Perec, Georges Pérez de Guzmán, Fernán Perón, Eva Personal Narrative Petrarch Pfalz, Liselotte von der The Philippines Philosophical Autobiography Philosophy and Life Writing Photography Picaresque Novel Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American

Plessen, Elisabeth Pliny the Younger Plutarch Poland Politics and Life Writing Poniatowska, Elena Porter, Hal Portugal: Autobiography Portugal: Diaries and Letters Prison Writings Proust, Marcel Psychology and Life Writing Reconciliation and Life Writing Recovery, Healing, and Life Writing Religious Autobiography Religious Biography Reminiscence and Life Story Repentance and Life Writing Revelation and Life Writing Rhys, Jean Richelieu, Cardinal, Duc de Rilke, Rainer Maria Rodríguez, Richard Rolland, Romain Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Rowlandson, Mary Roy, Gabrielle Royal Biography Ruskin, John Russia: to 1700 Russia: 18th Century Russia: 19th Century to Revolution Russia: Revolution to the Present al-Sa‘dƒw¡, Nawƒl Sahgal, Nayantara Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de Saint-Simon Sancho, Ignatius Sand, George Sargeson, Frank Sarraute, Nathalie Sartre, Jean-Paul Sassoon, Siegfried Sayers, Peig Scandal Scholarship, Academia, and Autobiography Scholarship, Academia, and Biography Schweitzer, Albert Science and Life Writing Scientific Autobiography Scotland Seacole, Mary The Self Semprún, Jorge Seuse, Heinrich Sévigné, Madame de Sexuality and Life Writing Shame and Life Writing

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Shen Fu Shimazaki Tπson Shklovskii, Viktor Sima Qian Slave Narratives Social Class and Life Writing Sociology and Life Writing Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Sorabji, Cornelia Sound Recording and Life Writing Soyinka, Wole Spain: to 1700 Spain: 18th and 19th Centuries Spain: 20th Century Spanish America: 19th Century Spanish America: 20th-Century Autobiography Spanish America: Indigenous Life Writing Spiritual Autobiography Sporting Auto/biography Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Steedman, Carolyn Stein, Gertrude Stendhal Stevenson, Robert Louis Strachey, Lytton Strindberg, August Success and Life Writing Suetonius Suicide and Life Writing Suleri, Sara Survival and Life Writing Sweden Symons, A.J.A. Szász, Béla Széchenyi, István Tagore, Rabindranath Tƒhƒ Husayn Tawf¡q al-Hak¡m Television and Life Story Teresa of Avila, Saint Testimony Thailand Thompson, Flora Thoreau, Henry David Time Tocqueville, Alexis de Toller, Ernst Tolstoi, Lev Tone, Wolfe Torres Villaroel, Diego de Traill, Catharine Parr Trauma and Life Writing Travel Diaries, Journals, Log Books Travel Narratives Tsvetaeva, Marina Turkey Twain, Mark

United States: 16th- and 17th-Century Life Writing United States: 18th-Century Auto/biography United States: 18th-Century Diaries and Letters United States: 19th-Century Auto/biography United States: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters United States: 20th-Century Auto/biography United States: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Usƒma ibn Munqidh Varnhagen, Rahel Levin Vas, István Vasari, Giorgio Velluti, Donato Vico, Giambattista Vietnam War Writings Visual Arts and Life Writing Vivekananda, Swami Voltaire Wales Walpole, Horace Walton, Izaak War Diaries and Journals War Letters Washington, Booker T. Weiss, Peter Wells, H.G. Wesley, John Wharton, Edith White, Patrick Whitman, Walt Who’s Who Wieland, Christoph Martin Wiesel, Elie Wilde, Oscar Wolf, Christa Women’s Autobiographies Women’s Biographies Women’s Diaries and Journals Women’s Letters Woodforde, James Woolf, Virginia Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, William Working-Class Writings World War I Writings World War II Writings Wright, Richard Xie Bingying Yeats, W.B. Yu Dafu Yugoslavia and Former Yugoslav Territories Zorilla y Moral, José Zoshchenko, Mikhail Zuckmayer, Carl

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THEMATIC LIST Entries by Category

C HRONOLOGICAL Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Renaissance / Early Modern to c.1700 18th Century

19th Century 20th Century

R EGIONAL Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Low Countries Iberian and Hispanic World Italy Russia and Scandinavia South America and the Caribbean United States and Canada

Africa and the Middle East Asia: South, Southeast, and East Australasia Britain and Ireland Europe: Central, East, and Southeast France and the Francophone World

O THER Social and Political Contexts Themes in Life Writings Theory and Criticism Travel, Exploration, and Migration War Women’s Life Writing Writers

Age- and Life-Stages Biography Diaries Disciplines, Professions, Practices Genres and Types Letters and Epistolary Forms Popular and Everyday Forms Religious Contexts

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C HRONOLOGICAL Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Abélard, Peter and Héloïse Augustine, Saint Aurelius, Marcus The Bible Britain: Medieval Life Writing Britain: Medieval Letters China: to the 19th Century Cicero Classical Greece and Rome Confucianism and Life Writing Dante Alighieri France: Medieval Life Writing Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing al-Ghazƒl¡ Hagiography Indian Subcontinent: Early Life Writing Islam and Life Writing Italy: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing Japan: Heian Period (800–1200) Japan: Medieval Period (1200–1600) Kempe, Margery Murasaki Shikibu Ouyang Xiu Pérez de Guzmán, Fernán Petrarch Pliny the Younger Plutarch Russia: to 1700 Seuse, Heinrich Sima Qian Spain: to 1700 Suetonius Usƒma ibn Munqidh Velluti, Donato Renaissance / Early Modern to c.1700 Aubrey, John Avvakum Bashπ Bethlen, Miklós Britain: Renaissance Life Writing Britain: 17th-Century Life Writing Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Auto/biography Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Bunyan, John Cavendish, Margaret [Duchess of Newcastle] Cellini, Benvenuto China: to the 19th Century Criticism and Theory: 16th to 18th Centuries Díaz del Castillo, Bernal Erasmus, Desiderius

Evelyn, John Fontenelle, Bernard de Fox, George France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Memoirs France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Auto/biography Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Diaries and Letters Hagiography Hakluyt, Richard Indian Subcontinent: Early Life Writing Italy: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Japan: Tokugawa / Edo Period (1600–1868) Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Kepler, Johannes Latin America: 15th to 18th Centuries Leonora Christina Lister, Anne Loyola, Saint Ignatius of Maximilian I Montaigne, Michel de Osborne, Dorothy Pasek, Jan Pepys, Samuel Pfalz, Liselotte von der Picaresque Novel Richelieu, Cardinal, Duc de Rowlandson, Mary Russia: to 1700 Sévigné, Madame de Slave Narratives Spain: to 1700 Teresa of Avila, Saint United States: 16th- and 17th-Century Life Writing Vasari, Giorgio Walton, Izaak 18th Century Apologias Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Auto/biography Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Boswell, James Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Auto/biography Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Britain: Romanticism and Life Writing

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Britain: Travel, Exploration, and Imperialism Burney, Frances [Fanny] Canada: Auto/biography to 1900 Canada: Diaries and Letters to 1900 Casanova, Giovanni Giacomo Charke, Charlotte Chateaubriand Chesterfield, Earl of Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Conduct Books Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Criticism and Theory: 16th to 18th Centuries Criticism and Theory: Romanticism and the 19th Century Diderot, Denis Dolgorukaia, Natali’ia Edwards, Jonathan Epistolary Fiction Equiano, Olaudah Ewald, Johannes Fontenelle, Bernard de France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Memoirs France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 18th-Century Autobiography Franklin, Benjamin Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Auto/biography Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Romanticism and Life Writing Gibbon, Edward Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Goldoni, Carlo Gottsched, Luise Gozzi, Carlo Herder, Johann Gottfried Holberg, Ludvig Hume, David Indian Subcontinent: Early Life Writing Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Auto/biography Japan: Tokugawa / Edo Period (1600–1868) Johnson, Samuel Latin America: 15th to 18th Centuries Lister, Anne Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn Park, Mungo Pfalz, Liselotte von der Picaresque Novel Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Russia: 18th Century Saint-Simon Sancho, Ignatius Shen Fu Slave Narratives Spain: 18th and 19th Centuries Tone, Wolfe

Torres Villaroel, Diego de United States: 18th-Century Auto/biography United States: 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Varnhagen, Rahel Levin Vico, Giambattista Voltaire Walpole, Horace Wesley, John Wieland, Christoph Martin Woodforde, James Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, William 19th Century Adams, Henry African American Life Writing Aksakov, Sergei Alfieri, Vittorio American Civil War Writings Amiel, Henri-Frédéric Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Auto/biography Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Barnum, P.T. Bashkirtseff, Marie The Bildungsroman Biographie universelle; Dictionnaire de biographie française Black Elk Brandes, Georg Britain: Romanticism and Life Writing Britain: Travel, Exploration, and Imperialism Britain: 19th-Century Auto/biography Britain: 19th-Century Diaries Britain: 19th-Century Letters Burney, Frances [Fanny] Byron, George, Lord Canada: Auto/biography to 1900 Canada: Diaries and Letters to 1900 Carlyle, Thomas Carr, Emily Chateaubriand Chesnut, Mary Boykin China: 19th Century to 1949 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Colette Criticism and Theory: Romanticism and the 19th Century Darwin, Charles De Quincey, Thomas Dictionary of National Biography Dostoevskii, Fedor Douglass, Frederick Du Bois, W.E.B. Eckermann, Johann Emerson, Ralph Waldo Fontane, Theodor

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France: 19th-Century Auto/biography France: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Freud, Sigmund Froude, J.A. Garibaldi, Giuseppe Gaskell, Elizabeth Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Romanticism and Life Writing Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Auto/biography Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Goldschmidt, Meïr Goncourt, Edmond and Jules Gor’kii, Maksim Gosse, Edmund Grillparzer, Franz Hazlitt, William Hebbel, Christian Friedrich Heiberg, Johanne Luise Heine, Heinrich Herzen, Aleksandr Hume, David Huxley, T.H. Immigration Writings, American Indian Subcontinent: Autobiography to 1947 Israeli and Modern Hebrew Life Writing Italy: 19th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Jacobs, Harriet James, Alice James, Henry Jameson, Anna Brownell Japan: Tokugawa / Edo Period (1600–1868) Japan: Kindai Period (1868–1945) Jørgensen, Johannes Keats, John Kierkegaard, Søren Kilvert, Francis Kingsley, Mary Kipling, Rudyard Leopardi, Giacomo Lockhart, John Luxemburg, Rosa Martineau, Harriet Mesonero Romanos, Ramón de Mill, John Stuart Moodie, Susanna Munby, Arthur and Hannah Cullwick Native American Life Writing Nature Writings, American New Zealand and Polynesia: 19th Century Newman, John Henry Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn Nietzsche, Friedrich Oehlenschläger, Adam Oliphant, Margaret Park, Mungo

Pellico, Silvio Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Ruskin, John Russia: 19th Century to Revolution Sand, George Seacole, Mary Shen Fu Slave Narratives Spain: 18th and 19th Centuries Spanish America: 19th Century Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Stendhal Stevenson, Robert Louis Strindberg, August Széchenyi, István Tagore, Rabindranath Thompson, Flora Thoreau, Henry David Tocqueville, Alexis de Tolstoi, Lev Traill, Catharine Parr Twain, Mark United States: 19th-Century Auto/biography United States: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Varnhagen, Rahel Levin Vivekananda, Swami Washington, Booker T. Wells, H.G. Whitman, Walt Who’s Who Wilde, Oscar Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, William Working-Class Writings Yeats, W.B. Zorilla y Moral, José 20th Century Adams, Henry Addams, Jane African American Life Writing Agee, James Akutagawa, Ry®nosuke Andersch, Alfred Angelou, Maya Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Life Writings Archives Arenas, Reinaldo Asian American Life Writing Aung San Suu Kyi Australia: 20th-Century Life Writing Australian Dictionary of Biography Autoethnography Autofiction Bâ, Amadou Hampâté Barnet, Miguel Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Barthes, Roland Beauvoir, Simone de

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Behan, Brendan Benjamin, Walter Bernhard, Thomas The Bildungsroman Biographie universelle; Dictionnaire de biographie française Black Elk Blixen, Karen Breytenbach, Breyten Britain: 20th-Century Auto/biography Britain: 20th-Century Diaries Britain: 20th-Century Letters Brittain, Vera Canada: 20th-Century Auto/biography Canada: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Canada: Aboriginal Life Writing Canetti, Elias Carossa, Hans Celebrity Autobiography Celebrity and Popular Biography Chaudhuri, Nirad Chesterton, G.K. Children’s Life Writing China: 19th Century to 1949 China: 1949 to the Present Churchill, Winston Colette Collaborative Autobiography Computers and Life Writing Conway, Jill Ker Crisp, Quentin Criticism and Theory: 1900 to 1950s Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Structuralism and Poststructuralism Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Feminism Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Postcolonialism Croce, Benedetto Das, Kamala Déry, Tibor Dictionary of American Biography Dictionary of Canadian Biography / Dictionnaire biographique du Canada Dictionary of National Biography Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Dillard, Annie Disability and Life Writing Döblin, Alfred Du Bois, W.E.B. Duras, Marguerite Edel, Leon Edmond, Lauris Ellmann, Richard Facey, A.B Film Frame, Janet France: 20th-Century Auto/biography France: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Frank, Anne Freud, Sigmund

Frisch, Max Gandhi, Mohandas [“Mahatma”] García Márquez, Gabriel Gatheru, Mugo Gaulle, Charles de Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 20th-Century Life Writing Gide, André Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Ginzburg, Evgeniia Ginzburg, Lidiia Ginzburg, Natalia Goldman, Emma Gombrowicz, Witold Gordimer, Nadine Gor’kii, Maksim Gosse, Edmund Goytisolo, Juan Gramsci, Antonio Graves, Robert Green, Julien Grove, Frederick Philip Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Guo Moruo Havel, Václav Hellman, Lillian Herling-Grudzinski, ´ Gustaw Hispanic American Life Writing Hitler, Adolf Hoffman, Eva Holocaust Writings Horne, Donald Hu Shi Hughes, Langston Hurston, Zora Neale The I-Novel Immigration Writings, American Indian Subcontinent: Autobiography to 1947 Indian Subcontinent: Auto/biography 1947 to the Present Isherwood, Christopher Israeli and Modern Hebrew Life Writing Italy: 20th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters James, Henry Japan: Kindai Period (1868–1945) Japan: Modern Period (1945 to the Present) Jesus, Carolina Maria de Jewish American Life Writing Jørgensen, Johannes Jünger, Ernst Jung, C.G. Jung Chang Kafka, Franz Kallas, Aino Kassák, Lajos Kazantzakis, Nikos Kazin, Alfred Keller, Helen Kincaid, Jamaica

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Kingston, Maxine Hong Kipling, Rudyard Kuzwayo, Ellen Leduc, Violette Leiris, Michel Lesbian and Gay Life Writing Lessing, Doris Levi, Carlo Levi, Primo Lévi-Strauss, Claude Lewis, C.S. Liang Qichao Lionheart Gal Lorde, Audre Lu Xun Luthuli, Chief Albert Luxemburg, Rosa McCarthy, Mary Malcolm X Malraux, André Mandela, Nelson Mandel’shtam, Nadezhda Mandel’shtam, Osip Mann, Heinrich Martin, Claire Mehta, Ved Menchú, Rigoberta Mi≠osz, Czes≠aw Mishima Yukio Momaday, N. Scott Morgan, Sally Morris, Jan Mphahlele, Es’kia [Ezekiel] Muir, Edwin Nabokov, Vladimir Naidu, Sarojini Naipaul, V.S. Narayan, R.K. Native American Life Writing Nature Writings, American Nehru, Jawaharlal Neruda, Pablo Neue Deutsche Biographie New Biography New Zealand and Polynesia: 20th Century New Zealand and Polynesia: Indigenous Life Writing Nexø, Martin Andersen Ngugi wa Thiong’o Nin, Anaïs O’Brien, George O’Casey, Sean Odinga, Oginga Ondaatje, Michael Oral History Orwell, George Päätalo, Kalle Park, Ruth Pavese, Cesare Perec, Georges

Perón, Eva Personal Narrative Photography Plessen, Elisabeth Poniatowska, Elena Porter, Hal Proust, Marcel Rhys, Jean Rilke, Rainer Maria Rodríguez, Richard Rolland, Romain Roy, Gabrielle Russia: 19th Century to Revolution Russia: Revolution to the Present al-Sa‘dƒw¡, Nawƒl Sahgal, Nayantara Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de Sargeson, Frank Sarraute, Nathalie Sartre, Jean-Paul Sassoon, Siegfried Sayers, Peig Scholarship, Academia, and Autobiography Scholarship, Academia, and Biography Schweitzer, Albert Semprún, Jorge Shimazaki Tπson Shklovskii, Viktor Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Sorabji, Cornelia Sound Recording and Life Writing Soyinka, Wole Spain: 20th Century Spanish America: 20th-Century Autobiography Spanish America: Indigenous Life Writing Sporting Auto/biography Steedman, Carolyn Stein, Gertrude Strachey, Lytton Strindberg, August Suleri, Sara Symons, A.J.A. Szász, Béla Tagore, Rabindranath Tƒhƒ Husayn Tawf¡q al-Hak¡m Television and Life Story Testimony Thompson, Flora Toller, Ernst Tsvetaeva, Marina United States: 20th-Century Auto/biography United States: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Vas, István Vietnam War Writings Washington, Booker T. Weiss, Peter Wells, H.G. Wharton, Edith White, Patrick

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Wright, Richard Xie Bingying Yeats, W.B. Yu Dafu Zoshchenko, Mikhail Zuckmayer, Carl

Who’s Who Wiesel, Elie Wolf, Christa Woolf, Virginia Working-Class Writings World War I Writings World War II Writings

R EGIONAL Africa and the Middle East Africa: North Africa: East Africa: Southern Africa: West and Central (Francophone) Africa: Oral Life Stories Africa: European Exploration and Travel Writings Africa: Auto/biographical Fiction Africa: Autobiographical Poetry Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Life Writings Arabic Autobiography Arabic Biography Arabic Travel Writing Augustine, Saint Bâ, Amadou Hampâté The Bible Blixen, Karen Breytenbach, Breyten Equiano, Olaudah Gatheru, Mugo al-Ghazƒl¡ Gordimer, Nadine Islam and Life Writing Israeli and Modern Hebrew Life Writing Kuzwayo, Ellen Luthuli, Chief Albert Mandela, Nelson Mphahlele, Es’kia [Ezekiel] Ngugi wa Thiong’o Odinga, Oginga al-Sa‘dƒw¡, Nawƒl Soyinka, Wole Tƒhƒ Husayn Tawf¡q al-Hak¡m Turkey Usƒma ibn Munqidh Asia: South, Southeast, and East Akutagawa, Ry®nosuke Aung San Suu Kyi Bashπ Buddhism and Life Writing Chaudhuri, Nirad China: to the 19th Century China: 19th Century to 1949 China: 1949 to the Present Confucianism and Life Writing

Das, Kamala Gandhi, Mohandas K. [“Mahatma”] Guo Moruo Hinduism and Life Writing Hu Shi The I-Novel Indian Subcontinent: Early Life Writing Indian Subcontinent: Autobiography to 1947 Indian Subcontinent: Auto/biography 1947 to the Present Indonesia and the Malay World Japan: Heian Period (800–1200) Japan: Medieval Period (1200–1600) Japan: Tokugawa / Edo Period (1600–1868) Japan: Kindai Period (1868–1945) Japan: Modern Period (1945 to the Present) Jung Chang Korea Liang Qichao Lu Xun Mehta, Ved Mishima Yukio Murasaki Shikibu Naidu, Sarojini Narayan, R.K. Nehru, Jawaharlal Ouyang Xiu The Philippines Sahgal, Nayantara Shen Fu Shimazaki Tπson Sima Qian Sorabji, Cornelia Suleri, Sara Tagore, Rabindranath Thailand Vivekananda, Swami Xie Bingying Yu Dafu Australasia Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Auto/biography Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Australia: 20th-Century Life Writing Australia: Indigenous Life Writing Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Conway, Jill Ker Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Edmond, Lauris Facey, A.B Frame, Janet Horne, Donald Morgan, Sally New Zealand and Polynesia: 19th Century New Zealand and Polynesia: 20th Century New Zealand and Polynesia: Indigenous Life Writing Park, Ruth Porter, Hal Sargeson, Frank White, Patrick Britain and Ireland Aubrey, John Behan, Brendan Boswell, James Britain: Medieval Life Writing Britain: Medieval Letters Britain: Renaissance Life Writing Britain: 17th-Century Life Writing Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Auto/biography Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Britain: Romanticism and Life Writing Britain: Travel, Exploration, and Imperialism Britain: 19th-Century Auto/biography Britain: 19th-Century Diaries Britain: 19th-Century Letters Britain: 20th-Century Auto/biography Britain: 20th-Century Diaries Britain: 20th-Century Letters Brittain, Vera Bunyan, John Burney, Frances [Fanny] Byron, George, Lord Canetti, Elias Carlyle, Thomas Cavendish, Margaret [Duchess of Newcastle] Charke, Charlotte Chaudhuri, Nirad Chesterfield, Earl of Chesterton, G.K. Churchill, Winston Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Crisp, Quentin Darwin, Charles De Quincey, Thomas Dictionary of National Biography Equiano, Olaudah Evelyn, John Fox, George Froude, J.A. Gaskell, Elizabeth Gibbon, Edward

Gosse, Edmund Graves, Robert Hakluyt, Richard Hazlitt, William Hume, David Huxley, T.H. Ireland Isherwood, Christopher James, Henry Jameson, Anna Brownell Johnson, Samuel Keats, John Kempe, Margery Kilvert, Francis Kingsley, Mary Kipling, Rudyard Lessing, Doris Lewis, C.S. Lister, Anne Lockhart, John Martineau, Harriet Mill, John Stuart Morris, Jan Muir, Edwin Munby, Arthur and Hannah Cullwick Naipaul, V.S. New Biography Newman, John Henry O’Brien, George O’Casey, Sean Oliphant, Margaret Orwell, George Osborne, Dorothy Park, Mungo Pepys, Samuel Picaresque Novel Rhys, Jean Rowlandson, Mary Ruskin, John Sancho, Ignatius Sassoon, Siegfried Sayers, Peig Scotland Steedman, Carolyn Stevenson, Robert Louis Strachey, Lytton Symons, A.J.A. Thompson, Flora Tone, Wolfe Wales Walpole, Horace Walton, Izaak Wells, H.G. Wesley, John Who’s Who Wilde, Oscar Woodforde, James Woolf, Virginia Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, William

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Bethlen, Miklós Bulgaria Canetti, Elias Classical Greece and Rome Czech and Slovak Life Writing Déry, Tibor Gombrowicz, Witold Greece, Modern Havel, Václav Herling-Grudzinski, ´ Gustaw Hoffman, Eva Hungary Kafka, Franz Kassák, Lajos Kazantzakis, Nikos Mi≠osz, Czes≠aw Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn Pasek, Jan Poland Szász, Béla Széchenyi, István Turkey Vas, István Wiesel, Elie Yugoslavia and Former Yugoslav Territories

France: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 20th-Century Auto/biography France: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Gaulle, Charles de Gide, André Goncourt, Edmond and Jules Green, Julien Leduc, Violette Leiris, Michel Lévi-Strauss, Claude Malraux, André Martin, Claire Montaigne, Michel de Perec, Georges Pfalz, Liselotte von der Proust, Marcel Richelieu, Cardinal, Duc de Rolland, Romain Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Roy, Gabrielle Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de Saint-Simon Sand, George Sarraute, Nathalie Sartre, Jean-Paul Sévigné, Madame de Stendhal Tocqueville, Alexis de Voltaire Wiesel, Elie

France and the Francophone World

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Low Countries

Abélard, Peter and Héloïse Africa: North Africa: West and Central (Francophone) Amiel, Henri-Frédéric Autofiction Bâ, Amadou Hampâté Barthes, Roland Bashkirtseff, Marie Beauvoir, Simone de Biographie universelle; Dictionnaire de biographie française Canada: French Canadian Life Writing Caribbean: Francophone Casanova, Giovanni Giacomo Chateaubriand Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Dictionary of Canadian Biography / Dictionnaire biographique du Canada Diderot, Denis Duras, Marguerite Fontenelle, Bernard de France: Medieval Life Writing France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Memoirs France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 18th-Century Autobiography France: 19th-Century Auto/biography

Amiel, Henri-Frédéric Andersch, Alfred Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von Benjamin, Walter Bernhard, Thomas The Bildungsroman Canetti, Elias Carossa, Hans Döblin, Alfred Eckermann, Johann Erasmus, Desiderius Fontane, Theodor Frank, Anne Freud, Sigmund Frisch, Max Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Auto/biography Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Romanticism and Life Writing Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Auto/biography Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters

Working-Class Writings Yeats, W.B. Europe: East, Central, and Southeast

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Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 20th-Century Life Writing Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Gottsched, Luise Grillparzer, Franz Hebbel, Christian Friedrich Heine, Heinrich Herder, Johann Gottfried Hitler, Adolf Jünger, Ernst Jung, C.G. Kafka, Franz Kepler, Johannes Luxemburg, Rosa Mann, Heinrich Maximilian I Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) Neue Deutsche Biographie Nietzsche, Friedrich Pfalz, Liselotte von der Plessen, Elisabeth Rilke, Rainer Maria Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Schweitzer, Albert Seuse, Heinrich Toller, Ernst Varnhagen, Rahel Levin Weiss, Peter Wieland, Christoph Martin Wolf, Christa Zuckmayer, Carl Iberian and Hispanic World Arenas, Reinaldo Barnet, Miguel Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Brazil Díaz del Castillo, Bernal García Márquez, Gabriel Goytisolo, Juan Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Hispanic American Life Writing Jesus, Carolina Maria de Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Latin America: 15th to 18th Centuries Loyola, Saint Ignatius of Menchú, Rigoberta Mesonero Romanos, Ramón de Neruda, Pablo Pérez de Guzmán, Fernán Perón, Eva Picaresque Novel Poniatowska, Elena Portugal: Autobiography Portugal: Diaries and Letters Semprún, Jorge Spain: to 1700 Spain: 18th and 19th Centuries Spain: 20th Century

Spanish America: 19th Century Spanish America: 20th-Century Autobiography Spanish America: Indigenous Life Writing Teresa of Avila, Saint Testimony Torres Villaroel, Diego de Zorilla y Moral, José Italy Alfieri, Vittorio Aurelius, Marcus Casanova, Giovanni Giacomo Cellini, Benvenuto Cicero Classical Greece and Rome Croce, Benedetto Dante Alighieri Garibaldi, Giuseppe Ginzburg, Natalia Goldoni, Carlo Gozzi, Carlo Italy: Medieval and Renaissance Life Writing Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 19th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 20th-Century Auto/biography Italy: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Leopardi, Giacomo Levi, Carlo Levi, Primo Pavese, Cesare Pellico, Silvio Petrarch Pliny the Younger Plutarch Suetonius Vasari, Giorgio Velluti, Donato Vico, Giambattista Russia and Scandinavia Aksakov, Sergei Avvakum Bashkirtseff, Marie Blixen, Karen Brandes, Georg Denmark Dolgorukaia, Natali’ia Dostoevskii, Fedor Ewald, Johannes Finland Ginzburg, Evgeniia Ginzburg, Lidiia Goldman, Emma Goldschmidt, Meïr Gor’kii, Maksim Heiberg, Johanne Luise

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Herzen, Aleksandr Holberg, Ludvig Jørgensen, Johannes Kallas, Aino Kierkegaard, Søren Latvia Leonora Christina Mandel’shtam, Nadezhda Mandel’shtam, Osip Nabokov, Vladimir Nexø, Martin Andersen Norway Oehlenschläger, Adam Päätalo, Kalle Russia: to 1700 Russia: 18th Century Russia: 19th Century to Revolution Russia: Revolution to the Present Shklovskii, Viktor Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Strindberg, August Sweden Tolstoi, Lev Tsvetaeva, Marina Zoshchenko, Mikhail South America and the Caribbean Arenas, Reinaldo Barnet, Miguel Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Brazil Caribbean: Anglophone Caribbean: Francophone Díaz del Castillo, Bernal García Márquez, Gabriel Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Jesus, Carolina Maria de Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Kincaid, Jamaica Latin America: 15th to 18th Centuries Lionheart Gal Menchú, Rigoberta Naipaul, V.S. Neruda, Pablo Perón, Eva Poniatowska, Elena Seacole, Mary Spanish America: 19th Century Spanish America: 20th-Century Autobiography Spanish America: Indigenous Life Writing Testimony United States and Canada Adams, Henry Addams, Jane African American Life Writing Agee, James American Civil War Writings

Angelou, Maya Asian American Life Writing Barnum, P.T. Black Elk Canada: Auto/biography to 1900 Canada: Diaries and Letters to 1900 Canada: 20th-Century Auto/biography Canada: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Canada: French Canadian Life Writing Canada: Aboriginal Life Writing Carr, Emily Chesnut, Mary Boykin Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Dictionary of American Biography Dictionary of Canadian Biography / Dictionnaire biographique du Canada Dillard, Annie Douglass, Frederick Du Bois, W.E.B. Edel, Leon Edwards, Jonathan Ellmann, Richard Emerson, Ralph Waldo Equiano, Olaudah Franklin, Benjamin Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Goldman, Emma Green, Julien Grove, Frederick Philip Hellman, Lillian Hispanic American Life Writing Hoffman, Eva Hughes, Langston Hurston, Zora Neale Isherwood, Christopher Jacobs, Harriet James, Alice James, Henry Jameson, Anna Brownell Jewish American Life Writing Kazin, Alfred Keller, Helen Kincaid, Jamaica Kingston, Maxine Hong Lorde, Audre McCarthy, Mary Malcolm X Martin, Claire Momaday, N. Scott Moodie, Susanna Nabokov, Vladimir Native American Life Writing Nature Writings, American Nin, Anaïs Ondaatje, Michael Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Rodríguez, Richard Rowlandson, Mary Roy, Gabrielle Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de

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United States: 19th-Century Auto/biography United States: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters United States: 20th-Century Auto/biography United States: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Vietnam War Writings Washington, Booker T. Wharton, Edith Whitman, Walt Wiesel, Elie Wright, Richard

Slave Narratives Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Stein, Gertrude Suleri, Sara Thoreau, Henry David Traill, Catharine Parr Twain, Mark United States: 16th- and 17th-Century Life Writing United States: 18th-Century Auto/biography United States: 18th-Century Diaries and Letters

O THER Age- and Life-Stages Adolescence and Life Writing Age and Life Writing Childhood and Life Writing Children’s Life Writing Family Relations and Life Writing Fatherhood and Life Writing Genealogy Motherhood and Life Writing Old Age and Life Writing Biography Agee, James Arabic Biography Aubrey, John Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Auto/biography Australian Dictionary of Biography The Bible Biographical Dictionaries Biographie universelle; Dictionnaire de biographie française Biography: General Survey Biography and Fiction Biography and History Biography and Poetry Boswell, James Brandes, Georg Carlyle, Thomas Chesterton, G.K. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Dictionary of American Biography Dictionary of Canadian Biography / Dictionnaire biographique du Canada Dictionary of National Biography Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Eckermann, Johann Edel, Leon Ellmann, Richard Emerson, Ralph Waldo Ethics Evelyn, John Exemplary and Model Lives

Fontenelle, Bernard de Freud, Sigmund Froude, J.A. Gaskell, Elizabeth Goncourt, Edmond and Jules Gor’kii, Maksim Gosse, Edmund Hu Shi Johnson, Samuel Kingston, Maxine Hong Liang Qichao Literary Biography Lockhart, John Musical Biography Neue Deutsche Biographie New Biography Oliphant, Margaret Ouyang Xiu Pérez de Guzmán, Fernán Plutarch Religious Biography Rolland, Romain Sahgal, Nayantara Sartre, Jean-Paul Sima Qian Strachey, Lytton Suetonius Symons, A.J.A. Vasari, Giorgio Walton, Izaak Who’s Who Women’s Biographies Woolf, Virginia Zoshchenko, Mikhail (Note: many of the broader regional entries also discuss biography) Diaries Amiel, Henri-Frédéric Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Bashkirtseff, Marie Bashπ

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Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Britain: 19th-Century Diaries Britain: 20th-Century Diaries Burney, Frances [Fanny] Byron, George, Lord Canada: Diaries and Letters to 1900 Canada: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Carossa, Hans Chesnut, Mary Boykin Diaries and Journals: General Survey Dostoevskii, Fedor Emerson, Ralph Waldo Evelyn, John Fox, George France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Frank, Anne Frisch, Max Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Gide, André Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Ginzburg, Lidiia Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Gombrowicz, Witold Goncourt, Edmond and Jules Green, Julien Grillparzer, Franz Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Hebbel, Christian Friedrich Heine, Heinrich Herder, Johann Gottfried Herling-Grudzinski, ´ Gustaw Hu Shi Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters James, Alice Japan: Heian Period (800–1200) Japan: Medieval Period (1200–1600) Jesus, Carolina Maria de Jünger, Ernst Kafka, Franz Kallas, Aino Kierkegaard, Søren Kilvert, Francis Leiris, Michel Lister, Anne Lorde, Audre Lu Xun Munby, Arthur and Hannah Cullwick Murasaki Shikibu Ngugi wa Thiong’o Nin, Anaïs Pepys, Samuel

Portugal: Diaries and Letters Rilke, Rainer Maria Rolland, Romain Ruskin, John Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de Sand, George Sassoon, Siegfried Strindberg, August Széchenyi, István Thoreau, Henry David Tocqueville, Alexis de Tolstoi, Lev Travel Diaries, Journals, Log Books Tsvetaeva, Marina Twain, Mark United States: 18th-Century Diaries and Letters United States: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters United States: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters War Diaries and Journals Wesley, John Women’s Diaries and Journals Woodforde, James Woolf, Virginia Wordsworth, Dorothy Xie Bingying (Note: many of the broader regional entries also discuss diaries) Disciplines, Professions, Practices Anthropology and Life Writing Archives Autoethnography Business Auto/biography Case Histories Computers and Life Writing Ethnography Film Genealogy Hagiography Handbooks and Guides Historiography Interviews Journalism and Magazines Literary Autobiography Literary Biography Medical Autobiography Military Autobiography Musical Autobiography Obituaries Oral History Pedagogy and Life Writing Philosophical Autobiography Philosophy and Life Writing Photography Psychology and Life Writing Religious Autobiography Religious Biography Reminiscence and Life Story

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Scholarship, Academia, and Autobiography Scholarship, Academia, and Biography Science and Life Writing Scientific Autobiography Sociology and Life Writing Sporting Auto/biography Television and Life Story Visual Arts and Life Writing Genres and Types Africa: Auto/biographical Fiction Africa: Autobiographical Poetry Apologias Autobiography: General Survey Autobiography and Biography: Their Relationship Autobiography and the Essay Autobiography and Poetry Autoethnography Autofiction The Bildungsroman Biographical Dictionaries Biography: General Survey Biography and Fiction Biography and History Biography and Poetry Business Auto/biography Case Histories Celebrity Autobiography Celebrity and Popular Biography Children’s Life Writing Collaborative Autobiography Collective Lives Conduct Books Confessions Conversations, Dialogues, and Table Talk Criminal Autobiography Criminal Biography Diaries and Journals: General Survey Drama and Life Writing Elegies Epistolary Fiction Epistolary Poetry Epitaphs Ethnography Exemplary and Model Lives Exploration Writings Film Genealogy Gossip Hagiography Handbooks and Guides Holocaust Writings The I-Novel Immigration Writings, American Interviews Letters: General Survey Literary Autobiography Literary Biography Medical Autobiography

Memoirs Military Autobiography Mock and Parodic Life Writings Musical Autobiography Musical Biography Nature Writings, American New Biography Obituaries Personal Narrative Philosophical Autobiography Photography Picaresque Novel Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Prison Writings Religious Autobiography Religious Biography Royal Biography Scandal Scientific Autobiography Slave Narratives Sound Recording and Life Writing Spiritual Autobiography Sporting Auto/biography Television and Life Story Testimony Travel Diaries, Journals, Log Books Travel Narratives Vietnam War Writings Visual Arts and Life Writing War Diaries and Journals Working-Class Writings World War I Writings World War II Writings Letters and Epistolary Forms Abélard, Peter and Héloïse Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Australia: 20th-Century Life Writing Britain: Medieval Letters Britain: Restoration and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Britain: 19th-Century Letters Britain: 20th-Century Letters Byron, George, Lord Canada: Diaries and Letters to 1900 Canada: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Chesterfield, Earl of Cicero Computers and Life Writing Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Croce, Benedetto Diderot, Denis Dostoevskii, Fedor Epistolary Fiction Epistolary Poetry Erasmus, Desiderius Fontane, Theodor

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France: 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters France: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 17th- and 18thCentury Diaries and Letters Germany, Austria, Switzerland: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Gide, André Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Gottsched, Luise Gramsci, Antonio Havel, Václav Hebbel, Christian Friedrich Herder, Johann Gottfried Holberg, Ludvig Italy: 17th- and 18th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Italy: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Kafka, Franz Keats, John Kipling, Rudyard Letters: General Survey Lu Xun Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley Naidu, Sarojini Newman, John Henry Osborne, Dorothy Petrarch Pfalz, Liselotte von der Pliny the Younger Portugal: Diaries and Letters Rilke, Rainer Maria Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de Sancho, Ignatius Sand, George Seuse, Heinrich Sévigné, Madame de Shklovskii, Viktor Strindberg, August Tagore, Rabindranath Tocqueville, Alexis de Tolstoi, Lev Traill, Catharine Parr Twain, Mark United States: 18th-Century Diaries and Letters United States: 19th-Century Diaries and Letters United States: 20th-Century Diaries and Letters Varnhagen, Rahel Levin Vivekananda, Swami Voltaire Walpole, Horace War Letters Wesley, John Wieland, Christoph Martin Wilde, Oscar Women’s Letters Woolf, Virginia

(Note: many of the broader regional entries also discuss letters) Popular and Everyday Forms Africa: Oral Life Stories Amiel, Henri-Frédéric Artifacts and Life Writing Barnet, Miguel Barnum, P.T. Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Black Elk Business Auto/biography Case Histories Celebrity Autobiography Celebrity and Popular Biography Charke, Charlotte Children’s Life Writing Collaborative Autobiography Computers and Life Writing Conduct Books Conversations, Dialogues, and Table Talk Criminal Autobiography Criminal Biography Ethnography Exploration Writings Facey, A.B Film Frank, Anne Genealogy Gossip Handbooks and Guides Heiberg, Johanne Luise Hitler, Adolf Interviews James, Alice Jesus, Carolina Maria de Journalism and Magazines Jung Chang Keller, Helen Kilvert, Francis Kuzwayo, Ellen Lionheart Gal Medical Autobiography Menchú, Rigoberta Morgan, Sally Munby, Arthur and Hannah Cullwick Musical Autobiography Musical Biography Oral History Orality Päätalo, Kalle Pepys, Samuel Perón, Eva Personal Narrative Photography Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Reminiscence and Life Story Royal Biography Sayers, Peig

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Scandal Social Class and Life Writing Sound Recording and Life Writing Spanish America: Indigenous Life Writing Sporting Auto/biography Survival and Life Writing Television and Life Story Testimony Thompson, Flora Trauma and Life Writing Visual Arts and Life Writing War Diaries and Journals War Letters Woodforde, James Working-Class Writings World War I Writings World War II Writings Xie Bingying See also “Diaries”, “Letters and Epistolary Forms”, and the various regional categories Religious Contexts Abélard, Peter and Héloïse Augustine, Saint Avvakum The Bible Buddhism and Life Writing Bunyan, John Christianity and Life Writing Confessions Confucianism and Life Writing Conversion and Turning Points Edwards, Jonathan Erasmus, Desiderius Exemplary and Model Lives Fox, George al-Ghazƒl¡ Hagiography Hinduism and Life Writing Islam and Life Writing Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Judaism and Life Writing Kempe, Margery Kilvert, Francis Lewis, C.S. Loyola, Saint Ignatius of Newman, John Henry Religious Autobiography Religious Biography Repentance and Life Writing Revelation and Life Writing Seuse, Heinrich Spiritual Autobiography Teresa of Avila, Saint Vivekananda, Swami Wesley, John Woodforde, James

Social and Political Contexts Addams, Jane Agee, James American Civil War Writings Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Life Writings Archives Aung San Suu Kyi Aurelius, Marcus Barnet, Miguel Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Bethlen, Miklós Breytenbach, Breyten Brittain, Vera Censorship and Life Writing Chateaubriand Churchill, Winston Cicero Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Feminism Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Postcolonialism Déry, Tibor Díaz del Castillo, Bernal Disability and Life Writing Döblin, Alfred Douglass, Frederick Du Bois, W.E.B. Equiano, Olaudah Ethnicity, Race, and Life Writing Frank, Anne Franklin, Benjamin Gandhi, Mohandas (Mahatma) Garibaldi, Giuseppe Gatheru, Mugo Gaulle, Charles de Gender and Life Writing Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Ginzburg, Evgeniia Goldman, Emma Gramsci, Antonio Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Guo Moruo Havel, Václav Hitler, Adolf Holocaust Writings Hurston, Zora Neale Jacobs, Harriet Jesus, Carolina Maria de Keller, Helen Kuzwayo, Ellen Leonora Christina Lesbian and Gay Life Writing Levi, Carlo Levi, Primo Liang Qichao Luthuli, Chief Albert Luxemburg, Rosa Malcolm X Malraux, André Mandela, Nelson

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Mandel’shtam, Nadezhda Martineau, Harriet Maximilian I Menchú, Rigoberta Military Autobiography Morgan, Sally Mphahlele, Es’kia [Ezekiel] Naidu, Sarojini National Identity and Life Writing Nature, the Environment, and Life Writing Nature Writings, American Nehru, Jawaharlal Neruda, Pablo Ngugi wa Thiong’o Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn Odinga, Oginga Orwell, George Ouyang Xiu Pasek, Jan Pellico, Silvio Perón, Eva Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Plutarch Politics and Life Writing Poniatowska, Elena Prison Writings Richelieu, Cardinal, Duc de Royal Biography al-Sa‘dƒw¡, Nawƒl Saint-Simon Schweitzer, Albert Seacole, Mary Semprún, Jorge Sexuality and Life Writing Sima Qian Slave Narratives Social Class and Life Writing Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Sound Recording and Life Writing Soyinka, Wole Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Szász, Béla Széchenyi, István Tagore, Rabindranath Television and Life Story Testimony Tocqueville, Alexis de Toller, Ernst Tone, Wolfe Voltaire Washington, Booker T. Wiesel, Elie Wolf, Christa Working-Class Writings World War I Writings World War II Writings Xie Bingying

Themes in Life Writings Agency Age and Life Writing Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Life Writings Authenticity Authority The Body and Life Writing Buddhism and Life Writing Business Auto/biography Celebrity Autobiography Celebrity and Popular Biography Censorship and Life Writing Childhood and Life Writing Children’s Life Writing Christianity and Life Writing Confessions Confucianism and Life Writing Conversion and Turning Points Criminal Autobiography Criminal Biography Disability and Life Writing Ethics Ethnicity, Race, and Life Writing Exploration Writings Family Relations and Life Writing Fatherhood and Life Writing Gender and Life Writing Hinduism and Life Writing Holocaust Writings Identity Illness and Life Writing Immigration Writings, American Individualism and Life Writing Insanity and Life Writing Loss, Bereavement, and Life Writing Love, Sexuality, and Life Writing Medical Autobiography Memory Migration, Diaspora, and Life Writing Military Autobiography Motherhood and Life Writing Motivation Musical Autobiography Musical Biography Narrative National Identity and Life Writing Nature, the Environment, and Life Writing Nature Writings, American Old Age and Life Writing Oral History Orality Pedagogy and Life Writing Philosophical Autobiography Philosophy and Life Writing Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Politics and Life Writing Prison Writings Psychology and Life Writing Reconciliation and Life Writing

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Recovery, Healing, and Life Writing Religious Autobiography Religious Biography Reminiscence and Life Story Repentance and Life Writing Revelation and Life Writing Royal Biography Scholarship, Academia, and Autobiography Scholarship, Academia, and Biography Science and Life Writing Scientific Autobiography The Self Sexuality and Life Writing Shame and Life Writing Slave Narratives Social Class and Life Writing Spiritual Autobiography Sporting Auto/biography Success and Life Writing Suicide and Life Writing Survival and Life Writing Time Travel Diaries, Journals, Log Books Travel Narratives Trauma and Life Writing Vietnam War Writings Visual Arts and Life Writing War Diaries and Journals War Letters Working-Class Writings World War I Writings World War II Writings Theory and Criticism Agency Authenticity Authority Autobiography: General Survey Autobiography and Biography: Their Relationship Autobiography and the Essay Autobiography and Poetry Biography: General Survey Biography and Fiction Biography and History Biography and Poetry The Body and Life Writing Criticism and Theory: 16th to 18th Centuries Criticism and Theory: Romanticism and the 19th Century Criticism and Theory: 1900 to 1950s Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Structuralism and Poststructuralism Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Feminism Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Postcolonialism Diaries and Journals: General Survey Ethics Gender and Life Writing Genealogy

Historiography Identity Letters: General Survey Memory Narrative New Biography Pedagogy and Life Writing Personal Narrative Psychology and Life Writing Reminiscence and Life Story Scholarship, Academia, and Autobiography Scholarship, Academia, and Biography Sociology and Life Writing The Self Time Travel, Exploration, and Migration Africa: European Exploration and Travel Writings Arabic Travel Writing Bashπ Blixen, Karen Britain: Travel, Exploration, and Imperialism Chateaubriand Chaudhuri, Nirad Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Díaz del Castillo, Bernal Döblin, Alfred Ethnicity, Race, and Life Writing Ethnography Exploration Writings Fontane, Theodor Garibaldi, Giuseppe Gide, André Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Hakluyt, Richard Heine, Heinrich Herder, Johann Gottfried Hoffman, Eva Immigration Writings, American Jameson, Anna Brownell Kazantzakis, Nikos Kingsley, Mary Kingston, Maxine Hong Kipling, Rudyard Levi, Carlo McCarthy, Mary Malraux, André Martineau, Harriet Mehta, Ved Migration, Diaspora, and Life Writing Moodie, Susanna Morris, Jan Naipaul, V.S. National Identity and Life Writing Nature, the Environment, and Life Writing Neruda, Pablo Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn Park, Mungo Picaresque Novel

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Pioneer and Captivity Writings, American Sand, George Seacole, Mary Stevenson, Robert Louis Tagore, Rabindranath Tocqueville, Alexis de Traill, Catharine Parr Travel Diaries, Journals, Log Books Travel Narratives Twain, Mark Wharton, Edith Wordsworth, Dorothy War American Civil War Writings Chesnut, Mary Boykin Frank, Anne Garibaldi, Giuseppe Gaulle, Charles de Graves, Robert Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Herling-Grudzinski, ´ Gustaw Hitler, Adolf Holocaust Writings Jünger, Ernst Levi, Primo Military Autobiography Pasek, Jan Saint-Simon Sassoon, Siegfried Seacole, Mary Schweitzer, Albert Semprún, Jorge Testimony Vietnam War Writings War Diaries and Journals War Letters Wiesel, Elie World War I Writings World War II Writings Xie Bingying Women’s Life Writing (Abélard, Peter and) Héloïse Addams, Jane Angelou, Maya Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von Aung San Suu Kyi Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Bashkirtseff, Marie Beauvoir, Simone de Blixen, Karen Brittain, Vera Burney, Frances [Fanny] Carr, Emily Cavendish, Margaret [Duchess of Newcastle] Charke, Charlotte Chesnut, Mary Boykin

Colette Conway, Jill Ker Criticism and Theory since the 1950s: Feminism Das, Kamala Dillard, Annie Dolgorukaia, Natali’ia Duras, Marguerite Edmond, Lauris Frame, Janet Frank, Anne Gender and Life Writing Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Ginzburg, Evgeniia Ginzburg, Lidiia Ginzburg, Natalia Goldman, Emma Gordimer, Nadine Gottsched, Luise Heiberg, Johanne Luise Hellman, Lillian Hoffman, Eva Hurston, Zora Neale Jacobs, Harriet James, Alice Jameson, Anna Brownell Jesus, Carolina Maria de Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Jung Chang Kallas, Aino Keller, Helen Kempe, Margery Kincaid, Jamaica Kingsley, Mary Kingston, Maxine Hong Kuzwayo, Ellen Leduc, Violette Leonora Christina Lessing, Doris Lionheart Gal Lister, Anne Lorde, Audre Luxemburg, Rosa McCarthy, Mary Mandel’shtam, Nadezhda Martin, Claire Martineau, Harriet Menchú, Rigoberta Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley Moodie, Susanna Morgan, Sally Morris, Jan Motherhood and Life Writing (Munby, Arthur and) Hannah Cullwick Murasaki Shikibu Naidu, Sarojini Nin, Anaïs Oliphant, Margaret Osborne, Dorothy Park, Ruth Perón, Eva

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Pfalz, Liselotte von der Plessen, Elisabeth Poniatowska, Elena Rhys, Jean Rowlandson, Mary Roy, Gabrielle al-Sa‘dƒw¡, Nawƒl Sahgal, Nayantara Sand, George Sarraute, Nathalie Sayers, Peig Seacole, Mary Sévigné, Madame de Sorabji, Cornelia Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Steedman, Carolyn Stein, Gertrude Suleri, Sara Teresa of Avila, Saint Thompson, Flora Traill, Catharine Parr Tsvetaeva, Marina Varnhagen, Rahel Levin Wharton, Edith Wolf, Christa Women’s Autobiographies Women’s Biographies Women’s Diaries and Journals Women’s Letters Woolf, Virginia Wordsworth, Dorothy Xie Bingying Writers Abélard, Peter and Héloïse Adams, Henry Addams, Jane Agee, James Aksakov, Sergei Akutagawa, Ry®nosuke Alfieri, Vittorio Amiel, Henri-Frédéric Andersch, Alfred Angelou, Maya Arenas, Reinaldo Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von Aubrey, John Augustine, Saint Aung San Suu Kyi Aurelius, Marcus Avvakum Bâ, Amadou Hampâté Barnet, Miguel Barnum, P.T. Barrios de Chungara, Domitila Barthes, Roland Bashkirtseff, Marie Bashπ Beauvoir, Simone de

Behan, Brendan Benjamin, Walter Bernhard, Thomas Bethlen, Miklós Black Elk Blixen, Karen Boswell, James Brandes, Georg Breytenbach, Breyten Brittain, Vera Bunyan, John Burney, Frances [Fanny] Byron, George, Lord Canetti, Elias Carlyle, Thomas Carossa, Hans Carr, Emily Casanova, Giovanni Giacomo Cavendish, Margaret [Duchess of Newcastle] Cellini, Benvenuto Charke, Charlotte Chateaubriand Chaudhuri, Nirad Chesnut, Mary Boykin Chesterfield, Earl of Chesterton, G.K. Churchill, Winston Cicero Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Colette Conway, Jill Ker Crèvecoeur, Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crisp, Quentin Croce, Benedetto Dante Alighieri Darwin, Charles Das, Kamala De Quincey, Thomas Déry, Tibor Díaz del Castillo, Bernal Diderot, Denis Dillard, Annie Döblin, Alfred Dolgorukaia, Natali’ia Dostoevskii, Fedor Douglass, Frederick Du Bois, W.E.B. Duras, Marguerite Eckermann, Johann Edel, Leon Edmond, Lauris Edwards, Jonathan Ellmann, Richard Emerson, Ralph Waldo Equiano, Olaudah Erasmus, Desiderius Evelyn, John Ewald, Johannes Facey, A.B Fontane, Theodor

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Fontenelle, Bernard de Fox, George Frame, Janet Frank, Anne Franklin, Benjamin Freud, Sigmund Frisch, Max Froude, J.A. Gandhi, Mohandas (Mahatma) García Márquez, Gabriel Garibaldi, Giuseppe Gaskell, Elizabeth Gatheru, Mugo Gaulle, Charles de al-Ghazƒl¡ Gibbon, Edward Gide, André Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Ginzburg, Evgeniia Ginzburg, Lidiia Ginzburg, Natalia Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Goldman, Emma Goldoni, Carlo Goldschmidt, Meïr Gombrowicz, Witold Goncourt, Edmond and Jules Gordimer, Nadine Gor’kii, Maksim Gosse, Edmund Gottsched, Luise Goytisolo, Juan Gozzi, Carlo Gramsci, Antonio Graves, Robert Green, Julien Grillparzer, Franz Grove, Frederick Philip Guevara, Ernesto [“Che”] Guo Moruo Hakluyt, Richard Havel, Václav Hazlitt, William Hebbel, Christian Friedrich Heiberg, Johanne Luise Heine, Heinrich Hellman, Lillian Herder, Johann Gottfried Herling-Grudzinski, ´ Gustaw Herzen, Aleksandr Hitler, Adolf Hoffman, Eva Holberg, Ludvig Horne, Donald Hu Shi Hughes, Langston Hume, David Hurston, Zora Neale Huxley, T.H. Isherwood, Christopher

Jacobs, Harriet James, Alice James, Henry Jameson, Anna Brownell Jesus, Carolina Maria de Johnson, Samuel Jørgensen, Johannes Juana Inés de la Cruz, Sor Jünger, Ernst Jung, C.G. Jung Chang Kafka, Franz Kallas, Aino Kassák, Lajos Kazantzakis, Nikos Kazin, Alfred Keats, John Keller, Helen Kempe, Margery Kepler, Johannes Kierkegaard, Søren Kilvert, Francis Kincaid, Jamaica Kingsley, Mary Kingston, Maxine Hong Kipling, Rudyard Kuzwayo, Ellen Leduc, Violette Leiris, Michel Leonora Christina Leopardi, Giacomo Lessing, Doris Levi, Carlo Levi, Primo Lévi-Strauss, Claude Lewis, C.S. Liang Qichao Lionheart Gal Lister, Anne Lockhart, John Lorde, Audre Loyola, Saint Ignatius of Lu Xun Luthuli, Chief Albert Luxemburg, Rosa McCarthy, Mary Malcolm X Malraux, André Mandela, Nelson Mandel’shtam, Nadezhda Mandel’shtam, Osip Mann, Heinrich Martin, Claire Martineau, Harriet Maximilian I Mehta, Ved Menchú, Rigoberta Mesonero Romanos, Ramón de Mill, John Stuart Mi≠osz, Czes≠aw

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Mishima Yukio Momaday, N. Scott Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley Montaigne, Michel de Moodie, Susanna Morgan, Sally Morris, Jan Mphahlele, Es’kia [Ezekiel] Muir, Edwin Munby, Arthur and Hannah Cullwick Murasaki Shikibu Nabokov, Vladimir Naidu, Sarojini Naipaul, V.S. Narayan, R.K. Nehru, Jawaharlal Newman, John Henry Nexø, Martin Andersen Ngugi wa Thiong’o Niemcewicz, Julian Ursyn Nietzsche, Friedrich Nin, Anaïs O’Brien, George O’Casey, Sean Odinga, Oginga Oehlenschläger, Adam Oliphant, Margaret Ondaatje, Michael Orwell, George Osborne, Dorothy Ouyang Xiu Päätalo, Kalle Park, Mungo Park, Ruth Pasek, Jan Pellico, Silvio Pepys, Samuel Pérez de Guzmán, Fernán Perec, Georges Perón, Eva Petrarch Pfalz, Liselotte von der Plessen, Elisabeth Pliny the Younger Plutarch Poniatowska, Elena Porter, Hal Proust, Marcel Rhys, Jean Richelieu, Cardinal, Duc de Rilke, Rainer Maria Rodríguez, Richard Rolland, Romain Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Rowlandson, Mary Roy, Gabrielle Ruskin, John al-Sa‘dƒw¡, Nawƒl Sahgal, Nayantara Saint-Denys Garneau, Hector de

Saint-Simon Sancho, Ignatius Sand, George Sargeson, Frank Sarraute, Nathalie Sartre, Jean-Paul Sassoon, Siegfried Sayers, Peig Schweitzer, Albert Seacole, Mary Semprún, Jorge Seuse, Heinrich Sévigné, Madame de Shen Fu Shimazaki Tπson Shklovskii, Viktor Sima Qian Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Sorabji, Cornelia Soyinka, Wole Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Steedman, Carolyn Stendhal Stevenson, Robert Louis Strachey, Lytton Strindberg, August Suetonius Suleri, Sara Symons, A.J.A. Szász, Béla Széchenyi, István Tagore, Rabindranath Tƒhƒ Husayn Tawf¡q al-Hak¡m Teresa of Avila, Saint Thompson, Flora Thoreau, Henry David Tocqueville, Alexis de Toller, Ernst Tolstoi, Lev Tone, Wolfe Torres Villaroel, Diego de Traill, Catharine Parr Tsvetaeva, Marina Twain, Mark Usƒma ibn Munqidh Varnhagen, Rahel Levin Vas, István Vasari, Giorgio Velluti, Donato Vico, Giambattista Vivekananda, Swami Voltaire Walpole, Horace Walton, Izaak Washington, Booker T. Weiss, Peter Wells, H.G. Wesley, John Wharton, Edith

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White, Patrick Whitman, Walt Wieland, Christoph Martin Wiesel, Elie Wilde, Oscar Wolf, Christa Woodforde, James Woolf, Virginia Wordsworth, Dorothy

Wordsworth, William Wright, Richard Xie Bingying Yeats, W.B. Yu Dafu Zorilla y Moral, José Zoshchenko, Mikhail Zuckmayer, Carl

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a Abélard, Peter

After the catastrophe both of them entered religious communities – Abélard chose this refuge and Héloïse, as always, obeyed his wish. He was at St Denis, St Gildas de Rhuys in Brittany, Cluny, and continued his philosophical and some theological writing; she excelled as prioress at Argenteuil and then as abbess at the Convent of the Paraclete, given to her by Abélard, whose students had built it for him. This story is revealed in their life writings, his initial letter to a friend, and then two exchanges of letters between them, “The Personal Letters” and the “Letters of Direction” which concern the Paraclete community and the religious life. Abélard’s Historia calamitatum (composed c.1133; The Story of My Misfortunes) is subtitled in the best manuscripts “Abélard’s letter of consolation to his friend”. It is an autobiography in which Abélard presents the “trials” of his life, the pain and horror, as an example that will comfort his friend; the writing is also an occasion for self-exploration and explanation of his actions. Like Augustine’s Confessions, the Historia is both personal and intellectually poised. Abélard surveys details of his life, but stresses Héloïse’s argument against marriage because it would interfere with the philosopher’s life and his career in the church, and the drastic shift in his fortunes, a loss of reputation more painful than physical misery. There is much about the challenges to his teaching at a Council at Soissons, and of his struggles in Brittany among violent and unsympathetic monks, who even tried to kill him. Such a life offers consolation to the nominal addressee; the Historia is also a philosopher’s formal defence. The “Personal Letters”, two ostensibly by each lover, are sharply contrasted in manner and have often been compared as examples of male and female discourse. Abélard’s are coolly logical, and he urges religious consolation, never losing his own self-concern. Héloïse’s are humble but relentlessly argumentative. Her passion is expressed, her lover’s appeal identified – a skill in composing verse and song and in manhood “grace of mind and body” – and it is affirmed that she has obeyed him before God in all things. Her longing for him is palpable. Her first letter comments upon Abélard’s letter of consolation, which came to her by chance, and she chides him for not having any contact with her. A discussion of proper forms of address shows them both applying dialectic. Abélard’s longest letter urges that the end of their lust has been a grace to lead them to Christ, and that Héloïse should relinquish her role of dedication to Abélard to become the bride of Christ. Interlaced with feelings about their love are Héloïse’s thanks to Abélard for the gift of the

1079–1142

French philosopher and letter writer

Héloïse

c.1100–1164

French abbess and letter writer The extent and nature of the correspondence between Peter Abélard and Héloïse continue to be the subjects of new research and great debate. On the one hand, computer-assisted stylistic analysis in the 1980s spawned controversial allegations that Abélard composed the four famous “Personal Letters” himself, although two are supposedly by Héloïse. On the other hand, the scholar Constant Mews has ascribed a further 113 letters to the pair, from the early stages of their relationship, and Bonnie Wheeler has brought together a collection of essays devoted exclusively to Héloïse. While it is likely that, at the beginning of the 21st century, we are going to have to re-envision our conceptions of Abélard and Héloïse in the light of this new research, we can at least represent here the content of the four central “Personal Letters” and the influence they have had to date. The “Personal Letters” letters tell a remarkable story of great intellect, intense passion, disputed marriage, sexual mutilation, suffering, separation, and, after some years, a new relationship of brother and sister in Christ, working for the formation of a religious community. Written after the lovers’ physical relationship ended with Abélard’s castration, they are models of both the public and the private styles in Latin composition. The selfanalysis and rhetorical skill are remarkable. This celebrated love affair of the Middle Ages has inspired admiration and imitation, and opposition, for centuries; and today’s historians and critics continue the debate, particularly with readings informed by gender theory. Abélard was the greatest Western logician of the 12th century, a much admired teacher who was influential in moving education from the monastery to the cathedral schools that led to the formation of universities, and an opponent of Bernard of Clairvaux. Héloïse, a brilliant young woman, was about 17 years old when she became the pupil of Abélard, who was in his 30s, by the arrangement of her uncle Fulbert, a canon at Notre Dame. She was already widely read in the classics, skilled in Latin and Greek, and perhaps Hebrew, and a master of dialectic – in fact a female counterpart to Abélard’s classical ideal of the philosopher as one who is set apart from and above human ties. 1

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Paraclete and a plea for his help in leading the community of nuns. The “Letters of Direction” amply fulfil this request, as Abélard establishes a Rule to assist Héloïse as abbess at the Paraclete and to devote herself to monasticism. A letter from the abbot of Cluny, Peter the Venerable, praises her exemplary achievement. Another of Abélard’s letters exalts women, particularly nuns, a form of praise of the new Héloïse, the final perfection of his direction. The letters, which Héloïse probably kept at the Paraclete, became public only when Jean de Meun translated them and included a version of Héloïse’s diatribe on marriage in his completion of the Roman de la Rose (1269–78; Romance of the Rose), one of the most influential medieval texts. Chaucer refers briefly to Héloïse, but Petrarch shows more interest. The Latin texts were published in France at the start of the 17th century and in England in the 18th century, which also saw Alexander Pope’s Eloisa to Abélard (1717), with a neoclassical romantic heroine. In this century the medieval loves have spawned novels – George Moore’s Héloïse and Abélard (1921) and Helen Waddell’s Peter Abelard (1933) – and a West End play, Ronald Millar’s Abélard and Héloïse (1970), as well as numerous biographical and critical studies centred on the life writings. Velma Bourgeois Richmond Biographies Peter Abélard was born in Le Pallet, near Nantes, Brittany, 1079, into a noble Breton family. His father was a knight in the service of the Count of Brittany. Studied under Roscelin de Compiègne at the age of 15. Héloïse was born into a noble French family, c.1100. Became the ward of her uncle, Fulbert, canon of Notre Dame in Paris. Abélard moved to Paris by 1100, and attended lectures by William de Champeaux, head of the cathedral school of Notre Dame. Won a debate with William, which led to his leaving Notre Dame and setting up his own school, first in Melun, 1102, then in Corbeil and SainteGeneviève, all near Paris. Went home to Brittany to settle the family estates after his parents decided to enter religious life, 1111. Studied theology under Anselm of Laon. Appointed lecturer at the cathedral school of Notre Dame, 1112 or 1113; pupils included John of Salisbury. Invited to lodge with Canon Fulbert of Notre Dame and to become tutor to Héloïse, who was then aged 17, 1117. Became her lover. Discovered by Fulbert and evicted; left with Héloïse for Brittany, where their son was born. Returned to Paris and married her secretly. Removed Héloïse to a convent at Argenteuil for safety. Castrated by Fulbert and some companions. Gave up his post at Notre Dame and retired to the abbey of Saint-Denis, near Paris, where he became a monk, c.1119. Ordered Héloïse to become a nun. Condemned for heresy at the Council of Soissons, 1121. Became a hermit at Nogentsur-Seine near Troyes. Built a monastic school there, the Paraclete, helped by his pupils. Wrote Sic et non, concerning faith and reason, c.1123. Elected abbot of St Gildas-de-Rhuys, Brittany, 1125. Gave the Paraclete to Héloïse and her community of nuns, c.1128. She was expelled from Argenteuil with the rest of her community when the convent was recovered by the abbot of Saint-Denis, 1129. Was offered Abélard’s hermitage of the Paraclete near Troyes and settled there with her community as abbess. Corresponded with Abélard, 1130–39. Abélard composed Historia calamitatum (The Story of My Misfortunes), c.1132. Moved to Mont-Sainte-Geneviève and taught large numbers of pupils, c.1135. Condemned for heresy at the Council of Sens, at the instigation of Bernard of Clairvaux, 1140. Retired to Cluny Abbey, then to the priory of Saint-Marcel, near Chalon-surSaône, Burgundy. Died at Saint-Marcel, 21 April 1142. Héloïse had Abélard’s remains buried at the Paraclete, 1142. She died at the Paraclete, 16 May 1164.

Selected Writings Historia calamitatum (composed c.1133); edited by Jacques Monfrin, 1959; as Abelard’s Letter of Consolation to a Friend, edited by

Joseph T. Muckle, in Medieval Studies, 12 (1950); as Historia calamitatum: The Story of My Misfortunes, translated by Henry Adams Bellows, 1922; as The Story of Abelard’s Adversities, translated by J.T. Muckle, 1954; in Abelard and Héloïse: The Story of His Misfortunes, and The Personal Letters, translated by Betty Radice, 1977 Epistolae; editions and selections as: The Letters of Abeillard and Heloisa, edited and translated by Joseph Berington, 2nd edition, 1788; Abaelardi et Heloissae epistolae, edited by Io. Caspar Orellius, 1841; Letters IX–XIV (in Latin), edited by Edmé Renno Smits, 1983; translations: The Letters of Abelard and Héloïse, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff, 1925; Eloïsa to Abelard, with the Letters of Héloïse to Abelard in the Version by John Hughes, 1713, edited by James E. Wellington, 1965; The Letters of Abelard and Héloïse, translated by Betty Radice, 1974; in Abelard and Héloïse: The Story of His Misfortunes, and The Personal Letters, translated by Betty Radice, 1977 Petri Abaelardi Abbatis Rugensis opera omnia, vol. 178 of Patrologiae cursus completus: series latina, edited by J.-P. Migne, 1885

Further Reading Clanchy, M.T., Abelard: A Medieval Life, Oxford: Blackwell, 1997 Dronke, Peter, Abelard and Héloïse in Medieval Testimonies, Glasgow: University of Glasgow Press, 1976 Dronke, Peter, “‘Héloïse’ and ‘Excursus’: Did Abélard Write Héloïse’s Third Letter?” in Women Writers of the Middle Ages: A Critical Study of Texts from Perpetua (+203) to Marguerite Porete (+1310), Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984 Dronke, Peter, “Héloïse, Abélard, and Some Recent Discussions” in Intellectuals and Poets in Medieval Europe, Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1992 Gilson, Etienne, Héloïse et Abélard, Paris: Vrin, 1938; as Héloïse and Abelard, translated by L.K. Shook, Chicago: Regnery, 1951; London: Hollis and Carter, 1953 Kamuf, Peggy, Fictions of Feminine Desire: Disclosures of Héloïse, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982 Knowles, David, The Evolution of Medieval Thought, London: Longmans, and New York: Vintage, 1962; 2nd edition, edited by D.E. Luscombe and C.N.L. Brooke, London and New York: Longman, 1988 McLaughlin, Mary M., “Abélard as Autobiographer: The Motives and Meaning of his Story of Calamities”, Speculum, 42 (1967): 463–88 Mews, Constant J., Peter Abelard, Aldershot, Hampshire: Variorum, 1995 Mews, Constant J., The Lost Love Letters of Heloïse and Abélard: Perceptions of Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France, London: Macmillan, and New York: St Martin’s Press, 1999 (includes translations by Mews and Neville Chiavaroli) Muckle, J.T. (editor), “The Personal Letters between Abélard and Héloïse”, Mediaeval Studies, 15 (1953): 68–73 Muckle, J.T., “Suo specialiter, sua singulariter”, Mediaeval Studies, 17 (1955): 241–53 Newman, Barbara, “Authority, Authenticity, and the Repression of Héloïse” in Virile Woman to Woman Christ: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995 Robertson, D.W., Jr, Abelard and Héloïse, New York: Dial Press, 1972 Southern, R.W., “The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse” in Medieval Humanism and Other Studies, Oxford: Blackwell, 1970 Wheeler, Bonnie (editor), Listening to Heloïse: The Voice of a TwelfthCentury Woman, London: Macmillan, 2000

Adams, Henry

1838–1918

American historian, autobiographer, and biographer Henry Adams’s great-grandfather, who helped draft the Declaration of Independence, was the second president of the United States. His grandfather was the sixth. His father was minister to

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England during the civil war and largely responsible for keeping England, which was sympathetic with the confederacy, out of the conflict. But Henry Adams, who served as his father’s personal secretary during that time, lived in an embattled relation with his pedigree. He was a man at odds with his environment, seeing the dynamo – the coal-powered generator of electricity – as emblematic of an evolving world that wanted only, as R.P. Blackmur noted, “the aggregation of force in the form of wealth”, a world in which Adams could only feel an alien. In his reaction to this world Adams anticipated the postures of modernism. He looked on the world with irony and cynicism, at times with bitterness – perhaps even with a willing “acceptance of a fragmented self in a fragmented universe”, as Jackson Lears once put it (cited in Burich). The book for which he is principally remembered, and the text that has secured him a place among modern life-writers, is The Education of Henry Adams, a deeply insightful, ironic book of memoir, social criticism, political philosophy, religious and scientific reflection, and autobiography written in the third person – a point of view that lends the narrative voice a detached quality, a kind of authority that belongs more properly to the novel and to biography. First published privately in 1907, it was issued publicly in 1918, after Adams’s death, with the unauthorized subtitle “An Autobiography”. It was received to great acclaim from the start. “For mere stuff”, wrote an anonymous reviewer in The New Republic, “the book is incomparable”. The following year it was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, and to this day it is regarded by some as one of the very few great books written in America before World War I. Adams himself conceived of it as a companion volume to his Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (1904), in which he had attempted – again in the voice of an assumed persona – to show not what happened in the Middle Ages but what they felt like. He regarded the first as “a study of thirteenth-century unity” and the second as “a study of twentieth-century multiplicity”. The Education is not quite autobiography masquerading as biography, but it is an artfully contrived narrative that may be fruitfully compared to Adams’s letters, since they and the Education do not always agree on particulars. Part of the Education’s great appeal is its quotable nature, its glib and memorable style. Adams defined a schoolmaster as “a man employed to tell lies to little boys”. Professional men he treated with good-natured acerbity: “No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else”; like all public servants, he will first acquire “the habit of office” and then lose “the faculty of will”. English society of the 1860s “had no unity; one wandered about in it like a maggot in cheese”. The English and their food fared no better: “Every one, especially in young society, complained bitterly that Englishmen did not know a good dinner when they ate it, and could not order one if they were given carte blanche”, and some of them, like the poet and sculptor Thomas Woolner, could be courteous only by “supernatural effort”. Such scientists as Sir Charles Lyell (whom Adams knew personally) could apparently be as lax as theologians and “assume unity from the start”, so Adams himself could be “a Darwinian for fun”, for “[o]ne could not stop to chase doubts as though they were rabbits”. The tone was not entirely new. Benjamin Franklin in his Autobiography had always strategically placed his tongue in

3

his cheek. Adams was conscious of the precedent. He aligned his Education with Franklin’s Autobiography but also with the Confessions of both Augustine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau and, by virtue of his mannequin image “on which the toilet of education is to be draped in order to show the fit or the misfit of the clothes”, with Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus. In addition to these specific predecessors, as Couser points out, Adams had before him the tradition of Old Testament prophets and the Puritan models of personal narrative. He also had the jeremiad; his in a “modernist version … urging lessons but not solutions” (O’Brien). The tendency among autobiographers to work by selection and exclusion was exaggerated in Adams, most notably in the twenty-year gap after 1871, a period that included his years as assistant professor of medieval history at Harvard, the publication of his nine-volume History of the United States During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and the death by suicide of his wife, Marian Hooper. The anxiety occasioned by the force and variety of his inheritance alone might account for Adams’s self-deprecation and irony were it not for the fact that Adams felt acutely that things fall apart. His view of the civil war may serve as an example. Adams wrote of it wryly and with acid, remarking that: “the lesson in education was vital to these young men” of college age, whether New Englanders or Virginians, “who, within ten years, killed each other by scores in the act of testing their college conclusions”. The civil war prompted doubts of his own “on the facts of moral evolution”. He himself, “with Heaven knew how many Puritans and Patriots behind him”, had “an education that had cost a civil war”. As the title of the book implies, education is the point, autobiography the vehicle or host, and the author returns again and again to the point. Indeed, Adams’s view of life itself is that all experience should tend toward education, and education must, as Blackmur says, fit the mind with skills and tools “for intelligent reaction in a given context”. Adams complained that formal education was worthless: “Four years of Harvard College, if successful, resulted in an autobiographical blank, a mind on which only a water-mark had been stamped.” Looking back from the prospect of old age, Adams said that seventy years of education had “no moral and little incident”, adding that “the practical value” remained “to the end in doubt”. In short, the story of his education was a story of failure. Much ink has been spent on this, one critic remarking that Henry Adams’s definition of failure is written “in about the brightest and most intelligent style we shall ever read” (Cox). Another comments on those who “have felt that his thesis of failure would be contradicted by an account of success enough for several lifetimes” (Bishop). Blackmur comments astutely: The failure is not of knowledge or of feeling. It is the failure of the ability to react correctly or even intelligently to more than an abbreviated version of knowledge and feeling … It is the failure the mind comes to ultimately and all along when it is compelled to measure its knowledge in terms of its ignorance. Most failures we have the tact to ignore or give a kinder name. That is because we know by instinct at what a heavy discount to put most proffered examples of failure. There was no effort of imagination in them and only private agony, where for great failure we want the most unrelenting imagination and impersonal agony of

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knowledge searching the haven of objective form … A genuine failure comes hard and slow. Blackmur concludes aptly: “Failure is the appropriate end to the type of mind of which Adams is a pre-eminent example: the type which attempts through imagination to find the meaning or source of unity aside from the experience which it unites.” The source of unity was to come from within. “Adams, evidently frightened by the enormous increases in the use of energy in the nineteenth century and particularly by their extrapolation into the future, propose[d] that man must change: he must get back to thought’s controlling force” (Bishop). Adams saw with unmatched clarity the convulsion the world had undergone in the era of the dynamo, and he located his own success in his quest, as Bishop puts it, “for an adequate set of symbols” to unify the fragmented nature of modern life. Jason R. Peters Biography Henry Brooks Adams. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 16 February 1838. His grandfather, John Quincy Adams, and greatgrandfather, John Adams, were both US presidents. Studied at Harvard College (later Harvard University), Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1854– 58 (BA). Studied law at the University of Berlin, 1858–59. Lived in Dresden, 1859–60. Travelled to Italy, writing for the Boston Courier, 1860. Worked as private secretary to his father, Charles Francis Adams, when he served in Congress, representing Massachusetts, in Washington, DC, 1860–61, and when he was US ambassador to London, 1861–68. Lived in Washington, DC, and in London, contributing to various American periodicals, 1869. Editor of North American Review, Boston, 1870–76, and assistant professor of medieval history, Harvard University, 1870–77. Married Marian “Clover” Hooper, 1872. Settled in Washington, DC, 1877. Wrote two novels, Democracy (1880) and Esther (1884), and began work on the History of the United States (9 vols, 1889–91). Wife committed suicide, 1885. President, American Historical Association, 1894. In later life spent six months every year in France. Wrote Mont-SaintMichel and Chartres (1904), an influential study of the unity of religion and art in the Middle Ages, and The Education of Henry Adams (1907), for which he was awarded the Pulitzer prize, posthumously, in 1919. Died in Washington, DC, 27 March 1918.

Selected Writings The Life of Albert Gallatin (biographical study), 1879 John Randolph (biographical study), 1882, revised 1883; edited by Robert McColley, 1996 Memoirs of Marau, Last Queen of Tahiti, 1893; as Memoirs of Arii, 1902; as Tahiti: Memoirs of Arii Taimai, edited by Robert E. Spiller, 1947 The Education of Henry Adams, 1907; edited by Ernest Samuels, 1974; edited by Ira B. Nadel, 1999 The Life of George Cabot Lodge (biographical study), 1911 Letters to a Niece and Prayer to the Virgin of Chartres, edited by Mabel La Farge, 1920 Letters of Henry Adams (1858–1891), 1930 Letters, edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford, 2 vols, 1930–38 Henry Adams and His Friends (correspondence), 1947 Selected Letters, edited by Newton Arvin, 1951 The Letters of Henry Adams, edited by J.C. Levenson et al., 6 vols, 1982–88 The Correspondence of Henry James and Henry Adams 1877–1914, edited by George Monteiro, 1992 Henry Adams: Selected Letters, edited by Ernest Samuels, 1992 Also edited, with Clara Louise Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, 3 vols, 1908

Further Reading Adams, Henry, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres, Washington DC: privately printed, 1904; revised and enlarged, 1912; London: Constable, 1913 Bishop, Ferman, Henry Adams, Boston: Twayne, 1979 Blackmur, R.P., Henry Adams, edited by Veronica A. Makowsky, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980 Burich, Keith R., “Henry Adams’ Annis Mirabilis: 1900 and the Making of a Modernist”, American Studies, 32/2 (1991): 103–16 Brogan, D.W., introduction to The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1961 Contosta, David R., Henry Adams and the American Experiment, edited by Oscar Handlin, Boston: Little Brown, 1980 Couser, Thomas G., American Autobiography: The Prophetic Mode, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1979 Cox, James M., “Learning through Ignorance: The Education of Henry Adams”, Sewanee Review, 88 (1980): 198–227 F[rancis] H[ackett], “Henry Adams”, The New Republic, 17/214 (1918): 169–71 O’Brien, Michael, entry on Henry Adams in Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 47, Detroit: Gale Research, 1986 Pascal, Roy, Design and Truth in Autobiography, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, and London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1960 Samuels, Ernest, introduction to The Education of Henry Adams, edited by Samuels, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973 Saveth, Edward N., introduction toThe Education of Henry Adams and Other Selected Writings, edited by Saveth, New York: Twayne, 1963 Sayre, Robert F., The Examined Self: Benjamin Franklin, Henry Adams, Henry James, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1964

Addams, Jane

1860–1935

American social worker, reformer, and autobiographer The pioneer social worker and social and political reformer Jane Addams described the development of her famous Chicago settlement house in her classic autobiography Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910). Addams’s autobiographical sequel, The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House (1930), describes the development of relationships between the Hull-House settlement and reform work and national and international reform and progressive political activity during the second and third decades of the 20th century. Twenty Years at Hull-House is a major text of the mainstream of American autobiography. As in Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography (published complete in 1868), Ulysses S. Grant’s Personal Memoirs (1885–86), and The Education of Henry Adams (1907), Jane Addams blends personal history with an account of an important public life that explores the nature of individual achievement. Twenty Years at Hull-House is the great American autobiography of a life of social work, a field in which Addams played a seminal, founding role. It is also a central modern feminist text. Addams was imbued with a modern cast of mind and was interested in tracing connections between her personal history and her position in life at the top of her chosen field at the time she wrote Twenty Years. Growing up in a small town in northern Illinois during and after the Civil War, she greatly admired her father, a widower after his wife’s death between Jane’s second and seventh years. John Addams had been an active abolitionist, a friend and political ally of Abraham Lincoln, and an eight-term Whig and later Republican state senator. A veteran of the rough-and-tumble postbellum Illinois political

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scene remembered him as the only state legislator who had not only never accepted a bribe but had never been offered one: “bad men were instinctively afraid of him”, recalled his daughter. Jane Addams’s lifelong sense of high moral purpose and ongoing effort to realize her ideals through concrete action is traceable in part to the inspiration of her father. After graduating from Rockford College in Illinois in 1882 and a brief, unsatisfactory stint in medical school, Addams experienced some years of uncertainty about her future. In a general way, she always knew that she would live among and help the poor. A tour of England, including a visit to the destitute of the East End of London, and meetings with British reform theorists and activists helped to focus her plans. Influential, too, were her studies of positivist philosophy, prompted by the British follower of Auguste Comte, Frederic Harrison. A visit to Toynbee Hall, an East London settlement founded in 1884 by an Oxford University group stimulated by the ideas of John Ruskin and Lev Tolstoii, helped to crystallize Addams’s determination “to rent a house in a part of [Chicago] where many primitive and actual needs are found, in which young women who have been given over too exclusively to study, might restore a balance of activity along traditional lines and learn from life itself”. Addams’s friend and co-founder of HullHouse, Ellen Gates Starr, wrote in 1889 that for Addams settlement work “is more for the benefit of the people who do it than for the other class, that one gets as much as she gives”. Among the other mostly white, middle-class young women who joined Addams in the formation of Hull-House was Mary Rozet Smith, who became Addams’s companion throughout her life. The Hull-House settlement, which occupied the former country house of a well-to-do Chicago businessman, was located in what developed into a raw district of thousands of Italian, Greek, German, Russian, and other immigrants. Addams and her colleagues provided social services, childcare, boys’ clubs, care for unmarried mothers and battered women, and other benefits to a community subject to the extremely exploitative labour practices of late 19th-century entrepreneurs. In addition to direct social services, Hull-House engaged in political work to institute laws to control child labour, require school attendance, and limit the hours of work for women, as well as efforts for industrial safety and the recognition of labour unions. Following Ruskin and William Morris, Addams believed that there was an important link between art and social reform, and arts programmes, including the Hull-House Players drama group, were integral to her mission. While Twenty Years is laden with information essential to American social history, the autobiography is not only of interest in relation to its public character. Throughout, Addams’s unique voice is discernible: gently probing, striving to find connections between personal vision and public outcomes, and, if we listen closely, self-deprecating and witty. The soft intonation of her personal voice, heard behind and blended with her public tone, is ever present in Twenty Years, but it is heard more faintly, and sometimes not at all, in The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House. Yet this second autobiographical volume provides the essential story of the continued development of Hull-House and the way in which its programmes grew and connected with progressive political and social-reform activity in America and elsewhere. James Robert Payne

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Biography Laura Jane Addams. Born in Cedarville, near Freeport, Illinois, United States, 6 September 1860. Her father was John Huy Addams, a Quaker, prominent local businessman, and Republican politician. Mother died while she was an infant. Father remarried, 1868. Educated at Rockford Female Seminary, Illinois (later Rockford College for Women), 1877–81 (awarded degree 1882). Entered Women’s Medical College, Philadelphia, 1881, but abandoned medical studies after six months due to ill health. Travelled extensively in Europe, 1883–85 and 1887–89, and became influenced by the views of John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle. Visited Toynbee Hall settlement house in London, a philanthropic project for the underprivileged, with Starr, a close friend. Founded the pioneering Hull-House settlement in a poor neighbourhood of Chicago, in partnership with Ellen Gates Starr, financed partly by a legacy from her father, 1889. Initiated many educational and social-welfare projects at Hull-House, which served as a model for many subsequent settlement houses. Active in politics, women’s suffrage campaigns, and labour and social-reform movements in Chicago from 1890. Wrote and lectured widely on these issues, sponsored partly by the Carnegie Foundation. Member of mediation commission of Pullman railroad strike, 1894. Published Democracy and Social Ethics (1902), Newer Ideals of Peace (1907), and Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910). Member of Chicago School Board from 1905. Participated in founding of Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, 1908. First woman president of National Conference of Charities and Corrections (now National Conference on Social Welfare), 1909. First woman to be awarded honorary degree by Yale University, 1910. Vice-president, National-American Woman Suffrage Alliance, 1911–14. Pro-suffrage columnist for Ladies Home Journal, c.1910. Took part in the Progressive party’s presidential campaign for Theodore Roosevelt, 1912. Refused to support involvement of United States in World War I. Chairman of International Congress of Women, The Hague, 1915. First president of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1919–29. Awarded Nobel Peace Prize (with Nicholas Murray Butler), 1931. Died in Chicago, 21 May 1935.

Selected Writings Twenty Years at Hull-House, 1910; edited by Victoria Bissel Brown, 1999 The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House, September 1909 to September 1929, 1930 When I Was a Girl: The Stories of Five Famous Women as Told by Themselves, edited by Helen Ferris, 1930 (with others) What I Owe to My Father, edited by Sydney Strong, 1972

Further Reading Davis, Allen F., American Heroine: The Life and Legend of Jane Addams, New York: Oxford University Press, 1973; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975 Davis, Allen F., Spearheads for Reform: The Social Settlements and the Progressive Movement, 1890–1914, New York: Oxford University Press, 1967 Harkavy, I. and J.L. Puckett, “Lessons from Hull-House for the Contemporary Urban University”, Social Service Review, 68/3 (1994): 299–321 Haslett, D.C., “Hull House and the Birth Control Movement: An Untold Story”, Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 12/3 (1997): 261–77 Linn, James Weber, Jane Addams: A Biography, London and New York: Appleton Century, 1935 Lundblad, K.S., “Jane Addams and Social Reform: A Role Model for the 1990s”, Social Work, 40/5 (1995): 661–69 Rudnick, Lois, “A Feminist American Success Myth: Jane Addams’ Twenty Years at Hull-House” in Tradition and the Talents of Women, edited by Florence Howe, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991 Shapiro, B.Z., “Social Action, the Group and Society”, Social Work with Groups, 14/3–4 (1991): 7–21 Sullivan, M., “Social Work’s Legacy of Peace: Echoes from the Early 20th Century”, Social Work, 38/5 (1993): 513–20

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Adolescence and Life Writing Adolescence is usually conflated with the autobiographer’s childhood in life writings, both in retrospective accounts and in diaries written during adolescence, as well as in the meagre critical literature on the subject, little of which is devoted specifically to adolescence. The generic label “childhood”, as Richard Coe, the most sophisticated critic on the topic, uses it in When the Grass Was Taller (1984), applies to life writings that begin early in the author’s life – at birth, or during the pre-school or early school years – and extend to a variety of terminal points that indicate maturity. “Adolescence in life writing” is a term for the segment of these works that begins with the onset of puberty and ends when the subject arrives at maturity (itself another variable and debatable term). This is the period of life when the subject concentrates on growing up and coming of age – growing out and away from the family of nurture until some measure of independence and autonomy is reached. Thus this discussion of adolescence in autobiographies extracts this topic from the larger segment of the life span in which it is usually embedded. Life writings depict the development of the adolescent subject’s moral, sexual, social, religious, political, and economic sensibilities, in varying proportions, whether in imitation or defiance of one’s parents and culture. Other proofs of maturity that demarcate the end of adolescence (and often, the end of the book) are characterized by some form of motion, of fluid transition from one state to another: leaving home, perhaps never to return – unlike the epic, whose journeying hero always comes home – (Mary McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, 1957); a break with one’s parents (Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, 1976); departure for (or graduation from) college (Frank Conroy’s Stop-Time, 1967); enlistment in the military or embarkation on one’s chosen career (Alice Kaplan’s French Lessons, 1993); marriage (Russell Baker’s Growing Up, 1982); parenthood (Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969); coming out sexually (Paul Monette’s Becoming a Man, 1992); or acknowledging an ethnic or racial heritage (Peter Balakian’s Black Dog of Fate, 1997). These do not necessarily happen concurrently or in a particular sequence, and may occur at a wide range of chronological ages. The stress and complexity of these maturing processes provide the adolescent’s coming-of-age with motifs, narrative structures, and a variety of tones and perspectives; in quality literature – popular perception notwithstanding – these are rarely sentimental. The extended treatment of adolescence in life writing is a relatively recent form in Western literature, for it could not exist until the culture acknowledged adolescence itself as a specific, definable, and necessary – however problematic – state of human development deserving of notice. Throughout medieval Europe and much of modern Africa, children and adolescents have been regarded as adults-in-training and undifferentiated members of clans or tribes until an initiation ceremony (or perhaps marriage) marked them as adults, not teenagers, a term so recent it has not been cited in the Oxford English Dictionary. Adolescent (including Freudian) psychology was – and remains – irrelevant in cultures where youths with “complexes” are treated as social misfits and are unlikely to survive. Religion and philosophy reinforced this sociologically based impatience with the young; in his Confessions (written c.397–400), St Augustine

set the pattern for the next 1400 years by treating his youthful self as the negation of everything he was later to become: “I am loth, indeed, to count [this] as part of the life I led in this world.” Only within the past 150 years has adolescence been treated as a distinctive life stage in life writing, primarily in cultures that value democracy, individuality, and equality: France and Britain, North America and Australia, the emerging Third World, and (surprisingly) Russia. The subject’s adolescent years have figured prominently in notable autobiographies spanning the subject’s entire life, such as Rousseau’s Confessions (1782–89), Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography (1791), and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845; this version, a notable coming-of-age work, expanded as his life continued). In most serial autobiographies, such as those by Douglass, Simone de Beauvoir, and Maya Angelou, the later volumes seldom attain the literary quality of those concerning the adolescent stage, perhaps because in the earliest volume the author has rehearsed the stories and obtained both the selfunderstanding and the distance from these more remote events to transmute uninformed life into informed art. It may also be that because conversations, characters, and significant details of the author’s adolescent life are less readily documented, they lend themselves to greater fictionalizing. Indeed, many of the best treatments of adolescence are written by novelists – for example, Hamlin Garland’s A Son of the Middle Border (1917), Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory (1951, 1966), McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, John Updike’s SelfConsciousness (1989), and Tobias Wolff ’s This Boy’s Life (1989). Adolescent diaries by thoughtful, introspective writers (most notably, Anne Frank, first published 1947) reveal the creation of a reflective, analytic self who establishes a separate, independent existence within the work even when it is impossible to do so in actual life. Adolescence as a life stage flourished in 20th-century life writing, and this is not surprising, given the era’s emphasis on adolescent psychology, education, and (a particularly Western) media glorification of teenage culture and sensibility. Many of these accounts of growing up are also tales of surmounting family hardships (Baker’s Growing Up), extreme living conditions (Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, 1996), racial discrimination (Richard Wright’s Black Boy, 1945), life-threatening illness (Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face, 1994), and dysfunctional families, particularly in the confessional 1990s (Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club: A Memoir, 1995). Others are more lyrical and idealized (Susan Allen Toth’s Blooming: A Small-Town Girlhood, 1981, and Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood, 1987). Adolescence in autobiography lends itself to varied theoretical and pragmatic readings, either as social polemics (Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1860), or as arguments for or against a particular philosophy (Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory, 1982) or way of life (Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior). These autobiographers have re-created their own characters and made them larger than life, suffused with compressed and pungent meaning. Lynn Z. Bloom See also Childhood and Life Writing; Children’s Life Writing; Family Relations and Life Writing; Fatherhood and Life Writing; Motherhood and Life Writing

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Further Reading Adams, Timothy Dow, “Deafness and Deftness in CODA Autobiography: Ruth Sidransky’s In Silence and Lou Ann Walker’s A Loss for Words”, Biography, 20/2 (1997): 141–55 Bloom, Lynn Z., “Coming of Age in the Segregated South: Autobiographies of Twentieth-Century Childhoods, Black and White” in Home Ground: Southern Autobiography, edited by J. Bill Berry, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991 Challener, Daniel Delo, “The Autobiographies of Resilient Children: Brothers and Keepers, Hunger of Memory, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, This Boy’s Life, and The Woman Warrior” (dissertation), Provincetown, Rhode Island: Brown University, 1994 Coe, Richard N., When the Grass Was Taller: Autobiography and the Experience of Childhood, New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press, 1984 Figge, Susan G., “Father Books: Memoirs of the Children of Fascist Fathers” in Revealing Lives: Autobiography, Biography, and Gender, edited by Susan Groag Bell and Marilyn Yalom, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990 Foster, Frances Smith, “Parents and Children in Autobiography by Southern Afro-American Writers” in Home Ground: Southern Autobiography, edited by J. Bill Berry, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991 Greve, Janis, “Orphanhood and ‘Photo’-portraiture in Mary McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood” in American Women’s Autobiography: Fea(s)ts of Memory, edited by Margo Culley, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992 Haviland, J.M. and D.A. Kramer, “Affect-Cognition Relationships in Adolescent Diaries: The Case of Anne Frank”, Human Development, 34/3 (1991): 143–59 Hazlett, John Downton, My Generation: Collective Autobiography and Identity Politics, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998 Hirsch, Marianne, “Resisting Images: Rereading Adolescence” in Provoking Agents: Gender and Agency in Theory and Practice, edited by Judith Kegan Gardiner, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995 Jacobson, Marcia, Being a Boy Again: Autobiography and the American Boy Book, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1994 Labovitz, Esther K., “The Female Bildungsroman in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Study: Dorothy Richardson, Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing, Christa Wolf” (dissertation), New York: New York University, 1982 Lim, Shirley Geok-Lin, “The Tradition of Chinese American Women’s Life Stories: Thematics of Race and Gender in Jade Snow Wong’s Fifth Chinese Daughter and Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior” in American Women’s Autobiography: Fea(s)ts of Memory, edited by Margo Culley, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992 Litowitz, B. and R. Gundlach, “When Adolescents Write: Semiotic and Social Dimensions of Adolescents’ Personal Writing”, Adolescent Psychiatry, 14 (1987): 82–111 Maynes, M.J., “Adolescent Sexuality and Social Identity in French and German Lower-Class Autobiography”, Journal of Family History, 17/4 (1992): 397–418 Olney, James, “Parents and Children in Robert Penn Warren’s Autobiography” in Home Ground: Southern Autobiography, edited by J. Bill Berry, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991

Africa: North Various forms of life writing, including autobiographical novels, life stories, and to a lesser extent published diaries and correspondence, came to particular prominence in the Maghreb from the 1950s onwards, with the development of the independence movements, as the colony of Algeria and the protectorates of Morocco and Tunisia sought to liberate themselves from French colonial power. The identity of the individual, of the com-

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munity, and of the nation in the colonial and postcolonial contexts; debates concerning the language of expression and the relationship between language and identity; and questions of perception and representation of self and other were concerns shared by writers across these three countries, although with variations in emphasis resulting from the different experiences of colonial rule. It is therefore important to consider each country separately, taking into account the historical context, and stressing that the life writings considered here are written in French, a consequence of the school system introduced by the colonial power and necessitating a consideration of the influence of French language and literature. The question of the influence of Arabic literature in North Africa is a complex one, and although it is true to say that the question of the self is important in the development of modern Arabic literature (and that forms of life writing exist also in the classical Arabic tradition), there is little evidence of widespread Arabic literary influence. In addition to this, the influence of the region’s oral culture (including Berber and dialectal Arabic) is more important when considering literary forms of autobiographical discourse and its figures and modes of expression. The mixture of writers from Islamic, Jewish, and Christian cultures in North Africa adds to the diversity of life writing. There is remarkable vigour in this desire to speak of the self, although often in order to “represent”, in both meanings of the word, the wider social group, given the traditional conduct in Muslim society in which social identity is more valued than the individualism promoted in Western society. Several of these writers contributed to the development of autobiographical discourses in the second half of the 20th century, and the more experimental forms make an interesting parallel to the “new autobiography” in France. Algeria was colonized in 1830 and achieved independence after a bloody seven-year war in 1962. The French school system was put in place during the 1880s and 1890s, and from the 1920s onwards Algerians began writing and publishing in French. The writers of the period 1920–50 are usually considered, with the exceptions of the overtly nationalist Ali El Hammami and Malek Bennabi, to be culturally and politically assimilated and, while often expressing the need to maintain an Algerian identity, largely accepted the alliance with the colonizer seen as important in the evolution towards modernity. In addition, there is the work of Pied-noir writers (people of European origin in colonial Algeria), notably Louis Bertrand and Robert Randau, whose works contain a significant autobiographical element, with Bertrand also writing directly of his experiences in texts such as Mes années d’apprentissage [1938; My Apprenticeship Years]. More recently Marie Cardinal with Les Mots pour le dire (1975; The Words to Say It) and the publication of Albert Camus’s final manuscript, an autobiographical novel, Le Premier Homme (1994; The First Man) have revived interest in the Pied-noir experience. It was from 1945 onwards, under the impact of World War II, including the defeat of France in 1940, and the brutal repression of a demonstration in Sétif on 8 May 1945, that Algerians expressed the need to question in a new way their identity both individually and collectively. A founding text of life writing in this period is Mouloud Feraoun’s autobiographical novel Le Fils du pauvre [1950; The Poor Man’s Son], begun in 1939. It is however less overtly political than the work that would be produced by writers belonging to what the Tunisian Albert Memmi,

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one of the most important figures in North African literature and thought, would call the “Generation of 52” writing across the Maghreb. Often, but not always, taking the form of largely autobiographical novels, all of these works were produced in the awareness that the writer is a “witness” with a duty to be a “public” writer, and they are concerned with the effects of colonialism and the war of independence on individuals and on society. The most prominent names are Mohammed Dib, Mouloud Mammeri, Malek Haddad, and especially Kateb Yacine, whose Nedjma (1956), an “autobiography in the plural” as he called it, is an essential text in the development of more experimental forms of autobiographical discourse. Important writers who followed, from the 1960s onwards, are the controversial Rachid Boudjedra, Nabile Farès, Tahar Djaout, and Rachid Mimouni. These authors, although often not autobiographical in a direct or traditional sense, share a preoccupation with individual and collective identity and memory, and with the transformation of society under the impact of war and revolution, often expressing disillusionment. Feraoun remained an important figure in life writing until his assassination in 1962 and beyond, with the publication of his diary (1955–62) and his correspondence, Lettres à ses amis [1969; Letters to His Friends]. It was in the 1970s and 1980s that women writers came to prominence in the Maghreb, giving voice to the traditional “silence” of women in the public arena. Foremost among these is the Algerian Assia Djebar (b. 1936), who had deliberately turned away from self-reflection in her early novels of the 1950s and 1960s, yet who inaugurated what can be seen as a vast autobiographical project with Femmes d’Alger dans leur appartement (1980; Women of Algiers in Their Apartment), a collection of short stories, with an important theoretical “postface” on the concept of the look and the other, and especially in L’Amour la fantasia (1985; Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade) and Vaste est la prison (1995; So Vast the Prison). Ces voix qui m’assiègent [1999; These Voices Which Besiege Me] is a further meditation on language, identity, and her personal itinerary in literature. In this last text she writes also on the autobiography of an earlier Kabyle Christian woman, Fadhma Aïth Mansour Amrouche, mother of the French-language poet Jean Amrouche and of the woman writer Taos Amrouche, the latter herself an author of several autobiographical novels. Fadhma Amrouche’s Histoire de ma vie (1968; My Life Story), written in 1946, was the first autobiographical text in French by an Algerian woman, and again a founding text of life writing in North Africa. Jean Déjeux documents in his invaluable study numerous published life stories “often dealing with the experience of the war of independence, political action, incarceration, and exile”, for example, Saïd Ferdi’s, Un enfant dans la guerre: Algérie 1954–1962 [1981; A Child in the War] and Hocine Aït Ahmed’s, Mémoires d’un combattant: l’esprit d’indépendance 1942–1952 [1983; Memoirs of a Fighter: The Spirit of Independence 1942–1952], together with details of published correspondence. An identifiable body of life writing beginning in the 1980s concerns the work of writers such as Azouz Begag and Mehdi Charef, who first gave voice to the young immigrant and second-generation immigrant North African populations of the inner cities of France, known as beurs, originally a slang term for “arabs” and adopted as an identity for a community caught between two cultures. Finally, a collection edited by the writer

Leïla Sebbar, Une Enfance algérienne [1997; An Algerian Childhood], brings together the childhood stories of writers and thinkers of different generations and of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian origin. Morocco became a French protectorate in 1912 and achieved independence in 1956. Since French became the language of political and administrative power, Moroccans realized that in order to take control of the country, the knowledge and practice of that language were necessary, and attendance in French schools increased, especially after 1945. It was in the 1950s that two writers rose to prominence: Ahmed Sefrioui, particularly with the story of his childhood, La Boîte à merveilles [1954; The Box of Wonders], and the controversial Driss Chraïbi, with his own work on a traumatized childhood and the figure of the father, Le Passé simple (1954; The Simple Past). In 1966 Abdellatif Laâbi launched the influential review Souffles which rallied together writers and thinkers from across the Maghreb. It was banned in 1972 and Laâbi was imprisoned for eight years; his correspondence from this period is published in Chroniques de la citadelle d’exil [1983; Chronicles from the Citadel of Exile]. In the 1960s and 1970s Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine continued the investigation into childhood with texts such as Moi l’aigre [1970; Me, the Bitter One]. Abdelkébir Khatibi, who had published theoretical texts in Souffles, wrote La Mémoire tatouée [1971; Tattooed Memory], “the autobiography of a decolonized man” as he called it, an important text of the more experimental writing in North African literature in French. The correspondence between Khatibi and the Egyptian writer Jacques Hassoun living in France is published under the title Le Même Livre [1985; The Same Book], as is a text that the author calls “a personal psychoanalysis”, Par-dessous l’épaule [1988; Over the Shoulder]. The work of the best-known Moroccan writer, Tahar Ben Jelloun, began to appear in 1973, and constantly treats questions of identity; with L’Ecrivain public [1983; The Public Writer] he shows how a child (reminiscent of the author himself) begins to invent stories. In 1983 a writer of a younger generation, Abdelhak Serhane, continued the Moroccan preoccupation with the traumas of childhood with Messaouda (1983). The Jewish identity in Morocco is treated by Edmond Amran El Maleh, especially in Mille Ans, un jour [1986; A Thousand Years, One Day]. Mention should also be made of the autobiography of Mohamed Choukri, Le Pain nu (For Bread Alone), translated from Arabic into French by Ben Jelloun and published in 1980. Tunisia became a French protectorate in 1881 and gained independence in 1956, the same year as Morocco. From the 1920s onwards French was widely taught and necessary in order to work in the administration of the country, and many Tunisian intellectuals acquired two cultures. A literature in French was largely begun by Jewish writers in the 1920s and 1930s. Notable among these was Ryvel (pseudonym of Raphaël Lévy), writing on life in the Jewish ghetto. It was with the autobiographical novel by Albert Memmi, again a Jewish writer and intellectual, La Statue de sel (1953; The Pillar of Salt) that Tunisia joined with Algeria and Morocco in the political thrust of the writing of the 1950s. Memmi remains an essential figure for North African literature and thought in French, and his whole body of work can be seen as a long meditation on self and the “other” in the contexts of colonialism and postcolonialism. There are fewer writers in French from Muslim backgrounds,

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but it is worth noting Hachemi Baccouche with his autobiographical novel Ma foi demeure [1958; My Faith Remains]. Abdelwahab Meddeb, who in common with Khatibi in Morocco has an interest in identity, memory, and language, was one of a new generation of writers, publishing the experimental Talismano (1979). Among woman writers, the work of Hélé Béji in L’Oeil du jour [1985; The Eye of the Day], a meditation on memory and on modern and traditional ways of life, is notable. As with all writers from the Maghreb, work on both the politics and the poetics of identity is in evidence. Debra Kelly Further Reading Autobiographies et récits de vie en Afrique, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1991 (essay collection) Chikhi, Beïda, Maghreb en textes: écriture, histoire, savoirs et symboliques: essai sur l’épreuve de modernité dans la littérature de langue française, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1996 Déjeux, Jean, Maghreb littératures de langue française, Paris: Arcantère, 1993 Dunwoodie, Peter, Writing French Algeria, Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1998 Erickson, John, Islam and Postcolonial Narrative, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998 Geesey, Patricia, “Collective Autobiography: Algerian Women and History in Assia Djebar’s L’Amour, la fantasia”, Dalhousie French Studies, 35 (1996): 153–67 Hornung, Alfred and Ernstpeter Ruhe (editors), Postcolonialisme et autobiographie: Albert Memmi, Assia Djebar, Daniel Maximin, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998 Jack, Belinda, Francophone Literatures: An Introductory Survey, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996 Orlando, Valérie, Nomadic Voices of Exile: Feminine Identity in Francophone Literature of the Maghreb, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1999 Mathieu, Martine (editor), Littératures autobiographiques de la francophonie, Paris: CELFA /L’Harmattan, 1996 Segarra, Marta, Leur pesant de poudre: romancières francophones du Maghreb, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1997

Africa: East Although East Africa is sometimes defined as including countries farther afield, this survey concentrates on Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, which have historically formed a triad and which constitute a region in which life writing exhibits several distinctive patterns. Exceptions to such patterns necessarily abound in this region, with its long and various histories and its diverse languages and ways of life. The achievement of Shaaban Robert is one such example: a Tanzanian considered to be the first significant modern writer in Swahili, he is author of Maisha yangu (1949; My Life), as well as the biography of a noted singer of tarab music, Wasifu wa Siti Binti Saad (1955; The Narrative of the Life of Siti Binti Saad). The patterns described here are intended to serve as starting points for the more intensive study that East African life writing rewards. Much life writing related to East Africa, and particularly that for which it is best known, has been defined by travel. There are narratives by and about long- and short-term travellers in the region: merchants, explorers, missionaries, settlers, and others. And there are counter-narratives, typically by the Africans affected, and often imposed upon, by their equivocal guests. The

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life writing of this region is generally marked, indeed often motivated, by this dichotomy. Early travellers’ records of life along the East African coast, where trading centres developed, range from Periplus Maris Erythraei (The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea), attributed to a Greek trader from Egypt in the first century ce, to the Rihl?t (Travels) of Ibn Batt?ta, dictated by this famous Moroccan pilgrim to Mecca in the early 14th century. There is an important cluster of contemporaneous accounts, some by eyewitnesses, of the experiences of Portuguese mariners who set their fleets down on the coast as they made their way to and from India in the late 1400s and early 1500s, e.g. Roteiro da Primeira Viagem de Vasco da Gama (A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama) and Livro de Duarte Barbosa (The Book of Duarte Barbosa). But it was in the 19th century, as foreign explorers moved farther inland, that a formula for writing about East Africa, rooted in a Romantic responsiveness to nature, was most assiduously developed and exploited. The typical narrative of this period entwines the traveller’s life with the hazards and wonders of the East African landscape that he is describing, e.g.: the confirmation by Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann, in the 1840s, that snow-capped mountains existed on the African equator, recorded in Krapf’s Reisen in Ostafrika (1860; Travels, Researches, and Missionary Labours During an Eighteen Years’ Residence in Eastern Africa); the first European ascent of Kilimanjaro, by Charles New, described in his Life, Wanderings, and Labours in Eastern Africa (1873); the first crossing of equatorial Africa from east to west by a European, recounted in Verney Lovett Cameron’s Across Africa (1877). Often, the figure and character of the traveller came – in rhetoric and in the public imagination – to dominate the East African landscape; and each “discovery” or “first” mattered as much for its connection to the traveller’s life as for its geological or cultural significance to the region. Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, the first Europeans to reach Lake Tanganyika, epitomize this phenomenon. Speke, who pushed on to Lake Victoria, which he identified as a source of the Nile (while Burton favoured Lake Tanganyika), published his Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1863) and What Led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1864). Among Burton’s voluminous literary output were a series of articles entitled “Zanzibar; and Two Months in East Africa” (1858), which were published in Blackwood’s Magazine, and Lake Regions of Central Africa (1860), which exhibited his growing antagonism toward Speke. Though Speke has provoked some curiosity, in large part because of the mystery of his suicide or accidental death on the day before he was to debate Burton publicly, it is Burton who has proved most attractive to biographers (e.g. The Life of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton, 1893, by his wife, Isabel; The True Life of Capt. Sir Richard F. Burton, 1896, by his niece, Georgiana Stisted; Thomas Wright’s The Life of Sir Richard Burton, 1906; Byron Farwell’s Burton, 1963; Fawn M. Brodie’s The Devil Drives, 1967; and Edward Rice’s Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1990). They dominated the rhetorical scene, but men like Burton did not encompass life writing in its entirety in East Africa in the 19th century. Though it forms a relatively small category, life writing by women is noteworthy (e.g.: Sultan to Sultan, 1892, by May French Sheldon, a wealthy American who adopted the traditionally masculine role of independent explorer in Maasai

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country; and Letters from East Africa, 1901, by Gertrude Ward – the novelist Mrs Humphry Ward’s sister-in-law – who was a medical missionary in Tanzania). Women’s lives, it should be noted, were often also written into narratives by others (e.g.: Samuel White Baker’s wife, Florence, who travelled with him, shares the stage in his The Albert N’yanza, 1866; and oblique, but still vital and interesting, glimpses of the lives of a variety of East African women – leaders, servants, slaves, converts, and many others – can be derived from descriptions of individuals, though often unnamed, whom authors encountered). Emilie Ruete’s Memoiren einer arabischen Prinzessin (1886; Memoirs of an Arabian Princess) offers an unusual account – first published in Germany – by an East African woman, a daughter of the Sultan of Zanzibar. The explorer Henry Morton Stanley’s arrangement with Mutesa I (who figures importantly in Stanley’s Through the Dark Continent, 1878, as well as in Speke’s work) to accept missionaries into his kingdom opened the way for interconnected life stories of missionaries and their converts in Uganda. The Last Journals of Bishop Hannington (1888) – diary entries by the Anglican bishop who, along with his African companions, was abducted and killed in 1885 by representatives of Mutesa’s successor – include a poignant variety of life writing, the cartoons in which James Hannington depicted his travels for his children left at home. Albert B. Lloyd, who went to Uganda in 1894, describes his missionary work and travels in In Dwarf Land and Cannibal Country (1899) and Uganda to Khartoum (1906). In Apolo of the Pygmy Forest (1923) Lloyd tells the story of Apolo Kivebulaya, an African convert who ministered in western Uganda. Two more converts of the Church Missionary Society – Apolo Kagwa, the katikiro (or prime minister) of Buganda, and Ham Mukasa, his secretary – were invited to the coronation of King Edward VII of Britain. Mukasa’s Uganda’s Katikiro in England (1904) has been translated from the original Luganda and published in several editions, most recently in 1998. It is useful to mention here that the continuing and changing history of the traditional Ugandan kingdoms provided a theme for autobiography in the 20th century (for example, Prince Akiki K. Nyabongo’s The Story of an African Chief, 1935; Mutesa II’s The Desecration of My Kingdom, 1967; and Elizabeth of Toro’s African Princess, 1983). For Europeans and Americans the most pervasive images of East Africa and of lives led in East Africa are probably those created by writers who were tourists and settlers in the first half of the 20th century. In the mid-1930s, the novelist Ernest Hemingway travelled under the guidance of big-game hunter Philip Percival and shaped the real events of his safari for literary effect in Green Hills of Africa (1935). The image of the white adventurer in East Africa that Hemingway made fashionable, and which still endures, was not an entirely original one. Hemingway had modelled his own travels on those of Theodore Roosevelt who, after leaving the American presidency, had gone on safari in 1909, also guided by Percival, and written African Game Trails (1910). Game-hunting – with gun or camera – is a theme of numerous memoirs of this period. Winston Churchill’s My African Journey (1908) describes his travels in Kenya and Uganda; Martin Johnson’s Camera Trails in Africa (1924) is as remarkable for its depiction of his wife, Osa, a hunter whose avidity seems at odds with their naturalist enterprise, as it is for Martin’s lyrical renderings of the landscape; Osa Johnson’s I

Married Adventure (1940) also touches on this American couple’s film-making in East Africa; Philip Percival’s Hunting, Settling, and Remembering has been published in a limited edition (1997). Bror von Blixen-Finecke, Percival’s Danish partner in the safari business, produced a memoir, Nyama (1936; African Hunter), laden with the often bureaucratic details of the life of a big-game hunter. His wife, Karen Blixen – using her pseudonym Isak Dinesen – wrote Den afrikanske farm (1937; Out of Africa) and a sequel Skygger på graesset (1960; Shadows on the Grass), in which she related the now famous events attending the failure of her coffee plantation in Kenya’s Ngong Hills. Particularly since its reissue in the 1980s, Beryl Markham’s West with the Night (1942) – which describes Markham’s childhood in Kenya, her careers as an equestrian and an aviatrix, and the activities of the same settler community that Blixen lived within – has garnered admiration, and also controversy. Hemingway greatly admired Markham’s book; others contended that the book had been ghostwritten. The lives of the European explorers of the 19th century and the white hunters and settlers of the 20th are often most attractively described in narratives that evoke lost eras of adventure and romance. The significant and complex set of narratives that counter this view of colonialism’s impact is perhaps best represented by the wide range of life writing that surrounds the so-called Mau Mau Rebellion, the organized resistance to British rule in Kenya in the 1950s. Jomo Kenyatta, who became Kenya’s prime minister, and then its president, after the rebellion, early on connected life writing to political aims (for instance, his important study of the Kikuyu, Facing Mount Kenya, 1938, combines autobiography with ethnography). R. Mugo Gatheru’s Child of Two Worlds (1964) – which has been described as “somewhat derivative” of Facing Mount Kenya – is the autobiography of a Kenyan who was studying abroad during the Emergency, as it was called. Gatheru connects the story of his own education to the history of his country’s struggle for independence. Some accounts focus on women’s lives during Mau Mau (e.g. Muthoni Likimani’s Passbook Number F. 47927 (1985), named for the author’s own identity card; Wambui Waiyaki Otieno’s Mau Mau’s Daughter (1998), by a woman active in the Mau Mau movement). But this genre’s focus is typically a masculine one. Marshall S. Clough points out that “memoirs of the counterinsurgency” (e.g. William Baldwin’s Mau Mau Manhunt, 1957; Ian Henderson’s The Hunt for Kimathi, 1958, which concerns Dedan Kimathi, a leader of the rebellion; and Frank Kitson’s Gangs and CounterGangs, 1960) bear disturbing similarities to the memoirs of the big-game hunters. Autobiographies by the rebels themselves (e.g. Josiah Mwangi Kariuki’s Mau Mau Detainee, 1963; Karari Njama’s Mau Mau from Within, 1966; and Waruhiu Itote’s Mau Mau General, 1967) provide first-hand details of Mau Mau, from early experiences that shaped the authors’ attitudes toward the British to later experiences in the British detention camps. These Mau Mau memoirs typically attempt both to dispel gossip surrounding the rebels’ practices – the taking of oaths, for instance – and to place the rebellion in historical context. They are contemporary records of a modern political event, and they provide a local pattern for life writing. Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Micere Githae Mugo co-wrote the play The Trial of Declan Kimathi (1976). Mau Mau Detainee served as a model for Detained (1981), the “prison diary” by Ngugi, whose co-

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authorship and production of a play in Kikuyu led to his imprisonment in Kenya in the late 1970s. Here are new patterns, but they are nonetheless shadowed and shaped by memories, still alive in East Africa, of “the great days before the Europeans came”, as Kariuki calls them. Amber Vogel Further Reading Clough, Marshall S., Mau Mau Memoirs: History, Memory, and Politics, Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 1998 Freeman-Grenville, G.S.P., The East African Coast: Select Documents from the First to the Earlier Nineteenth Century, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962 Hibbert, Christopher, Africa Explored: Europeans in the Dark Continent, 1769–1889, London: Allen Lane, 1982; New York: Norton, 1983 Huxley, Elspeth (editor), Nine Faces of Kenya: An Anthology, London: Collins Harvill, 1990; New York: Viking Press, 1991 Ochieng’, William R., “Autobiography in Kenyan History”, Ufahamu, 14/2 (1985): 80–101 Olney, James, Tell Me Africa: An Approach to African Literature, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973 Riesz, János and Ulla Schild (editors), Autobiographical Genres in Africa, Berlin: Reimer, 1996

Africa: Southern Southern African life writing is characterized by an engagement with the tumultuous history of colonialism and the violent struggle for liberation in the region, and it is unsurprising that dispossession, resistance, imprisonment, exile, and redemption are its recurring themes. While white explorers and settlers left early accounts of exploration and travel narratives, the central tradition of black life writing has characteristically taken the form of testimonials, protest writings, and prison memoirs. South Africa, with the longest period of European contact, has the longest history of writing in sub-Saharan Africa, and its literature is certainly the best known in the English-speaking West. This dominant literary history has subsumed the writing efforts of its neighbouring countries. The establishment of Fort Hare College in 1912 by members of the South African Native National Congress encouraged many black South African students who would later record their lives. Literary activity became more prolific in the 1950s when the educated elite began to write their personal experiences in response to independence movements, so that modern writing became closely linked with liberation efforts and independence throughout the region. Indeed, the first generation of black writers such as the South Africans Peter Abrahams (b. 1919) and Ezekiel Mphahlele (b. 1919) emerged around this time, and were teachers of those involved in nationalist politics. Likewise, the independence period brought an unprecedented quantity of writing from those who would otherwise have been unable to write under oppressive regimes. Southern African life writing emerged in a truly modern voice across the region, one that engages with the often violent history of colonialism, and liberation struggle, often in the language of its former colonizer. Early life writing in southern Africa was largely defined by travel and exploration, and the letters and diaries of European travellers and explorers who recorded their lives were numer-

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ous. The Letters of Lady Anne Barnard to Henry Dundas from the Cape and Elsewhere, 1793–1803 (1973) records Barnard’s correspondence with Henry Dundas, secretary for war and the colonies, and provides a glimpse of the first British occupation of the Cape region. Other early writings were by missionaries and hunters, seeking to promote colonial causes, with one notable exception: the missionary writings of Frances Colenso, a bishop’s wife, depict an anti-colonial stance in some 300 letters on life in Natal between 1865 and 1893 (collected in Colenso: Letters from Natal, edited by W. Rees, 1958). A wave of British and Irish settlers arrived in 1820 in South Africa as part of a scheme by the British government to ensure the colony’s survival and growth. These settlers were eager to record their new lives, and provided a start to South African literary production, resulting in, for example, Thomas Pringle’s African Sketches (1834), Jeremiah Goldswain’s Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain (1946, 1949), and the Revd H.H. Dugmore’s The Reminiscences of an Albany Settler (1871). These settler accounts often discussed the hardships of economic survival rather than political or racial views, while others, such as M.B. Hudson’s A Feature in South African Frontier Life … A Complete Record of the Kafir War (1852), present stereotypical relations between the European settlers and the natives. The late 18th and early 19th centuries brought an unprecedented number of explorers to South Africa, many of whom wrote about their travels, in such accounts as the Journals of Andrew Geddes Bain (1949) and the Diary of Henry Francis Fynn (1950). Life writings provide the reader with details of early life in the settlement and were often eyewitness accounts of historical events, such as George Mwase’s A Dialogue of Nyasaland: Record of Past Events, Environments and the Present Outlook within the Protectorate (1815), an account of a peasant uprising in colonial plantations, which includes a biography of the Revd John Chilembwe, its leader. Mwase’s work is believed to be the first extended writing in English by a Malawian author. The real efflorescence of life writing, apart from such accounts of settler life and colonial administrations, was not to take place until much later in the region, in the dying days of colonialism and in the emerging independent states. In South Africa, the special case of apartheid rule imposed by the Nationalist government provoked a profusion of autobiographies by ordinary citizens who framed their stories as testimony, including Naboth Mokgatle’s Autobiography of an Unknown South African (1971), Mark Mathabane’s Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa (1986), and Michael Dingake’s My Fight against Apartheid (1987). Black and white writers alike felt an obligation to illustrate the suffering of the black and coloured populations. The popularity of life writing to call attention to oppression and injustice naturally extended across the region; the experiences of ordinary Angolans under Portuguese rule were recorded by Don Barnett and Roy Harvey in The Revolution in Angola (1972). In an area plagued with political turmoil, it is unsurprising that biographies and autobiographies of the region’s political leaders abound, including the former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda’s own Zambia Shall Be Free (1962), Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom (1994), and Iain Christie’s Samora Machel: A Biography (1988) on the Mozambican leader. The autobiography of the Nobel Peace

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Prize winner and Zulu chief Albert Luthuli, Let My People Go (1962), was translated into eight languages and describes his message of non-violence in the struggle against apartheid. It is interesting to note that Kaunda’s, Luthuli’s, and Mandela’s life stories were written at the height of their careers. Publication of political autobiographies has proved to be a crucial step in the creation of a national consciousness, and of promoting a political leader as a national figure. The genre has also been useful as a means to communicate a leader’s political agenda in terms easily understood by the average citizen. Exiled writers were prolific producers of life writing. Authors whose work had been banned in their respective countries, somewhat ironically, found a wider and more receptive audience in the West. Bloke Modisane’s Blame Me on History (1963), along with Mary Benson’s A Far Cry: The Making of a South African (1989), Ezekiel Mphahlele’s Down Second Avenue (1959), and N. Chabani Manganyi’s Exiles and Homecomings (1983), are personal literatures of exile as well as political struggle. Bessie Head’s autobiographical writings in A Woman Alone (1990) detail her alienation and breakdown as a South African refugee in Botswana. Her psychological trauma is further documented in A Gesture of Belonging: Letters from Bessie Head 1965–1979 (1991). Perhaps it is Lewis Nkosi’s collection of autobiographical essays, Home and Exile (1965), that best illustrates the predicament of exiled writers when he writes, that “to be a black South African means to live in perpetual exile from oneself”. The emerging theme of South African autobiography of the late 20th century is alienation from the land, resulting in both a physical and emotional exile. A special mention should be made of the life writing produced by migrant workers, who have contributed important testimonial works that illustrate their difficulties in the workplace. The discovery of gold in the Transvaal region of South Africa, as well as the institutionalized forced-labour scheme in Angola and Mozambique, gave rise to protest accounts of the harsh working conditions and the collapse of family units. Alfred Qabula’s autobiography, A Working Life: Cruel Beyond Belief (1989), depicts his life as a factory worker turned cultural worker. Qabula’s work distinguishes itself: going beyond a mention of injustices perpetrated against black workers, it provides an examination of black oppression and viable ways to resolve it. Protest literature also appeared in verse: Benedict Wallet Vilakazi wrote Zulu poems that chronicle the plight of the migrant labourer. His early efforts represented a turn from traditional African verse, which previously treated topics such as religion extensively, and avoided controversial ones such as politics. Realism became the dominant style of creative expression among Southern African writers, and it could be argued that the modern African novel itself owes its roots to the life-writing process. It is a widely held belief that João Dias’s Godido (1952), a collection of autobiographical short stories published posthumously, inspired the birth of Mozambican prose writing, and paved the way for Luis Bernardo Honwana’s successful book Nos matamos o Cao-Tinhoso (1964; We Killed Mangy Dog and Other Mozambique Stories), which became the first Lusophone work published in the popular Heinemann’s African Series. The novels by the Zimbabweans Charles Mungoshi (Waiting for the Rain, 1975) and Tsitsi Dangarembga (Nervous Conditions, 1988) both include characters with autobiographi-

cal resemblances to their authors, the latter qualifying as a feminist Bildungsroman. The prominent novelist Ndabezinhle S. Sigogo wrote novels – USethi Ebukhweni Bakhe (1962) and Gudlindlu Mntanami (1967; Rub around the Hut, My Son, and Disappear) – in his native Ndebele using themes based on his own life. His principal objective was to present an alternative to rigid Ndebele traditions. The purpose of his writing was didactic – a way to adapt to new behavioural guidelines in a changing society. A highly creative style of life writing also manifested itself in poetry, as shown by Lusophone poets from Angola and Mozambique, including Orlando de Albuquerges in his Estrela perdida (1951; Lost Star) and Alberto Lacerda in Poemas (1955; Poems). And poetry influenced prose: the South Africans Ezekiel Mphahlele and Peter Abrahams are two writers whose use of poetic language resulted in highly metaphorical, imagistic, and lyrical autobiographies in Down Second Avenue (1959) and Tell Freedom (1954) respectively. Writing by political prisoners forms another distinctive subgenre in the troubled region. Ruth First’s 117 Days (1965) and The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs (1966) are two early and particularly literary examples by white Jewish anti-apartheid activists. Among other contributions are Hugh Lewin’s Bandiet: Seven Years in a South African Prison (1974), D.M. Zwelonke’s Robben Island (1973), Caesarina Kona Makhoere’s No Child’s Play: In Prison under Apartheid (1988), and Breyten Breytenbach’s autobiography, The True Confession of an Albino Terrorist (1984), written while incarcerated for several years. Important in this subgenre is Ellen Kuzwayo’s autobiography, Call Me Woman (1985), which depicts her life as a schoolteacher in Soweto and her subsequent imprisonment for political activism. Her work has often been compared to prison writing across the continent, including Wole Soyinka’s The Man Died (1972) and Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Detained (1981), whose testimonial writing style closely resembles her own. Life writing by women in the region has been especially encouraged in recent years. In Zimbabwe, the organization of publishers and writers, including the Mambo Press and the Zimbabwe Women Writers group, has encouraged the inclusion of women’s writing into the national literature. Wide support of this group enabled the publication of anthologies of their lives. Magazines and journals have also encouraged new writers, including Drum, Fighting Talk, New Age, Ngoma, and especially Staffrider, which specifically sought out the literary voices of young, inexperienced writers. Autobiographical sketches, collected life stories, and interviews with women have been compiled by researchers and academics, often white. These include Sibambene: The Voices of Women at Mboza (1987), which recounts the lives of illiterate rural black women in northeastern Natal; Lesley Lawson’s Working Women: A Portrait of South Africa’s Black Women Workers (1985); Caroline Kerfoot’s We Came to Town (1985); and Sue Gordon’s A Talent for Tomorrow: Life Stories of South African Servants (1985). These stories portray the doubly colonized status of southern African women, not only through race, but also gender, with a notable exception. Edited by Marjorie Shostak, an American anthropologist, Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman (1981) depicts the life of Nisa, who led an independent lifestyle among the !Kung of Botswana, a society that enjoyed a uniquely egalitarian structure. Collected life stories and autobiographical sketches have proven to be a particularly useful

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genre in capturing the life stories of those who traditionally have been unrepresented and voiceless. Grace Ebron See also Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Life Writings

Further Reading Adey, David et al., Companion to South African English Literature, Craighall, South Africa: Donker, 1986 Afekuju, Tony, “Language as Sensation: The Use of Poetic and Evocative Language in Five African Autobiographies” in The Language of African Literature, edited by Edmund Epstein and Robert Kole, Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 1988 Chapman, Michael, Southern African Literatures, London and New York: Longman, 1996 Clayton, Cherry, “‘Post-Colonial, Post-Apartheid, Post-Feminist’: Family and State in Prison Narratives by South African Women” in On Shifting Sands: New Art and Literature from South Africa, edited by Kirsten Holst Petersen and Anna Rutherford, Sydney: Dangaroo Press, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1992 Coullie, Judith, “The Power to Name the Real: The Politics of the Worker Testimony in South Africa”, Research in African Literatures, 28/2 (1997): 132–44 Gerard, Albert S., African Language Literatures: An Introduction to the Literary History of Sub-Saharan Africa, London: Longman, and Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1981 Gerard, Albert S. (editor), European-Language Writing in Sub-Saharan Africa, Budapest: Akad. Kiado, 1986 Gray, Stephen, Southern African Literature: An Introduction, London: Collings, and New York: Barnes and Noble, 1979 Grohs, Gerhard, “Changing Social Functions of African Autobiographies with Special Reference to Political Autobiographies” in Genres autobiographiques en Afrique / Autobiographical genres in Africa, edited by Janos Riesz and Ulla Schild, Berlin: Reimer, 1996 Gunn, Janet Varner, “A Window of Opportunity: An Ethics of Reading Third World Autobiography”, College Literature, 19/3 (1992): 162–69 Jacobs, J.U., “Confession, Interrogation and Self-Interrogation in the New South African Prison Writing” in On Shifting Sands: New Art and Literature from South Africa, edited by Kirsten Holst Petersen and Anna Rutherford, Sydney: Dangaroo Press, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1992 Lovesey, Oliver, “The African Prison Diary as ‘National Allegory’” in Nationalism vs Internationalism: (Inter)national Dimensions of Literatures in English, edited by Wolfgang Zach and Ken L. Goodwin, Tübingen, Germany: Stauffenburg, 1996 Michael, Cheryl-Ann, “Gender and Iconography in Auto/biographies of Nelson and Winnie Mandela” in The Uses of Autobiography, edited by Julia Swindells, London and Bristol, Pennsylvania: Taylor and Francis, 1995 Ngwenya, Thengamehlo Harold, “Ideology and Form in South African Autobiographical Writing: A Study of the Autobiographies of Five South African Authors” (dissertation), abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International, 58/12 (1998): 4649 Olney, James, Tell Me Africa: An Approach to African Literature, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973 Riesz, János and Ulla Schild (editors), Autobiographical Genres in Africa, Berlin: Reimer, 1996 Rosenblatt, R., “Black Autobiography: Life as the Death Weapon” in Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980 Shava, Piniel Viriri, A People’s Voice: Black South African Writing in the Twentieth Century, London: Zed Books, and Athens: Ohio University Press, 1989 Veit-Wild, Flora, “‘An Outsider in My Own Biography’: From Public Voice to Fragmented Self in Zimbabwean Autobiographical Fiction” in Genres autobiographiques en Afrique / Autobiographical Genres in Africa, edited by Janos Riesz and Ulla Schild, Berlin: Reimer, 1996 Watts, Jane, Black Writers from South Africa: Towards a Discourse of Liberation, London: Macmillan, and New York: St Martin’s Press, 1989

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Africa: West and Central (Francophone) Francophone West and Central Africa encompasses the 14 sovereign nations that were French colonies and the three formerly occupied by Belgian authorities. Since the colonial powers drew national boundaries in accordance with their own political and economic interests without regard to the history of the area, the inhabitants of any one nation belong to different ethnic groups speaking a variety of languages. Most of the 170 million inhabitants of the region neither read nor write, and communicate in their particular native tongues. Rivalry between indigenous languages is strong; French, though not understood by all, is the only common language. Under these circumstances it is a matter of controversy whether the literature of the area should be subdivided into national literatures. Opponents of this, such as Sembène Ousmane (Senegal) and Guy Ossito Midiohouan (Benin), contend that such a fragmentation would sanction European cultural domination, and that the cultures of the region rather form a single rich mosaic, as can be seen from the designs of textiles and pottery. An examination of life writing proves them right. In different parts of the region, African autobiographers accentuate equally the importance of community, and perceive ties between their personal memories and the collective memory. Because of this pervasive viewpoint Europeans and North Americans, conditioned by centuries of individualism in autobiography, sometimes question the validity of including African life writing in studies of autobiography. Some argue that autobiography, as a genre, does not exist in Africa, because the individual does not view himself or herself as separate from his or her extended family, present, past, and future; others think that for this very reason African writing is always autobiographical. Actually, both these representations are unsubstantiated, particularly since there is no single universally accepted definition of autobiography. One could require a declaration by the author that the work is autobiographical, or agree with the critic Philippe Lejeune who leaves it up to the reader to decide what is autobiographical: “I will call autobiographical all fiction in which the reader may have reasons – on the basis of resemblances which he sees – to suspect identity between the narrator and the author, even though the author may have denied this identity, or at least has failed to avow it” [my translation]. A chronological survey can best illustrate the evolution of sub-Saharan autobiographical writing in French. Except for an important filiation in Weltanschauung, it owes little to oral literature. It has no ties to early 20th-century French-language African life writing that was sponsored and edited by French teachers and administrators, and which uniformly reflected French values. Also French, rather than African in spirit, are the earliest autobiographical novels, Bakary Diallo’s Force-Bonté [1926; Strength-Goodness] and Ousmane Socé’s Karim (1935). To find the first elements of African autobiography in the region one must turn to the seminal work of a group of blacks in Paris, who in the 1930s and 1940s formulated Négritude. Their foremost spokesman was Léopold Sédar Senghor (b. 1906), whose poems were vehicles for his ideology. While an admirer of French culture and stylistically influenced by French poets, Senghor was deeply devoted to his own heritage. He sought to

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restore African dignity compromised by colonialism, to win recognition for African culture, and to prove that the distinct emotional contribution it made to humanity was no less important than Europe’s rational superiority. He published collections of poems (1945–61), mostly based on his personal history, summoning up the splendours of childhood in his native Joal and invoking the magic of Senegalese landscapes and sounds. Autobiographical details are also present in his other poems and in prose passages published in Liberté (5 vols, 1964–93), which he wrote as president of Senegal and member of the Académie Française. Partly inspired by Senghor’s viewpoint and lyricism was the earliest and most important avowed autobiography, L’Enfant noir (1953; The Dark Child) by the Guinean Camara Laye (1928–80). In two voices, that of the child protagonist speaking in the past tense, and that of the narrator in the present, Camara recalls his childhood and adolescence. The author in his twenties, cold and lonely in Paris, was primarily seeking consolation in memories. He wrote about the sense of belonging given to him by his village and his parents, about the latter’s magic powers symbolizing the continuity between generations, the communal harvest, and the solidarity among boys facing the fear and pain of initiation. He acknowledged that all these had made him what he was, yet, as his education progressed, he had moved away in ever-widening concentric circles from this security, finally leaving for France. He questions whether he had made the right choice by leaving, particularly in leaving before he had gained a full understanding of the secrets of his culture. The recurrence of this question indicates an additional motivation for writing this autobiography and for returning to the genre in his later, less successful, book Dramouss (1966; A Dream of Africa). Also introspective is the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s L’Aventure ambigüe (1962; Ambiguous Adventure), which traces the spiritual development of a boy raised in a deeply religious Islamic community and the conflict he faces when sent to France to complete his education. Written in the third person by a narrator who rarely intervenes, the novel is not presented as an autobiography. The only hint is the fact that the name of the hero Samba Diallo is Kane’s own name in his native language. However, in a recent interview Kane stated: “Ambiguous Adventure is the story of the first part of my life” (Orange Light, May–June 1999). He added that his Les Gardiens du temple [1982; The Guardians of the Temple] is to a certain extent an account of what followed, and that he hoped to complete this trilogy. As the ferment for independence increased in the 1950s, autobiographers expressed their eagerness to bear witness to colonial abuses and to encourage revolt. Relevant writings came from a variety of countries: from Cameroon there were Ferdinand Oyono’s Une vie de boy (1956; Houseboy) and Chemin d’Europe (1960; Road to Europe); from Mali came Mamadou Gologo’s Le Rescapé d’Ethylos [1963; The Survivor of Ethylos], and from the Côte d’Ivoire /Ivory Coast Aké Loba’s Kocoumbo, l’étudiant noir [1960; Kakoumbo, the Black Student] and Bernard Dadié’s Climbié (1956), followed by Dadié’s travel observations in Un Nègre à Paris [1959; A Negro in Paris] and Patron de New York (1965; One Way: Bernard Dadié Observes New York), and his journals from prison – to name just a few. Autobiographical writings abounded during this period,

probably because African writers were experimenting with a new undertaking: the creation of a written African literature in the form of novels, for which there was no precedent to follow or to rebel against. They did what beginning novelists often do: they relied on what they knew best, namely their own memories, thus fulfilling at the same time their needs to create and to be socially relevant. Independence in 1960 did not immediately change the tone of life writing; only later in the decade did autobiography, while still framed by the community, reveal concern with selfdefinition and a quest for personal freedom. By the mid-1970s male writers were moving away from autobiography, though there are two important recent life writings by men: Amadou Hampaté Bâ’s Amkoullel, l’enfant Peul [1991; Amkoullel, the Peuhl Child], from Mali, and Birago Diop’s five volumes of Mémoirs (1978–91) beginning with La Plume raboutée [1978; End to End Writings]. For the most part the genre was taken over by female writers, and flourished as it had among men 20 years earlier. The reasons usually given for this lag are social and cultural. Education was expensive, and even families that sent boys to school tended to keep girls at home as helpers and to train them in what they considered important for women, i.e. to be wives, mothers, and housekeepers. The delay is also attributed to the hold of tradition, according to which women were expected to be submissive and silent. Not allowed to speak, they could not conceive of publishing their words. When the Senegalese writer Nafissatou Diallo (1941–82) broke the silence with her autobiography De Tilène au Plateau: une enfance dakaroise (1975; A Dakar Childhood), she felt that she had to justify her undertaking by explaining that she meant to perpetuate the past for the younger generation. Except for this, her book parallels Camara Laye’s earlier L’Enfant noir. Both writers saw themselves as representative cases, and as the titles of their autobiographies indicate, both portrayed happy childhoods and expressed their love for their parents. Diallo’s world is also depicted in autobiographical poems by her compatriots Kiné Kirama-Fall and Ndèye Couba Diakhaté. Other auto/biographies of the time are of a political and historical nature: the Malian Aouta Kéita’s Femme d’Afrique [1975; African Woman] and the Ivoirian Henriette Diabaté’s La Marche des femmes sur Grand Bassam [1975; The Women’s March on Grand-Bassam] are the best known of these. The tone of women’s autobiographies changed rapidly, as can be seen in comparing Diallo’s autobiography with that by the Guinean Kesso Barry, Kesso – Princesse Peuhle [1988, Kesso: Peuhl Princess]. Like Diallo, Barry proclaimed that her purpose in writing was to preserve a part of the history of her country for young people, but Diallo’s modesty is gone, and this is a striptease that exposes intimate details of Barry’s life, including excision. Autobiographies still place the individual squarely within the societal framework, but the focus is increasingly personal. Writers are inspired by a love-hate relationship with tradition and by a growing feminist consciousness. From Senegal came Amica Sow Mbayé’s Mademoiselle [1984; Miss], Maïmouna Abdoulaye’s Un Cri du coeur [1990; A Cry from the Heart], Marie Ndiaye’s Quant au riche Avenir [1988; As for a Rich Future] and En Famille (1991; Among Family); from the Ivory Coast there were Simone Kaya’s Les Danseuses d’Impé-eya

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[1976; The Dancers of Impé-eya], Akissi Koumadio’s Un impossible amour [1983; An Impossible Love], Lydie Dooh-Bunya’s La Brise du jour [1973; The Morning Breeze], and from the Congo Ago Léonie’s Femme du Congo [Congolese Woman] published in 1991 – to name just a few. Short stories from Senegal by Mariama N’Doye-Mbengue appeared in 1991 and 1995, and poems by the Burkinabe Sandra Pierette Kanzié in 1987, and by the Congolese Marie Léontine Tsibinda in 1988. The best-known contemporary female autobiographer is the Senegalese Ken Bugul (b. 1948, real name Mariétou Mbaye) who was forced to assume this pseudonym, which means “nobody wants” in the Wolof language, because her book Le Baobab fou (1982; The Abandoned Baobab) was considered too scandalous for publication under her real name. She told about her search for identity, her unhappy childhood without a supportive family, her stay as a student in Belgium leading to disappointment, drugs, and prostitution, and her return to the baobab. Bugul followed this up with Riwan, ou, le chemin de sable [1999; Riwan or the Sandy Path], in which she described aspects of her life after her return to Africa, maintaining a deliberate ambiguity about herself, the narrator, and the protagonist. She claims to be all three, and thereby to portray the ambiguity inherent in life. Indicative of the difficulties of genre definition of this region are the novels of the Congolese Henri Lopes. When discussing the widely held opinion that his Le Chasseur d’Afriques [1990; The Hunter of Africas] is autobiographical, Lopes stated: I feel more at ease when I am writing with a character that resembles me somewhat … My “technique” is actually a very simple one … Starting with the rudiments of myself I create wholly imaginary characters and then slip inside them for the period during which I am writing. These characters are no longer me … Superficial readers detect the tone of my voice in some of my characters, they think they have discovered me. They forget that every real author is a liar. By Lejeune’s definition of autobiography, Lopes belongs in this survey, and so does Mariama Bâ’s celebrated Une si longue lettre (1979; So Long a Letter), notwithstanding this author’s assertion that the book is not autobiographical. Natalie Sandomirsky Further Reading Beaujour, Michel, Poetics of the Literary Self-Portrait, translated by Yara Milos, New York: New York University Press, 1991 Blair, Dorothy S., Senegalese Literature: A Critical History, Boston: Twayne, 1984 D’Almeida, Irène Assiba, Francophone African Women Writers: Destroying the Emptiness of Silence, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994 Eakin, Paul John, Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of SelfInvention, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985 Flannigan, Arthur, “African Discourse and the Autobiographical Novel: Mongo Beti’s Mission terminée”, French Review, 55/6 (May 1982): 835–45 Gunn, Janet Varner, “A Window of Opportunity: An Ethics of Reading Third World Autobiography”, College Literature, 19/3 (Oct 1992): 162–69 Lejeune, Philippe, Le Pacte autobiographique, Paris: Seuil, 1975 Lionnet, Françoise, Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-

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Portraiture, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1989 Lopes, Henri, “My Novels, My Characters, and Myself”, Research in African Literatures, 24/1 (1993): 81–86 Mathieu, Martine (editor), Littératures autobiographiques de la francophonie, Paris: CELFA /L’Harmattan, 1996 Olney, James, Tell Me Africa: An Approach to African Literature, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973 Olney, James, “The Value of Autobiography for Comparative Studies: African vs Western Autobiography” in African-American Autobiography: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by William L. Andrews, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1993 Ormerod, Beverley and Jean-Marie Volet, “Ecrits autobiographiques et engagement: le cas des Africaines d’expression française”, French Review, 69/3 (1996): 426–44 Riesz, János and Ulla Schild (editors), Autobiographical Genres in Africa, Berlin: Reimer, 1996 Schipper, Mineke, “Women and Literature In Africa” in Unheard Words: Women and Literature in Africa, the Arab World, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, edited by Mineke Schipper, translated by Barbara Potter Fasting, London and New York: Allison and Busby, 1984 Smith, Sidonie, A Poetics of Women’s Autobiography: Marginality and the Fictions of Self-Representation, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987 Stringer, Susan, The Senegalese Novel by Women: Through Their Own Eyes, New York: Peter Lang, 1996 Volet, Jean-Marie, La Parole aux Africaines, ou, l’idée de pouvoir chez les romanciers d’expression française de l’Afrique sub-saharienne, Amsterdam and Atlanta, Georgia: Rodopi, 1993

Africa: Oral Life Stories Oral life story traditions have a unique place in the lives of the 700 million inhabitants of Africa. Oral tradition, as it is more popularly referred to in the scholarly literature, continues to form the basis for much contemporary knowledge, research, and cultural and political capital. Indeed the linguistic and cultural heterogeneity (with more than 1000 languages and dialects) of much of the continent is such that one can safely assert that oral history has a place of unrivalled supremacy in the cultural fabric of sub-Saharan African lives. Conversely, the hegemony of Arabic writing in North Africa for more than a millennium has significantly eroded the status of the oral tradition north of the Sahel. Oral traditions reach back centuries and take numerous forms, most commonly cosmologies, genealogies, king-lists, conflict, migration, and settlement narratives, and hero epics. Since their medium is largely one of verbal transmission, rendering traditions into a literary format is a central methodological concern. African languages ignore international boundaries, and, somewhat ironically, the arrival and entrenchment of European languages has partly served to deepen cultural awareness and dependency on oral traditions. An analysis of the scholarly debate on the value of oral life-story traditions can best illustrate the role they continue to play in African cultures. The main debate concerns the veracity of the oral narratives, methods employed to decipher stories of the past from those of the present, how to enlarge on the information supplied by the narratives, and concerns for cross-referencing evidence with other historical sources. Africanists are indebted to the scholar Jan Vansina for a coherent methodology that established the legitimacy of oral

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tradition as a source of historical knowledge about the precolonial past, a past for which there exists no written documentation. He dis-established the prejudiced, colonial stranglehold on oral traditions, characterized by Claude Lévi-Strauss, which had interpreted them only as myth and legend with no inherent cultural, historical value. Vansina cautioned the postcolonial generation of Africanists to scrutinize the performers (griots) of traditions, by uncovering whether or not they are specialists; to be sensitive to the frequency, time, and place of a performance; to be sensitive to intent, to mnemonic devices, to the ways that traditions are learned, to issues of authenticity, and to problems caused by improvization and chronologization. When interpreting the testimony, a researcher must approach the form and structure (episode, plot, setting, imagery, characters, symbols, genres) as they influence the expression of content; then one should analyse meaning on the literal and the intentional levels. Successive scholarly literature on oral tradition can be viewed as two debates: one surrounds the main evidential claims of Vansina’s cohort, while the other concerns specific ways of improving the reliability of sources collected, of verifying material via cross-referencing, and of eliminating inaccuracies in data collection. Vansina’s work on the Kuba people of the savanna of central Africa established a detailed historical map of the centuries before the European invasion based on hundreds of interviews. In Oral Tradition (1965) he states that oral traditions are documents of the precolonial past which can be read as pure and factual texts. The evidence he examined included memorized speech; group, personal and hearsay accounts; creation myths and chronologies; epics; and proverbs and sayings. He argued that unconscious statements could be just as informative as conscious statements about history. His later Oral Tradition as History (1985) significantly alters this position, a response to the criticisms of structural anthropologists. He accepted elements of the theories of Lévi-Strauss and others that argued that oral traditions were solely expressions of the present. His revised methodology held that oral traditions are documents of both the present and the past and are influenced by both. Oral traditions reflect both a process (of transmission) and a product (of historical messaging). Both process and product as a unit can be divided into two dimensions of knowledge, as news and interpretation: news has a contemporary relevance, such as an eyewitness account, while interpretation, including reminiscence and commentary, stretches deeper into the historical past. Feierman’s study, The Shambaa Kingdom (1974), illustrates how the methodologies of Vansina developed. He attempted to write Shambaa history in Shambala words via recorded oral traditions in a style he described as sympathetic, because it expressed a desire to understand the Shambaa Weltanschauung, and how the Shambaa organized their “environmental universe”. Despite this determination, Feierman maintains a distance from the oral testimony in order to elaborate on economic and social phenomena beyond the boundaries of Shambaa. The value of Feierman’s approach is its capacity to analyse the local and global by collecting two different types of oral data from one location. His methodology shows an awareness of five limitations of oral traditions – lacunae, lies, silences, corruption, and conflicting lineage accounts. Henige offers a thorough critique of the value of one particular form of oral traditions, namely king-lists and chronologies,

in The Chronology of Oral Tradition: Quest for a Chimera (1974). He holds that while there is value in oral traditions per se, a series of tests and cross-examination of chronologies reveals that as the most easily distorted form of time indicators in non-calendrical societies, they are themselves of little worth in, for instance, attempting to date the formation of African states. The greatest deficiency of oral tradition is that it yields inexact dating. Henige revisits a primary concern of structural anthropologists when he states that his underlying assumption is that one’s view of the past, including its duration, is more the product of the exigencies of the present than of a dispassionate desire to portray past events as they actually occurred. By exploring synchronisms, “telescoping of time”, and artificial lengthening, Henige argues that achronicity is one of the concomitants of an oral non-calendrical society. Scholars such as Webster maintain that precise dating of the pre-colonial history of a region for which no documentary sources exist is possible with solely oral testimony. This has been criticized as an optimistic vision of African chronology, and a more cautious, pessimistic approach is espoused by most Africanists. For the colonial and postcolonial period, however, individual life stories have revealed detailed and accurate landscapes of the African past that are supported by written documentation. The epic narrative of Baba of Karo is the most famous example of a branch of oral life-story traditions that include reconstructing the life of slave refugees (see Wright), the rural peasantry (see van Onselen), and women’s performance collectives (see Mirza and Strobel). Much of this creative reconstruction of the personal past is illustrative of the pervasive influence of feminist theory in contemporary Africanist scholarship (see especially Personal Narratives Group, Interpreting Women’s Lives: Feminist Theory and Personal Narratives). In The African Past Speaks, Joseph Miller et al. respond to some of the counter-charges made by structuralist and functionalist anthropologists that questioned the veracity of oral traditions. Miller explains that functional criticism allowed scholars to wedge open the peculiarities of individual traditions, whether cosmologies or genealogies or otherwise. This post-functionalist methodology can partly be categorized as concentrating as much on the oral historian who provides the narrative as on the completed artifact, the tale as told. The salient characteristics of oral traditions then emerge as products of the way people in oral cultures think and talk about the past, which in turn depend partly on the oral mode of communication employed. Emphasis falls here on listening and understanding, in addition to careful reconstruction of chains of transmission. Moreover, every “piece” of history requires confirmation from another source. Miller’s most important contribution is the concept of historical time as an “hourglass”. This metaphor refers to a narrator’s tendency to locate much of the information at his or her disposal in a single period of “origins” and then by-pass the succeeding “middle period”. Scholars instinctively want to emphasize this “middle period” because it is there that they find gradual increments of change which they feel they must place between “origins” and the recent past. Extended personal recollections expand the information available from the recent past, so that scholars who do not distinguish between oral traditions and personal reminiscences perceive clusterings of information at the beginning and the end of the past, with a near void in the intervening years. Miller et al. also employ the concept of “layering”.

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Oral life-story narrators structure their versions of the past in ways that often give it the appearance of a layered composite of elements originating at various times but all existing together in the heterogeneous institutions of the present. Metaphors and analogies continue to be important in explaining the value of oral life-story traditions. David Cohen turns to the traditional Luo servant figure of the “pim” to explain a further development in the methodology of oral narrative collection in “Doing Social History from Pim’s Doorway” (1985). The “pim” traditionally came into the Luo household from a considerable social and geographical distance, living with children of both sexes until adolescence. Boys departed from the compound earlier than girls, who often left directly for marriage. From this social and cultural role through which the essential social intelligence of Luo society is transmitted, and through which elderly Luo women protected themselves from “social death”, Cohen constructs a metaphor for conducting research into the role of oral traditions from the “bottom up”. As “pim’s” nurturing was an almost invisible crucible of Luo culture and society, its critical activity is neglected. Scholars have attended to the form and implication of “larger”, “masculine” structures and segmentary processes. Until recently the historical process of the development of Luo society had been seen as a process of repetitive, methodological budding, branching, and expansion of segments of patrilineal units, a steady segmentation process from a narrow base. But the recognition of the role of “pim” and comparable oral-traditional roles in other societies will substantially alter this view. Benjamin Nicholas Lawrance See also Oral History; Orality

Further Reading Baba of Caro and Mary F. Smith, Baba of Karo: A Woman of the Muslim Hausa, edited by M.G. Smith, London: Faber, 1954; New York: Philosophical Library, 1955; reprinted, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1987 Cohen, D.W., “Doing Social History from Pim’s Doorway” in Reliving the Past: The Worlds of Social History, edited by Olivier Zunz, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985 Curtin, Philip D. (editor), Africa Remembered: Narratives by West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967 Curtin, Philip D., “Field Techniques for Collecting and Processing Oral Historical Data”, Journal of African History, 9/3 (1968): 368–80 Feierman, Steven, The Shambaa Kingdom: A History, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1974 Goody, Jack, The Myth of the Bagre, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972 Goody, Jack, The Interface between the Written and the Oral, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987 Henige, David P., The Chronology of Oral Tradition: Quest for a Chimera, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974 Hofmeyr, Isabel, We Spend Our Years as a Tale That is Told: Oral Historical Narrative in a South African Chiefdom, Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, and London: James Currey, 1994 Klein, M., “Studying the History of Those Who Would Rather Forget: Oral History and the Experience of Slavery”, History in Africa, 16 (1989): 209–17 Miller, Joseph C. (editor), The African Past Speaks: Essays on Oral Tradition and History, Folkestone, Kent: Dawson, and Hamden, Connecticut: Archon, 1980 Mirza, Sarah and Margaret Strobel (editors and translators), Three Swahili Women: Life Histories from Mombasa, Kenya, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989 Niane, D.T., Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, translated by G.D. Pickett, London: Longman, 1965

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Personal Narratives Group, Interpreting Women’s Lives: Feminist Theory and Personal Narratives, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989 Riesz, János and Ulla Schild (editors), Autobiographical Genres in Africa, Berlin: Reimer, 1996 Roberts, R., “Reversible Social Processes, Historical Memory, and the Production of History”, History in Africa, 17 (1990): 341–49 van Onselen, Charles, The Seed is Mine: The Life of Kas Maine, a South African Sharecropper, 1894–1985, New York: Hill and Wang, and Cape Town: Philip, 1996 Vansina, Jan, Oral Tradition: A Study in Historical Methodology, translated by H.M. Wright, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, and Chicago: Aldine, 1965 Vansina, Jan, Oral Tradition as History, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985 Webster, J.B. (editor), Chronology, Migration, and Drought in Interlacustrine Africa, New York: Africana, and London: Longman, 1979 Wright, Marcia, Strategies of Slaves and Women: Life-Stories from East / Central Africa, New York: Lillian Barber Press, and London: James Currey, 1993

Africa: European Exploration and Travel Writings French-Algerian writer Hélène Cixous’s comment that “the ‘Dark Continent’ is neither dark nor unexplorable” refutes the traditional idea of Africa as “other” that has made it a foil to European self-conceptions. Much like the “plot” of traditional male autobiography, the conflicts and conquests that constitute the traditional plot of travel narratives in so-called darkest Africa have been thought to reveal the sojourner’s true self, a self subsequently confirmed through public consumption of that self’s travel narrative. Europe’s Africa has produced travellers as rational, dominating, autonomous; at the same time, the continent has acted as a metaphor for the person(al) whose exploration and mapping constitute much of the excitement of “masculine” life writing. The reference in Herodotus’ Historiai (The Histories) to a three-year circumnavigation of Africa by “a Phoenician crew” under Egyptian King Neco (610–595 bce) documents the earliest known exploration of the continent. Hellenistic interest in what Herodotus knew as “Libya” is reiterated in the 2nd-century ce Geπgraphik÷’ hyph÷g÷sis (Guide to Geography) of Ptolemy, which places the Nile’s source in the Lunae Montes (Mountains of the Moon). The 14th-century Rihlah (Travels) of Ibn Batt®ta, the 16th-century Descrittione dell’Africa (A Geographical Historie of Africa) of Spanish traveller Leo Africanus, some accounts of Ethiopia, and records of coastal explorations (typically emphasizing commerce and navigation), subsequently provided Europe with its main literary access to sub-Saharan Africa until the 18th century. The continued strength of classical misconceptions is evident in these early accounts; in John Lok’s 1554 voyage to West Africa, for instance, Herodotus and Pliny are recalled in the declaration that “there are also people without heads … having their eyes and mouths in their breast”. The 18th century marks the start both of sustained firsthand accounts of interior Africa and of characterizations that would influence African travel literature (and European selfconceptions) into the 20th century. Forces influencing these characterizations included: a burgeoning slave trade justified by

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depictions of Africans as savages who would benefit from the constraints of slavery; the taxonomy of Carol von Linné [Carolus Linnaeus] (1707–78), which not only fixed Africans lower on the “natural” order of things than Europeans but also gave explorers increasing epistemological control of Africa’s flora, fauna, and peoples; Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s notion of the “noble savage” apparent in descriptions of African nobility (typically distinguished by more “European” physiognomies); and anti-slavery movements that argued not that Africans were equal to Europeans but that “improvement” would best occur through commercial intercourse. Perhaps most influential was the Enlightenment belief in universal reason (defined as “European” reason) which produced travellers unable to explain African cultural differences (such as an apparent disinterest in material wealth) in ways other than imputing a childish lack of direction and self-control. Despite fantastic descriptions, an openness to Africans as similar but different persists until the 18th century. For instance, the English title of Peter Kolb’s 1719 Caput Bonae Spei hodiernum includes “A Particular ACCOUNT of the several NATIONS of the HOTTENTOTS: Their Religion, Government, Laws, Customs, Ceremonies, and Opinions; Their Art of War, Professions, Language, [and] Genius” (1731 translation) – thus announcing its intention, writes Mary Louise Pratt, to understand Africans “in terms of the full array of categories through which Europeans recognize other societies as real and human”. But by the end of the 18th century, books like James Bruce’s Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790) and Mungo Park’s Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa (1799) are the norm. These post-French-Revolution texts reveal an increasing emphasis on both the traveller and on the dehumanization of Africa whose underlying logic culminates in the “tabula rasa” assumed by Richard Burton (1821–90) in the title of his work, First Footsteps in East Africa (1856). The explorer’s hardships and triumphs become the themes of books not so much about Africa as about the superiority of Europeans as evidenced in each author. Somewhat ironically, it is poor Irish (Daniel Houghton) and Scotsmen (such as Bruce, Park, Walter Oudney, Hugh Clapperton, and Alexander Gordon Laing) who “represent” Britain in early 19th-century expeditions. Similarly, destitute Frenchman René Caillié took on the guise of a Muslim trader to become, in 1828, the winner of the French Geographical Society’s prize for the first European known to enter Timbuktu. Despite increasing heroization, the small size of early 19th-century enterprises provides an intimacy missing from the huge and well-financed expeditions of the mid-19th century. Nationalism helps the authors to maintain a sense of self; in 1820 the “more dead than alive” British traveller, George Francis Lyon, enters Tripoli singing “God Save the King”. In 1830 Richard Lander paddles the Niger singing “Rule Britannia”. In addition to geographical explorers, missionaries entered Africa. Probably because of the difficulty of religious conversion and the prestige of discovery, however, missionaries – like Scotsman David Livingstone (1813–73) in southern and central Africa – neglected the creation of mission stations for the lure of exploration. Nearly all 19th-century traveller-writers, however, justified their involvement, and wrote about themselves in Africa under the banners of supposed progress and bringing light to a “dark” continent.

The inception in Britain of the African Association (1788) – which evolved into the Geographical Society – as well as the increasingly lucrative business of selling African travel narratives produced larger expeditions. Africa became a place to “find” things – Livingstone himself (who had disappeared), or the sources of the Niger or Nile, or ancient cities. Africa became the arena in which men and, metonymically, nations competed to prove themselves. This (auto)biographical element is illustrated in the narratives of Richard Burton: their scope and detail bring a British order to a “humanitarianism” whose definition disallows the validation of other ways. The European traveller in Africa inscribes a standard against which “African” is judged and “European” is confirmed. After the division of Africa among European powers at the Berlin Conference in 1884–85 (the “Scramble for Africa”), literature increasingly addresses colonial concerns of control, infrastructure, and the salubriousness of a European presence. For many late 19th-century young men, the 18th century’s Europeanizing “Grand Tour” was replaced with African travel as the preferred means to full manhood. But the men were not alone. During the 1890s Mary Kingsley (1862–1900) made two trips to West Africa, and her recollection in Travels in West Africa (1897) showed not only that English etiquette, including “a good thick skirt”, could be maintained in “the African forest”, but that grit and courage were not the sole domains of men. More importantly, Kingsley proved herself a sympathetic ethnographer attuned to detail and to the lives of women. After Kingsley, and into the 20th century, women wrote as travellers (Mary Hall, Rosita Forbes, Dervla Murphy), expatriate entrepreneurs (Karen Blixen), colonialists (Anne Louise Dundas), anti-colonialists (early Isabelle Eberhardt), daring pilots (Beryl Markham), and reporters (Katherine Fannin). Kingsley was also precursor to the more eccentric travellers of the 20th century. As the continent became less “dark” to European eyes, and there was less, ostensibly, to be discovered, the nature of the travelling itself achieves greater prominence in many writings. The introduction into writings of camels, donkeys, bicycles, and even a wheelbarrow as modes of transport produced narratives whose diminished need to distance “European” from “African” indicates both a reduced individual (and national) hubris and comic relief from the often pedantic self-importance of 19th-century narratives. And discovery of self, especially hitherto unknown aspects, also increases. Following the murder of French priest Charles de Foucauld in the Sahara (1916), the austere spirituality of the desert drew travellers like Geoffrey Moorhouse who, in The Fearful Void (1974), is “a man … in search of himself”. After Joseph Conrad (notably the short story Heart of Darkness, 1902) and Sigmund Freud, Africa becomes more clearly a trope for the self and the plumbing of one’s depths in – to borrow the title of Graham Greene’s 1936 West African travel narrative – “a journey without maps”. But the 20th century also produced increasingly sensitive and critical travel narratives that not only attempted to explore African cultures in appreciation of their diversity and integrity – Geoffrey Gorer’s Africa Dances (1935) and Mark Hudson’s Our Grandmothers’ Drums (1989) – but also the injustices of both colonialism – André Gide’s Voyage au Congo (1929; Travels in the Congo) – and neocolonialism – Ryszard

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Kapus´cin´ski’s Jeszcze dzien Zycia (1987; Another Day of Life). Both developments indicate a diminishing degree of “masculinist” and Eurocentric assumptions. But although different from 19th-century narratives, so confident in the justice of their “civilizing mission”, 20th-century narratives continue to explore and produce identities of writer, nation, and European through conceptions of the Euro-African encounter, albeit increasingly less superior or judgmental in tone. Kevin M. Hickey Further Reading Blunt, Alison, Travel, Gender, and Imperialism: Mary Kingsley and West Africa, New York: Guilford Press, 1994 Hammond, Dorothy and Alta Jablow, The Africa that Never Was: Four Centuries of British Writing about Africa, New York: Twayne, 1970 Hammond, Dorothy and Alta Jablow, The Myth of Africa, New York: Library of Social Science, 1977 Hibbert, Christopher, Africa Explored: Europeans in the Dark Continent, 1769–1889, London: Allen Lane, 1982; New York: Norton, 1983 Howard, Cecil (editor), West African Explorers, introduced by J.H. Plum, London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1951 Journal of African Travel Writing, 1996— Kamm, Josephine, Explorers into Africa, London: Gollancz, and New York: Crowell-Collier, 1970 MacKenzie, John M., The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation and British Imperialism, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1988 Miller, Christopher L., Blank Darkness: Africanist Discourse in French, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985 Moorehead, Alan, The White Nile, London: Hamilton, and New York: Harper and Row, 1960; revised 1971 Moorehead, Alan, The Blue Nile, London: Hamilton, and New York: Harper and Row, 1962; revised edition 1972 Mudimbe, V.Y., The Idea of Africa, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, and London: Currey, 1994 Perham, Margery and Jack Simmons (editors), African Discovery: An Anthology of Exploration, 2nd edition, London: Faber, 1957; Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1963 (first edition 1943) Place, James and Charles Richards (editors), East African Explorers, London: Oxford University Press, 1960; enlarged and revised edition, Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1967 Pratt, Mary Louise, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, London and New York: Routledge, 1992 Romero, Patricia W. (editor), Women’s Voices on Africa: A Century of Travel Writings, New York: Markus Weiner, 1992 Rotberg, Robert I. (editor), Africa and Its Explorers: Motives, Methods and Impact, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, and London: Oxford University Press, 1970 Stevenson, Catherine Barnes, Victorian Women Travel Writers in Africa, Boston: Twayne, 1982 Youngs, Tim, Travellers in Africa: British Travelogues, 1850–1900, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1994

Africa: Auto/biographical Fiction Life writing, in all its guises, presents a complex knotting of truth and fiction that tests reader and critic alike. The critical term “auto/biographical novel” springs from that testing ground, and serves to describe novels so like autobiographies or biographies that they might be mistaken for the real thing. The key term, then, is verisimilitude, rather than mimesis. Novels do not imitate reality directly, as a performance genre might;

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rather, they present a convincing likeness of reality that relies on narrative structures rather than on referentiality (see Riffaterre). For some critics, this immediately disqualifies the term “auto/biographical novel”, since the pact established between reader and text affirms the fictionality of the novel, rather than the narrative’s veracity (see Lecarme and Lecarme-Tabone). For others, the borders between novel and autobiography are quite artificial; what matters is the author’s attempt to impose a personal order on chaotic experience (see Olney, 1972, and Eakin’s two books). In fact, a continuum seems to exist even for the intransigent few who see no place for the term auto/biographical fiction. This critical debate has largely bypassed African literatures. Yet the fact remains that readers perceive auto/biographical elements in an unusually large number of works of African fiction. The contest for narrative veracity that can oppose African novelists to the colonial document or to the Africanist specialist often tilts the balance in favour of the auto/biographical novel. In the context of this contest for the right to represent Africa, the auto/biographical narrative perspective underlines the importance of the author’s lived experience. Fictional responses to the colonial ethnographic document have purported to give a life story that sets the record straight. The classic novel by the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958), is a good example of this current of biographical fiction. It tells the story of the writer’s Igbo grandfather, who suffered and died tragically under the impact of colonialism. The francophone writer Paul Hazoumé’s historical novel Doguicimi (1938), which bears the name of the faithful female protagonist, also attempts to set the record straight on Dahomey (Benin) and its history, which is distorted in colonialist documents. Ethnography, history, and biography mingle in these works, blurring the line between fact and fiction. The pseudo-ethnographic novel has been so popular as a response to alienating European depictions of African societies that it would be a challenge to name all the novels that fit this model. Camara Laye’s auto/biographical L’Enfant noir (1953; The Dark Child) is a classic example. The strategy survived in later years as writers urged African youth not to assimilate to European cultures. Examples from this category in the francophone tradition are three novels by Senegalese writers, Ousmane Socé’s Karim (1935), Abdoulaye Sadji’s Maïmouna (1958), and Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s L’Aventure ambiguë (1961; Ambiguous Adventure). They all concern the horrors of assimilation and seek to dissuade young people from leaving their own culture by presenting auto/biographical accounts of the bitter failures of assimilation. These novels present yet another critical twist, since many of them are clearly fictional biographies. Others, however, bear such a close resemblance to the lives of the authors that critics have assumed that they are auto/biographical in the typical sense: that is, that they are mimetic, referential works that do not stray far from the “truth” of the writer’s own experience. Cheikh Hamidou Kane has admitted that his novel Ambiguous Adventure presents his own life story. Dambudzo Marechera’s Black Sunlight (1980) and The Black Insider (1990) are verifiably auto/biographical novels, as is most of his fiction. This is also true of Bessie Head’s fiction, especially the novel A Question of Power (1974). Ayi Kwei Armah’s Why Are We So Blest? (1972) tells the story of a young man remarkably similar to the

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author and his bitter encounter with the West. Although the novel is not strictly auto/biographical, many of the basic elements of the story do seem to be taken from the novelist’s life. This type of auto/biographically based novel is common: a few prominent examples include Mongo Beti’s Mission terminée (1957; Mission to Kala), Laye’s L’Enfant noir and Dramouss (1966; A Dream of Africa), Bernard Dadié’s Climbié (1956), Ama Ata Aidoo’s Our Sister Killjoy (1966), Henri Lopès’s Le Chercheur d’Afriques [1990; The Searcher of Africas], and Ken Bugul’s novels Cendres et braises [1994; Ashes and Embers] and Riwan, ou, le chemin de sable [1999; Riwan, or, The Sandy Path] are other examples of the auto/biographical novel that can be linked to the author’s life. The contest for the right to represent African realities continued after formal independence, which has had variegated effects on African literatures. In some cases, as in southern Africa, formal independence did not end colonial rule, for discriminatory policies continued within South African apartheid, as they did in Rhodesia until the conclusion of the war for liberation that led to the creation of Zimbabwe (1980). We might look to Mongane Wally Serote’s To Every Birth Its Blood (1981) or Miriam Tlali’s Muriel at Metropolitan (1975) for more clearly referential accounts of life under apartheid, while fictionalized auto/biographies such as J.M. Coetzee’s Foe (1986) and Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) give allegorical and poetic versions of life in South Africa. Alan Paton’s Too Late the Phalarope (1953) and Nadine Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter (1979), The Late Bourgeois World (1966), and A World of Strangers (1958) depict apartheid South Africa from a firstperson fictional perspective, as do many of André Brink’s novels. After formal independence, neocolonialism replaced colonialism, which led writers such as Ngugi wa Thiong’o to conclude that the struggle must continue on a narrative level. His Matigari (1987), an allegorical and collective biography of the people of Kenya, expresses his ideological stance towards neocolonialism. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy (1985) is an example from Nigeria on a similar allegorical plane. Using a directly auto/biographical style, Nuruddin Farah criticizes the authoritarian state in Maps (1986), as well as the cruelties of patriarchal authority. Other writers choose to write auto/biographical fiction in order to depict patriarchal systems in a less allegorical style, focusing on polygamy or excision, as Mariama Bâ did in Une si longue lettre (1980; So Long a Letter), and as Mariama Barry has done in La Petite Peule [2000; The Little Fulani Girl]. The Nigerian novelist Buchi Emecheta has produced several auto/biographical novels, of which the clearest examples are perhaps Second-Class Citizen (1974), Double Yoke (1982), and Kehinde (1994). The biographical novel has also played a role here; Nawal al Sa‘dƒw¡’s Woman at Point Zero (originally 1975, translated 1983) is the classic example of a feminist biographical novel from Africa. al Sa‘dƒw¡’s novel, which was translated from Arabic, is indicative of the post-independence interest in the issue of language. Although all postcolonial writers face the issue, North African writers in particular have chosen to use auto/biographical fiction in order to create a new poetics that allows them to appropriate the language of the colonizer. Assia Djebar’s novels – L’Amour, la fantasia (1985; Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade), Ombre sultane (1987; A Sister to Scheherezade), Vaste est la prison (1995; So Vast the Prison),

and Le Blanc de l’Algérie [1995; The Erasure of Algeria] – offer the best example of this poetic appropriation of language in autobiographical fiction. Given this need to appropriate the language of the colonizer, it is no surprise that many African writers of the post-independence period have experimented with narrative strategies in writing auto/biographical fiction. Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions (1988) presents a narrative situation in which the author does not resemble the narrator, but the cousin she describes (see Veit-Wild). And Alex La Guma’s The Stone Country (1967) is regarded by many critics as an auto/biographical novel, even though it is narrated in the third person. The example of La Guma, who writes realist fiction, shows us how blurred the line is between fiction and reality in the African auto/biographical novel, and particularly so in the light of experimental fictions and postmodernist strategies. Lewis Nkosi’s Mating Birds (1983), a South African response to Albert Camus’s L’Etranger (1942; The Outsider), uses the postmodernist strategy of rewriting a canonical work. We can see other postmodernist fictions in the works of Coetzee and Marechera. Magical realism has been another response to the problem of depicting fictional realities. Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-wine Tapster in the Dead’s Town (1952) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) are classic examples of first-person narratives that employ this strategy to tell truths that cannot be shared in clearly referential narrative. Ben Okri’s The Famished Road (1991) is a more recent example of magical realism. Collectively, such postmodern works reiterate the dependence in so much African writing on fictional techniques to set the record straight about African life. Lisa McNee Further Reading Abbott, Porter H., “Autobiography, Autography, Fiction: Groundwork for a Taxonomy of Textual Categories”, New Literary History, 19/3 (1988): 597–615 Attwell, David, “On the Question of Autobiography: Interview with J.M. Coetzee”, Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, 3/1 (1991): 117–22 Buuck, David, “African Doppelgänger: Hybridity and Identity in the Work of Dambudzo Marechera”, Research in African Literatures, 28/2 (1997): 118–31 Eakin, Paul John, Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of SelfInvention, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985 Eakin, Paul John, How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1999 Flannigan, Arthur, “African Discourse and the Autobiographical Novel: Mongo Beti’s Mission terminée”, French Review, 55/6 (1982): 835–45 Ibrahim, Huma, “The Autobiographical Content in the Works of South African Women Writers: The Personal and the Political” in Biography East and West: Selected Conference Papers, edited by Carol Ramelb, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989 Koné, Amadou, “Tradition orale et écriture du roman autobiographique: L’exemple de Camara Laye” in Genres autobiographiques en afrique / Autobiographical Genres in Africa, edited by János Riesz and Ulla Schild, Berlin: Reimer, 1996 Lecarme, Jacques and Eliane Lecarme-Tabone, L’Autobiographie, Paris: Armand Colin, 1997 Lejeune, Philippe, On Autobiography, edited by Paul John Eakin, translated by Katherine Leary, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989 MacDermott, Doireann, Autobiographical and Biographical Writing in the Commonwealth, Barcelona: Editorial AUSA, 1985

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Mickelson, David, “The Bildungsroman in Africa: The Case of Mission terminée”, French Review, 59/3 (1986): 418–27 Mortimer, Mildred, “Assia Djebar’s Algerian Quartet: A Study in Fragmented Autobiography”, Research in African Literatures, 28/2 (1997): 102–17 Olney, James, Metaphors of Self: The Meaning of Autobiography, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1972 Olney, James, Tell Me Africa: An Approach to African Literature, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973 Olney, James, Memory and Narrative: The Weave of Life-Writing, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998 Riffaterre, Michael, Fictional Truth, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990 Schipper, Mineke, “‘Who Am I?’ Fact and Fiction in African FirstPerson Narrative”, Research in African Literatures, 16/1 (1985): 53–79 Smith, M. van Wyk, “Waiting for Silence; or, the Autobiography of Metafiction in Some Recent South African Novels”, Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, 3/1 (1991): 91–104 Ssensalo, Bede M., “The Black Pseudo-Autobiographical Novel: A Descendant of Black Autobiography” (dissertation), Los Angeles: University of California, 1978 Veit-Wild, Flora, “‘An Outsider in My Own Biography’: From Public Voice to Fragmented Self in Zimbabwean Autobiographical Fiction” in Genres autobiographiques en afrique / Autobiographical Genres in Africa, edited by János Riesz and Ulla Schild, Berlin: Reimer, 1996

Africa: Autobiographical Poetry African autobiographical poetry is heterogeneous and tends to reveal the fluidity of the autobiographical genre. The pioneers of the genre are the “vernacular” colonial and pre-independence poets who wrote poetry committed to the emancipation of Africa, politically, culturally, and morally, largely in the first half of the 20th century. It has been argued that they were only partly successful, because of their “incompetence and inexperience” (Nwoga, 1977), in adapting lessons learned from European poetry to their kind of poetry that had its roots in African oral tradition. More modern practitioners are mainly independence and postcolonial poets who have written since the 1950s, although some of them began writing much earlier. The modern poets set out to invent a new poetry whose vision, tone, high imaginative intensity, and artistic competence are striking, insightful, and original; they arrest the emotions. A survey of various “autobiographical” poems by pioneers – such as the Southern Africans B.W. Vilakazi, H.I.E. Dhlomo, and J.J.R. Jolobe, and the West Africans Dennis Osadebay, Michael Dei-Annang, Raphael Ernest Grail Armattoe, and Gladys Caseley-Hayford – and later practitioners – such as the Southern Africans Dennis Brutus and Arthur Nortje; the West Africans Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo, Christopher Okigbo, Gabriel Okara, Kofi Awonoor, Lenrie Peters, Atukwei Okai, Leopold Sedar Senghor, and Bernard Dadié; the East African Taban lo Liyong; the Madagascans Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo and Jacques Rabemanajara; the Central African Tchicaya U Tam’si, and the North Africans Mohammed Dib, Malek Haddad, and Anna Geki – can be typologized as five sub-genres: tom-tom / childhood poetry, travel poetry, prison poetry, war poetry, and personal, “neurotic” poetry that ranges from the confessional to the less autobiographically inflected lyric.

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In tom-tom / childhood poetry – which was mainly the kind that the pioneers engaged in – there is admiration for the natural beauty of Africa that the colonizers, who were the masters at the time that the pioneers were writing, had spoiled and exploited. In this highly meditative and reflective poetry, the poets, now adults, look back to the life and world they knew before the coming of the whites and express their sense of loss and feelings of distress at the impoverishment and devastation of the once rich and great land. For example, Vilakazi’s Zulu Horizons (1973), Dennis Osadebay’s Africa Sings (1952), Michael DeiAnnang’s Cocoa Comes to Mampong and Some Occasional Verses (1970), and R.G. Armattoe’s Between the Forest and Sea: Collected Poems (undated) contain poems of various autobiographical hues, which express the personal pains and cries of the poets at the vicissitudes that had befallen their Africa. The nostalgia that modern poets such as the Francophones Senghor and Dadié clearly give vent to in their poems is not very apparent in the works of the pioneers, but Osadebay’s, Vilakazi’s, Annang’s, and Armattoe’s poetry is full of patriotic fervour, and their tom-tom poetry assumes a public voice. And even when one of them, the Nigerian Osadebay, seems to reject aspects of the African value systems in pursuit of European ones, as he suggests in the poem “Young Africa’s Explanation” (1952), he does so in the hope that this will bring about a regeneration that will help the restoration of the continent. The remarkable simplicity of diction in the poem has its roots in African oral poetry. As already indicated, modern writers also engage in this kind of autobiographical poetry. Senghor in Poèmes [1973; Poems], Dadié in Legendes et poèmes [1966 and 1973; Legends and Poems], and Rabéarivelo in Poèmes-presque-songes [1934; Poems-Almost-Dreams] and Traduit de la nuit [1935; Drawn from the Night] dwell so lovingly on their childhood that their tom-tom poetry, in which the homeland (in Senghor’s and Dadié’s poems in particular) is draped in the garland of négritude, and has a special autobiographical significance. (Rabéarivelo is also notable for having moved from writing in French to his native tongue, Malagasy, playing with bilingualism. He also left famous diaries written to just before his suicide in 1937.) Their evocation of their childhood of dreams and reverie is nostalgic politically as well as personally, retreating to a “sheltered innocence before Africa fell victim to the twin evils of colonialism and modernism” (see Nkosi). This element contrasts with the Anglophone modernist poet, the Gambian Lenrie Peters, who also dwells on childhood poetry, for instance in Katchikali (1971). Though the dreamlike setting of the title poem “Katchikali” recalls Dadié or Senghor, it lacks the négritude nostalgia of either poet. Peters is not particularly tied to things African and as he indicated in “One Long Jump” (from Satellites, 1967), the purity and joys of childhood are lost in one long jump through maturity to the grave. Peters thus does not necessarily blame the collapse of the world of his childhood on the birth of the new world of colonialism and modernism, but on the gain and loss of growing up, as discernible in William Wordsworth’s “Immortality Ode” (see Egudu, 1977). Peters can be likened to Gabriel Okara, who in The Fisherman’s Invocation (1978) expresses a sense of growing old and nostalgically wishes to reclaim the “artlessness and innocence of childhood” (see Goodwin). Peters and Okara also differ from the Rimbaudian Tchicaya’s U Tam’si’s Le Mauvais Sang (1955; Bad

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Blood) and A triche-coeur (1960; A Game of Cheat Heart) whose childhood imagination is acutely sensitive to the experiences of hostility, despair, self-pity, and alienation. In travel poetry, travel experiences are exploited to produce what can be defined as “autravographical” poetry in which the poet is inclined towards introspection, as evident, for example, in: John Pepper Clark’s verses in America, Their America (1964) and A Reed in the Tide (1965); Soyinka’s “Immigrant” poems and “Telephone Conversation” (Idanre and Other Poems, 1967); Brutus’s poems in Part 3 of A Simple Lust (1973); several of Arthur Nortje’s and Lenrie Peters’s poems in Dead Roots (1973) and Satellites and Katchikali, respectively; Okigbo’s “Heavensgate”, “Limits”, and “Distances” (Labyrinths, 1971); Senghor’s “New York” and several poems from Ethiopiques (1956); Awonoor’s Rediscovery (1964), Night of My Blood (1971), Ride Me, Memory (1973), and The House by the Sea (1978); Mohammed Dib’s “Printemps” [1961; “Spring”] of Ombre gardienne [1961; Guardian Shadow], and Malek Haddad’s “Début d’exil” [1966; “Beginning of Exile”] from Ecoute, je t’appele [1966; Listen as I Call on You]. The poetic journey often reflects a sense of exile, alienation, and loneliness. Generally, most of these poets, who are all men, composed their travel poems in foreign lands (especially Europe and America) in an attempt to respond to their homesickness and protest against their sad and unsalutary experiences abroad, where they went in quest of one form of education or another. But Dennis Brutus journeyed – to Europe and America in particular – simply to escape from the harsh conditions in his homeland of South Africa, and to report apartheid South Africa to the world. It is interesting to note that there is no significant quantity of travel poetry composed by African writers travelling within Africa, at least in written form. Other types of autobiographical poetry in which modern African poets reflect on their lives include prison poetry, autobiographical war poetry, and “neurotic” poetry. Brutus’s Letters to Martha (1968), Soyinka’s A Shuttle in the Crypt (1972), the second half of Awonoor’s The House by the Sea, and Anna Geki’s “Bonheurs interdits” [1963; “Forbidden Pleasures”] are notable exponents of the first type, while Clark’s Casualties (1970), U Tam’si’s Le Ventre [1964; The Belly], the “Massacre” sequence in Soyinka’s Idanre, and several of Okara’s obvious war poems in The Fisherman’s Invocation are important examples of the second. Taban lo Liyong’s Frantz Fanon’s Uneven Ribs (1971), Meditations (1978), and Another Nigger Dead: Poems (1972); Jacques Rabemanajara’s Antsa (1961); and Atukwei Okai’s Oath of the Fantomfrom and Other Poems (1971) and Lorgorligi Logarithms (1974) represent the last type. The prison poems of Brutus, Soyinka, Awoonor, and Geki are, in Soyinka’s words, a “map of the course trodden by the human mind” during their years of solitary confinement in their respective countries of South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Algeria, under oppressive and brutal governments. The forced introspection of imprisonment is turned to philosophical and autobiographical speculation on the relation between necessity and freedom. In the sub-genre of war poems, Clark, Soyinka, U Tam’si, and Okara are most successful in reflecting on themselves when they are talking about other people (and events). These are men intimately concerned with social and political life, and they do not portray their lives, as poets, as essentially different in

character from those of their fellow men; instead, they demonstrate that they experience what other people pass through, but more keenly, more passionately, and with less subjectivity and prejudice. With the “neurotic” poets we see the poet as a man or woman engaged in a special way with the world. He or she is the egocentric, zealous, ambitious, and “problematic” artist concerned with him- or herself as a lover, patriot, nationalist, magician, and poet-cantor. Taban lo Liyong, Rabemanajara, Rabéarivelo, and Atukwei Okai are typical examples of African poetic autobiographers who make their poetry the story of their ideas, opinions, viewpoints, music, self-drama, love, passions, and peculiar idiosyncracies. In contrast to the Angst-ridden stereotype of the post-Romantic poet of Western tradition, this kind of poetry is neither common nor popular in Africa. Finally, it needs stating here that all these well-known and significant African (autobiographical) poets, apart from the Algerian writer Anna Geki (included in the prison poetry type), are men. For a number of reasons – social, cultural, and political – women in general have yet to establish their reputation as serious African poets. However, emerging poets include: the matriarchal Mabel Segun – Nigeria’s first woman writer to be published – who is known mainly for her children’s books, short stories, and fiction, for example her autobiographical My Father’s Daughter and My Mother’s Daughter; Omolara Ogundipe-Leslie, Catherine Acholonu, Toyin Adewale, Chinyere Okafor, Angela Ajali-Nwosu, Chichi Layor, Chinwe Nneka Nzegwu, Lola Shoneyin, and Promise Okekwe. These poets, in varying degrees, write both private and socially focused poems on the themes of love, deculturation, and search for personal and group identities in a modern world (in the context of present-day Africa), where womanhood and motherhood have been debased and desecrated. They write elegies, lyrics, narrative, and witty poems in which they dwell on the past (which they do not romanticize – unlike the tom-tom poets) as well as the present with its political, social, and economic contradictions and paradoxes. They try to make poetry as relevant to their daily realities and experiences as possible. The esoteric metaphors and imageries of Soyinka, the latinate phrases and lines of Okigbo, the Hopkinsian syntax and mannerism of Clark-Bekederemo are generally not pursued in their poetry. In this light, they may be seen to signal an alternative tradition in African poetry written in English. Furthermore, apart from Mabel Segun perhaps, these writers may best be acclaimed as love poets, and they are unique in this regard because in the poems where they write about love, they do so with admirable ingenuity that is uncommon in African (autobiographical) poetry. Tony E. Afejuku Further Reading Afejuku, Tony E., “J.P. Clark’s Romantic Autotravography”, Literature Interpretation Theory, 4/2 (1993): 137–44 Aiyejina, Funso, “Mabel Segun: A Critical Review” in Nigerian Female Writers: A Critical Perspective, edited by Henrietta C. Otokunefor and Obiageli C. Nwodo, Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1989 Anozie, Sunday O., Christopher Okigbo: Creative Rhetoric, London: Evans, and New York: Africana, 1972 Anyidoho, Kofi, “Atukwei Okai and His Poetic Territory” in New West African Literature, edited by Kolawole Ogungbesan, London: Heinemann, 1979

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Cartey, Wilfred, Whispers from a Continent: The Literature of Contemporary Black Africa, London: Heinemann, and New York: Random House, 1969 Darthorne, O.R., The Black Mind: A History of African Literature, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, and London: Oxford University Press, 1974 Darthorne, O.R., African Literature in the Twentieth Century, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975 Egudu, R.N., Four Modern West African Poets, New York: NOK, 1974 Egudu, R.N., “Pictures of Pain: The Poetry of Dennis Brutus” in Aspects of South African Literature, edited by Christopher Heywood, London: Heinemann, and New York: Africana, 1976 Egudu, R.N., Modern African Poetry and the African Predicament, London: Macmillan, and New York: Barnes and Noble, 1978 Goodwin, Ken L., Understanding African Poetry: A Study of Ten Poets, London: Heinemann, 1982 Izevbaye, D.S., “From Reality to the Dream: The Poetry of Christopher Okigbo” in The Critical Evaluation of African Literature, edited by Edgar Wright, London: Heinemann, 1973 Izevbaye, D.S., “Okigbo’s Portrait of the Artist as a Sunbird: A Reading of Heavensgate (1962)”, African Literature Today, 6 (1977): 1–13 Maduakor, Obi, “Female Voices in Poetry: Catherine Acholonu and Omolara Ogundipe-Leslie as Poets” in Nigerian Female Writers: A Critical Perspective, edited by Henrietta C. Otokunefor and Obiageli C. Nwodo, Lagos: Malthouse Press, 1989 Moore, Gerald, Twelve African Writers, London: Hutchinson, and Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980 Mortimer, Mildred P., “Algerian Poetry of French Expression”, African Literature Today, 6 (1977): 68–78 Nkosi, Lewis, Tasks and Masks: Themes and Styles of African Literature, London: Longman, 1981 Nwoga, Donatus I., “Obscurity and Commitment in Modern African Poetry”, African Literature Today, 6 (1977): 26–45 Nwoga, Donatus I., “Poetry as Revelation: Wole Soyinka” in Critical Perspectives on Wole Soyinka, edited by James Gibbs, London: Heinemann, and Washington DC: Three Continents Press, 1981 Reed, John, “Leopold Sedar Senghor’s Poetry” in A Celebration of Black and African Writing, edited by Bruce King and Kolawole Ogungbesan, Zaria: Ahmadu Bello University Press, 1975 Tejàni, Bahadur, “Can the Prisoner Make a Poet? A Critical Discussion of Letter to Martha and Other Poems from a South African Prison by Dennis Brutus”, African Literature Today, 6 (1973): 130–44 Tighe, C., “In Detentio Preventione in Aeternum: Soyinka’s A Shuttle in the Crypt” in Critical Perspectives on Wole Soyinka, edited by James Gibbs, London: Heinemann, and Washington DC: Three Continents Press, 1981 Wake, Clive, “Tchicaya U Tam’si” in A Celebration of Black and African Writing, edited by Bruce King and Kolawole Ogungbesan, Zaria: Ahmadu Bello University Press, 1975 Wake, Clive, “J.-J. Rabèarivelo: A Poet of Negritude” in The Critical Evaluation of African Literature, edited by Edgar Wright, London: Heinemann, 1973; Washington DC: Inscape, 1976 Wren, Robert M., J.P. Clark, Boston: Twayne, 1984

African American Life Writing African American life writing is most strongly represented by autobiography, but essayists and diarists have also contributed to the field. Since the 18th century, black writers have reacted to realities of African American history: minority status in a whitedominated nation, chattel slavery until the civil war, and ongoing economic and social repression. They have produced works that assert the humanity of all African Americans; that explore the difficulties of realizing a positive sense of self in a society so often predisposed to obliterating it; that protest

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against racism and oppression; and that express longing for the emotional, economic, and legal security promised by the Constitution and the “American Dream”. The Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon, a Negro Man, published in 1760, marks the beginning of African American life writing. Hammon’s brief account also inaugurated a century in which slave narratives dominated African American literature. Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, published in 1789 (England) and 1791 (America), became the first bestselling slave narrative. Many others followed. Among the most important are the accounts of William Wells Brown, Henry Bibb, and James W.C. Pennington. Josiah Henson’s The Life of Josiah Henson (1849) attracted the attention of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who later used Henson as the model for Uncle Tom in her enormously influential novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The greatest of all slave narrators is Frederick Douglass, whose Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845) and My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) set the standard for the genre. The Narrative, containing all the requisite formal elements of the slave narrative, and exhibiting unmatched stylistic excellence, is both utterly representative of its form and also its most accomplished performance – two facts that make it indispensable reading (see Olney). Slave narratives established many themes intrinsic to subsequent African American life writing. Through their gruesome detailing of abuses enacted against slaves, they attacked the slave system and called for its destruction. After the legal abolition of slavery, later black writers would carry on the slave narrators’ crusade by calling for an end to the “slavery” of segregation laws, economic exploitation, unequal justice, and the curtailment of civil rights. Slave narrators also epitomize the impulse of African Americans to “write themselves into existence”. Because literacy was considered a mark of humanity, these narratives were their authors’ bid to be recognized as fellow human beings with the same abilities, emotional lives, and aspirations as other Americans. Male slave narrators often presented themselves as successful American men within a tradition established by Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography. Drawing upon another archetype, these authors present themselves as self-sufficient heroes who escape slavery and run to freedom alone. Thus they claim a place among the mythic company of American frontiersmen, rugged individualists living free from society’s laws. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), Harriet Jacobs creates a different kind of narrator – the heroic female slave whose dedication to family outstrips even her desire for personal freedom. Jacobs details incredible suffering, including seven years hiding in a tiny attic room. Jacobs’s reluctance to escape until she has also secured her children’s freedom highlights the female slave’s connection to family, in contrast to the male slave narrator’s projection as heroic loner. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl also reveals the sexual exploitation of women slaves, which made slavery for women, as Jacobs asserts, much more terrible than it was for men. The end of the Civil War began a new era in African American life. Slavery was abolished and the Union preserved, but the freedoms promised during Reconstruction proved largely illusory. “Jim Crow” laws assured racial segregation

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and legalized blacks’ status as second-class citizens. Sharecropping in the South and exploitation of industrial workers in the North kept many in economic bondage. Two autobiographies exemplify strategies that black Americans used to negotiate these terrible years. The journalist, lecturer, and publisher Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s Crusade for Justice (published 1970) chronicles its author’s tireless efforts to combat lynching, inferior segregated schools, economic oppression, and limits on opportunities for women. Booker T. Washington’s famous autobiography Up from Slavery (1901) takes a different tack. Choosing to present his life as a black version of the American success story, Washington recounts his birth in slavery, his efforts to obtain an education, and, most importantly, his feat of creating Tuskegee Institute almost from nothing. Washington stresses that African Americans should learn trades, save their money, buy land, and make themselves economically indispensable to their communities. Civil rights, he argues, will come in time – when white America recognizes black Americans’ worthiness. Up from Slavery thus became the classic text of black accommodation to the status quo. It was, understandably, immensely popular among whites. African American autobiography during the first half of the 20th century was undertaken primarily by professional writers. Artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance, that flowering of black arts in the 1920s, produced works exhibiting a new sense of racial pride. Noteworthy among them are James Weldon Johnson’s Along This Way (1933) and Claude McKay’s A Long Way from Home (1937). Langston Hughes’s The Big Sea (1940) offers an ironic, detached view of Harlem in the 1920s, the decade in which, as Hughes put it, “The Negro was in Vogue”. Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) is memorable for Hurston’s engaging prose style, replete with the vivid verbal imagery Hurston learned during her years gathering Negro folklore throughout the South. African American autobiography in the 1940s was dominated by one text, Richard Wright’s Black Boy (1945). This searing portrayal of growing up in what Wright called “Southern Night” has garnered more critical attention than any other autobiography of the period and has loomed larger in the imagination of later writers. Some have approved its bleak depiction of black existence, while others have fought to fashion a different vision of African American life outside of Wright’s influence. As a description of an artist’s coming of age, Black Boy is a model of autobiographical self-fashioning. To create a version of his life that satisfies him as emotionally true, Wright freely creates and arranges scenes, fashions dialogue, and omits facts that do not accord with his vision. Black Boy reminds us that its author was also a fiction writer, who skilfully uses novelistic techniques to produce a disturbing autobiography. In the 1950s and 1960s, African American life underwent profound change, resulting from school desegregation and the gradual erosion of Jim Crow laws in the South, advances achieved through the legal efforts of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and nonviolent social protest organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under the direction of Martin Luther King, Jr. Other segments of the black community became radicalized, as evidenced by the rise of groups such as the Nation of Islam and the Blank Panther Party. This social ferment brought forth many new autobiographies. Like the slave narra-

tives of an earlier century, these works called attention to the terrible conditions under which millions of African Americans lived – not in legalized slavery, but in the economic and social bondage of America’s southern towns and northern inner cities. Manchild in the Promised Land, Claude Brown’s 1965 bestseller, shocked and fascinated America, much as Black Boy had done 20 years earlier, with its unflinching depiction of blighted black lives. As with many of its predecessors, Manchild is also an American success story, marking Brown’s escape from a life ruled by drugs and crime to one of commitment to helping solve the problems of the black ghetto. Asserting black alienation and threatening coming racial revolution, Black nationalists alarmed America with their radical politics. Bobby Seale’s Seize the Time (1970) and H. Rap Brown’s Die, Nigger, Die (1969) typify many autobiographies of the era through their aggressive stance toward the white establishment. Anne Moody presents a somewhat different viewpoint in Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968), which chronicles her involvement with the civil rights movement in the South. Moody describes the unbearable tensions she endured while helping to register voters and organize the black community to fight racial oppression. She also records her ultimate rejection of nonviolence as a viable way of eliminating the nation’s racial injustices. The most important African American autobiography of the 1960s, however, is The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965). Like Douglass’s Narrative, Malcolm’s work skilfully accomplishes one of the requisites of great autobiography – that of tracing the growth of the autobiographical self. Using elements from spiritual autobiography, Malcolm portrays himself as “Homeboy”, “Detroit Red”, “Satan”, and finally, “Minister Malcolm X” as he goes from petty hustler to criminal, to prison inmate, to reborn believer and spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Malcolm’s death just as his autobiography was being completed gives special poignance to a life cut short before its protagonist was able to discover and realize another, and perhaps final, version of himself. The last decades of the 20th century have seen a new outpouring of African American literature, especially from women writers, who have also produced some important autobiographies, among them Maya Angelou’s multi-volume work beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970). Poet and novelist Audre Lorde wrote Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982), a fictionalized account of her early life. Angelou’s and Lorde’s works are typical of women’s narratives from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s in their candid treatment of issues relevant to women, including family relationships, sexual abuse, lesbianism, spirituality, and equal opportunity in a maledominated world. Although the full-length autobiography is by far the most common form of African American life writing, both the autobiographical essay and the journal /diary have some distinguished representatives. Besides producing two complete autobiographies – Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1940) and his Autobiography (1968) – W.E.B. Du Bois penned several autobiographical essays, including pieces in his famous The Souls of Black Folk (1903). Black Power advocate Eldridge Cleaver collected his autobiographical essays in Soul on Ice (1968). Many critics today view James Baldwin as the finest essayist America pro-

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duced in the second half of the 20th century; among his best autobiographical pieces are “Notes of a Native Son” and “Stranger in the Village”, both in his essay collection Notes of a Native Son (1955). Also noteworthy is The Fire Next Time (1963), comprised of two autobiographical essays. In these pieces Baldwin recounts with exquisite sensitivity and thoughtfulness what it means to be a black writer, a black homosexual, and a black American. Like Du Bois in Dusk of Dawn, Baldwin is especially adept at setting his life as an individual black man within the larger historical and cultural contexts of his times. Among the writers whose diaries and journals offer insight into the daily lives of men and women who contributed in numerous ways to African American life, some few stand out. The diaries of Charlotte Forten Grimke, covering the years 1854 to 1892, chronicle a period of tumultuous change for all Americans. Of particular interest are her entries from 1862 and 1863, when she taught newly freed slaves on the sea islands of South Carolina. Novelist Charles Chesnutt also kept a journal during the years he conceived his goal of being a writer whose mission would be the uplift of white Americans through telling them the truth about the humanity of their black brothers and sisters. Among recent diarists, Audre Lorde should be noted for The Cancer Journals (1980), her recollections of how she coped with life-threatening breast cancer. African American life writing uses forms and themes found in both American and other national literatures. The spiritual autobiography, the story of a rise to fame and fortune from humble beginnings, the account of the artist’s coming of age and realization of his or her vocation – these are not uniquely African American. But blacks have contributed one new form to world literature. The classic slave narrative perhaps best summarizes the impulses behind African American life writing: to assert one’s full humanity and to call upon America to make good its promises to grant all citizens freedom to fashion and live lives of their own choosing. David L. Dudley Further Reading Andrews, William L., To Tell A Free Story: The First Century of AfroAmerican Autobiography, 1760–1865, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986 Andrews, William L., “African-American Autobiography Criticism: Retrospect and Prospect” in American Autobiography: Retrospect and Prospect, edited by Paul John Eakin, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 Barton, Rebecca Chalmers, Witnesses for Freedom: Negro Americans in Autobiography, New York: Harper, 1948 Braxton, Joanne M., Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition within a Tradition, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989 Brignano, Russell C., Black Americans in Autobiography: An Annotated Bibliography of Autobiographies and Autobiographical Books Written Since the Civil War, Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1974; revised, expanded edition, 1984 Butterfield, Stephen, Black Autobiography in America, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1974 Davis, Charles T. and Henry Louis Gates, Jr (editors), The Slave’s Narrative, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985 Dudley, David L., My Father’s Shadow: Intergenerational Conflict in African-American Men’s Autobiography, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991 Lee, A. Robert, Designs of Blackness: Mappings in the Literature and Culture of Afro-America, London: Pluto Press, 1998 Olney, James, “‘I Was Born’: Slave Narratives, Their Status as

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Autobiography and as Literature” in The Slave’s Narrative, edited by Charles T. Davis and Henry Louis Gates, Jr, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985 Rosenblatt, Roger, “Black Autobiography: Life as the Death Weapon” in Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980 Smith, Sidonie, Where I’m Bound: Patterns of Slavery and Freedom in Black American Autobiography, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1974 Stepto, Robert B., From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative, Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1979

Age and Life Writing “Age” may be viewed as implicit in all life writing, and some age factors become explicit in self writing by the longer lived. “Aging” – when not a euphemism for old age – could be another word for temporality in any narrative that represents a considerable extent of the life course. Yet auto/biography theorists outside humanistic gerontology and narrative psychology pay little attention to age. One reason may be that even to those familiar with gendering and racializing processes, aging and age remain naturalized. That “age” too is socially constructed, all across the life course, is the unfinished insight of the anti-essentialist revolution, despite the work of (among others) Philippe Ariès on childhood, Patricia Meyer Spacks on adolescence, the present author on the midlife, and Simone de Beauvoir on old age. Whatever happens to the body, people are “aged by culture” from their first socialization. More analytically, they are “aged” through discourses high and low (including the religious, mythical, medical, developmental, legal, demographic, philosophical, literary, conversational, and media-generated), the economic structures of the life course, the maturational processes, generational interaction, history, and custom. Despite the enormous mass of existing life writing, “not all of it is analyzable in the sense of yielding potentially valuable information about aging and the self” (in the words of Harry J. Berman). Some works can be re-analysed as historians teach us more about self-fashioning in various periods (David Troyansky on 19th-century judges), or as age critics reinterpret self writing (Kathleen Woodward on Freud and de Beauvoir, Dan McAdams on Karen Horney). One problem for age criticism is that not even autobiographers of later life have heretofore thought to tease apart the sources of their meanings of “age”. For what age of audience am I implicitly writing? What influences drive my beliefs about my own aging? Why these particular discursive choices (metaphors, genres)? As Florida Scott-Maxwell discovered, “I am so caught in my experience of age that it occurs to me only now that … anyone would have the right to ask, ‘By what road did you arrive where you are?’” But even she did not consider whether writing The Measure of My Days (1968) in London in the ageist mid-1960s had more to do with producing her new state of “hot conviction” than turning 82. Much life writing about formative experiences still centres on childhood or the stage of youth curiously known as “the coming of age”, without wondering: “why does my ‘latest self’ pick the particular earlier ages and age relationships that it does and ignore others?” What is the age politics of the genre I choose, or

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of my favoured age metaphors? When a 20th-century Western autobiographer focuses on a later stage of life (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Crack-Up”, 1936), or contrasts mid-life to an earlier stage (George Orwell’s “Such, Such Were the Joys”, 1952, or, more implicitly, Nabokov’s Speak, Memory, 1951), the effect is often that aging involves inevitable decline. Writing the biography of one’s mother is harder because this underexamined bias in life writing makes the subjectivity of older women less visible to younger people even in the same family. Narrative of decline forces out elegy, pastoral, tragedy, or other modes; it makes those aged by culture passive in the face of discourses and structures that intervention could change. Some contemporary American writers (many of them women allied with the positive-aging movement) rebut this decline by writing about conquering an age or stage that is felt to be particularly challenging: say, turning 50 or 60. Some endorse special behaviours – kayaking, fly-fishing, early retirement – held to be conducive to growth at such ages. Such writers reinforce “decadism” (the construction of age decades as a priori meaningful time units) or mid-life-as-crisis, rather than deconstructing them as the effects of a late 20th-century gendered North American culture spreading to men and to other developed countries. Recovery stories – from addiction or illness – may also be structured as progress narratives. With rare exceptions, writers are as tacit about having chosen to write a progress genre as a decline. The recent trend of describing a phase of middle or later life isolated from the rest of the life course (the slice-of-life approach) may correspond to the phenomenon of niche-marketing by age in book publishing and the growing Western emphasis on age grading as much as to increasing efforts to diminish middle-ageism and gerontophobia. Autobiography that foregrounds age more critically could be the ideal form for asking what counts as “age-related experience”, whether through a journal kept and re-read over the years, an exchange of letters between friends, or a personal essay. After participating in writing groups made up of people between 58 and 92, Ruth Ray has shown how they all learned to consider “generational differences on the evolving content and structure of their life stories”. Memoir as theory and cultural critique could elevate the subtextual, theorize the body, estrange the self-evident, contextualize spotty memories, weigh competing influences, and convey (as others have done for gender and race) the tremendous impact of age discourses on subjectivity and social relations. Only thinking though the self can unravel such questions, using memory as well as historical, psychological, narratological, economic, and sociological tools. The social lore about aging that people in different cultures acquire starting as early as childhood can probably be recovered through memory: e.g. their “implicit theories of the life course” (William McKinley Runyon), the attributes of each stage of life, resocialization into becoming or performing the next age the culture decrees. The age lore that contemporary children are learning could be observed and understood in historical context. Younger men as well as women would need to raise their consciousness about the age cues of their time and place. “Age-consciousness” would no longer mean internalizing age cues but identifying them and distancing oneself from the negative ones – as Barbara MacDonald’s Look Me in the Eye exemplifies. Age beliefs that are socially divisive and /or psychologically abusive

would become widely regarded as ethical issues for men and women of all ages, not just as concerns of “aging” feminists. Age is a component of any of our multiple identities as they change over time (race, gender, class, sexuality, political or spiritual formation, practising a skill or talent, parenting). To focus on one such “age identity” at a time can be useful. To move beyond this focus might require integrating a collection of one’s time- and culture-conscious histories. More generally, does life writing tend to overemphasize change at the expense of continuities? Is the current proliferation of memoirs a response in part to postindustrial pressures for adaptive change? Where might new metaphors come from? The need to understand age is urgent, and interest in the subject is growing. “Age Studies” is a new cross-disciplinary approach that, by merging feminist theory, literary and cultural studies, and critical gerontology, is providing interrogations of existing texts and practices, new concepts and directions. If auto/biography theorists learn to draw what they need from Age Studies, this alliance could eventually influence and inspire novelists, poets, and others concerned with the psyche in culture over time. Life writing becomes the privileged site where narrative self-consciousness and critical age-consciousness converge. A possible name for this form would be “age autobiography”. Margaret Morganroth Gullette See also Adolescence and Life Writing; Childhood and Life Writing; Old Age and Life Writing

Further Reading Birren, James E. et al., Aging and Biography: Explorations in Adult Development, New York: Springer, 1996 Cole, Thomas R., Robert Kastenbaum, and Ruth E. Ray (editors), Handbook of the Humanities and Aging, revised edition, New York: Springer, 2000 Gullette, Margaret Morganroth, Declining to Decline: Cultural Combat and the Politics of the Midlife, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997 Gullette, Margaret Morganroth, “Age Studies as Cultural Studies” in Handbook of the Humanities and Aging, revised edition, edited by Thomas R. Cole, Robert Kastenbaum, and Ruth E. Ray, New York: Springer, 2000 Kenyon, Gary M. and William L. Randall, Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth through Autobiographical Reflection, New York: Praeger, 1997 McAdams, Dan P., “Image, Theme, and Character in the Life Story of Karen Horney” in Women Creating Lives: Identities, Resilience, and Resistance, edited by Carol E. Franz and Abigail J. Stewart, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1994 MacDonald, Barbara, Look Me in the Eye: Old Women, Aging, and Ageism, San Francisco: Spinsters Ink, 1983 Myerhoff, Barbara, “The Journal as Activity and Genre” in Remembered Lives: The Work of Ritual, Storytelling, and Growing Older, edited by Marc Kaminsky, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992 Ray, Ruth E., Beyond Nostalgia: Aging and Life-Story Writing, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000 Ricoeur, Paul, “Narrative Time”, Critical Inquiry, 7/1 (Autumn 1980) Runyon, William McKinley, Life Histories and Psychobiography: Explorations in Theory and Method, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982 Waxman, Barbara Frey, To Live in the Center of the Moment: Literary Autobiographies of Aging, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997 Woodward, Kathleen, “Simone de Beauvoir: Aging and Its Discontents” in The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women’s Autobiographical Writings, edited by Shari Benstock, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988

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Woodward, Kathleen, Aging and Its Discontents: Freud and Other Fictions, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991 Woodward, Kathleen, “Telling Stories: Aging, Reminiscence, and the Life Review”, Journal of Aging and Identity, 2/3 (1997): 149–63.

Agee, James

1909–1955

American journalist, screenwriter, and documentary auto/biographer James Agee won the Pulitzer prize for his posthumously published autobiographical novel A Death in the Family (1957), a book that uses his characteristic blend of lyrical, elevated prose and prose-poetry to ruminate about his father’s death in a car accident, when the son was only six years old. In addition to this novel and another called The Morning Watch (1951), Agee published poetry in Permit Me Voyage (1934), other pieces of short fiction, a considerable body of journalistic writing including film reviews and film scripts, and Letters of James Agee to Father Flye (1962). Agee is most often remembered, however, for a book he had published much earlier, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), a nonfictional text ostensibly focused on three tenant-farmer families living in Alabama during the Depression. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men has been difficult for readers to classify since its publication. While the back cover of the revised edition carries the label “literature /sociology”, Agee’s masterwork has also been regarded as autobiography, memoir, essays, documentary, anti-documentary, case study, confessional, exposé, or a work of postmodern realism, and – because of his collaboration with Walker Evans, whose photographs of the families and their surroundings appear at the book’s beginning – as a photo-text. Reviewers of the first edition found Agee himself too much present in a book that they took to be another in a series of documentary studies of poverty before and during the Depression, analogous to Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives (1890), Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor’s An American Exodus (1939), or Erskine Caldwell and Margaret BourkeWhite’s You Have Seen Their Faces (1937). Agee thought of his collaboration with Walker Evans as being a sort of mock-documentary, one that would have the opposite effect from You Have Seen Their Faces, which he reviled for its superior tone, sensationalism, exploitation of its subjects, and as celebrating the fame of the photographer and author. Some reviewers of the second edition of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men charged Agee with the same sort of egotism in thrusting himself so often into his text, Erling Larsen’s “Let Us Not Now Praise Ourselves” (1961) being a representative example. Agee responded to those who saw him as being too autobiographical, explaining that the people and places he wrote about were real: In a novel, a house or person has his meaning, his existence, entirely through the writer. Here, a house or a person has only the most limited of his meaning through me: his true meaning is much huger. It is that he exists, in actual being, as you do and as I do, and as no character of the imagination can possibly exist. Although Agee chose to use invented names for the three families he was writing about to protect their privacy, he makes

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it clear that neither the families nor himself are fictional characters. Ironically, only by inserting himself directly into the text as both writer and participant-observer can he demonstrate that the people he celebrates have their meaning outside of the way they are depicted through his perceptions. Finally, then, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is a sort of meta-biography or quest biography, comparable to such recent works as Ian Hamilton’s In Search of J. D. Salinger (1988) or Mark Harris’s Saul Bellow, Drumlin Woodchuck (1980), books that are about their authors’ attempts at writing about other lives. Agee’s book is as much the story of Agee’s attempt at writing about his experiences as it is about those experiences. Agee includes numerous autobiographical pieces within his study of the lives of the families he calls Ricketts, Woods, and Gudger, such as the narrative of his and Walker Evans’s first meeting with the three families and the story of himself as a child getting out of bed on a cold morning to perform his duties as an altar boy. For those who see these autobiographical set-pieces as intruding on the larger story, Agee responds, again within the text, by explaining that in the interests of accuracy and honesty he realizes that his portrait is necessarily relative, filtered through his own eyes. “For that reason and for others”, he continues, “I would do just as badly to simplify or eliminate myself from this picture as to simplify or invent character, places or atmospheres”. Timothy Dow Adams Biography James Rufus Agee. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States, 27 November 1909. His father came from a farming background, his mother from a family with a strong interest in business, religion, and the arts. Educated at St Andrews School, Sewanee, Tennessee, 1919–24; and Knoxville High School, 1924–25. Studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, 1925–28; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1928–32 (BA), where he also edited the Harvard Advocate. Reporter and staff writer, Fortune, 1932–39. Married Olivia Saunders, 1933 (divorced 1937). Wrote a book of verse, Permit Me Voyage (1934). Commissioned by Fortune magazine to tour Alabama during the Depression with the photographer Walker Evans, 1936: the results were published as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). Married Alma Mailman, 1939 (later divorced): one son. Book reviewer, from 1939, and feature writer and film reviewer, 1941–48, Time magazine. Film columnist, Nation, 1942–48. Married Mia Fritsch, 1946: one daughter. Became a literary celebrity and was sought after as a scriptwriter by Hollywood: film scripts include The African Queen (1951) and The Night of the Hunter (1955). Awarded the Pulitzer prize, posthumously, for the novel A Death in the Family (1957). Died in New York, 16 May 1955.

Selected Writings (with Walker Evans) Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 1941; edited by John Hersey, 1988 The Morning Watch (autobiographical fiction), 1951 A Death in the Family (autobiographical fiction), 1957 Letters of James Agee to Father Flye, 1962, revised 1971

Further Reading Allister, Mark, “Seeing, Knowing, and Being: James Agee’s Let us Now Praise Famous Men”, Prose Studies, 9/3 (1986): 88–102 Bergreen, Laurence, James Agee: A Life, New York: Dutton, 1984 Cosgrove, Peter, “Snapshots of the Absolute: Mediamachia in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”, American Literature, 67/2 (June 1995): 329–57 Doty, Mark A., Tell Me Who I Am: James Agee’s Search for Selfhood, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981

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Kramer, Victor A., James Agee, Boston: Twayne, 1975 Larsen, Erling, “Let Us Not Now Praise Ourselves”, Carleton Miscellany, 2 (Winter 1961): 86–96 Lofaro, Michael A. (editor), James Agee: Reconsiderations, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992 Lowe, James, The Creative Process of James Agee, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994 Rabinowitz, Paula, “Voyeurism and Class Consciousness: James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”, Cultural Critique, 21 (Spring 1992): 143–70 Reed, T.V., “Unimagined Existence and the Fiction of the Real: Postmodernist Realism in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”, Representations, 24 (Fall 1988): 156–76 Spiegel, Alan, James Agee and the Legend of Himself: A Critical Study, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1998

Agency The poststructuralist attack on the self in the 1960s and 1970s fell with particular force upon autobiography, in which a self appears to be doubly present, as narrator and protagonist. The surge of critical interest in autobiography in the 1980s and 1990s may be understood as an attempt – from many quarters and for different reasons – to preserve the subject as an agent, within and without texts. Poststructuralists dissolve agency in several ways. Michel Foucault sees selves as the effects of power relations created and maintained by multifarious cultural forces; he associates “author functions” with “legal and institutional systems that circumscribe, determine, and articulate the realm of discourses” (“What is an Author?”). For Roland Barthes, language speaks and acts through writers, who are “never more than the instance writing, just as I is nothing other than the instance saying I” (“The Death of the Author”). Paul de Man argues that the life discerned in autobiography is just as much a product of the writing as the cause of it; the act of writing produces a textual self that becomes identified, rightly or wrongly, with the anterior producer of the text. Jacques Derrida sees the proper name or signature of the writer as creating autobiography, but only when accepted as such by readers: “The ear of the other says me to me and constitutes the autos of my autobiography” (The Ear of the Other). Candace Lang maintains that questions about the reference of “I” mean that writing of any sort “can no longer be conceived as an act of singular authority, but must be understood as a process of collaboration between an individual consciousness and that Other which permeates it” (“Autobiography in the Aftermath of Romanticism”). Prompted by the effect of these questions on scholarly editorial practices, Jack Stillinger demonstrates that the notion of a single agent for all aspects of texts ignores the influence of others at every stage of literary production – from idea to publication. Running counter to arguments displacing the self as agent and referent of autobiography is the work of Philippe Lejeune and Paul John Eakin. Lejeune’s “autobiographical pact” between writer and reader stabilizes the autobiographical self in an identity of author, narrator, and protagonist, held in place by the quasi-legal force of the name on the title page. In the face of poststructuralist arguments about language’s nonreferentiality, Paul John Eakin holds that autobiography cannot but be referential, a position entailing the agency of the autobiographer. For

Eakin the act of writing autobiography is “an extension of a lifelong process of identity formation [which] mirrors experiential reality . . . in performance as well as in product. In this respect the making of autobiography belongs to the world of reference that is its subject” (Touching the World). Because it makes lived experience accessible and seems relatively unmediated by literary concerns, autobiographical writing can project a sense of a writer’s agency outside the text more directly than other forms of literature. Susan Stanford Friedman defines agency in political contexts as “the assumption of human subjectivities that create meanings and act in negotiation with the systemic conditions of the social order, however circumscribed” (Mappings). Autobiographies effectively reveal agency or the desire for agency because they show how meanings are created for people, how people create meanings for themselves, and how people engage the world around them. Thus, autobiography is well suited to support arguments on behalf of people who have been oppressed or traditionally silenced. A recurring issue in discussions of autobiographies by members of minority or oppressed groups is the degree of independence and control that autobiographers have over their own texts. For members of such groups, achieving full and free agency in the writing of one’s own life is often difficult, and their struggles to be agents parallel the group’s efforts to achieve its political goals. Sponsors and editors may insist that life stories conform to preexisting patterns for narratives of oppression. Cultural stereotypes may inhibit the telling of life stories altogether or severely restrict writers’ ability to interpret their own experience freely. Becoming an agent is a goal these writers work for, on their own behalf and on behalf of others. Resisting the association of agency with individualist ideology as well as masculine autonomy and power, feminist theorists have searched for new understandings of agency. The political scientist Susan Hekman argues that subjects act as agents when they create for themselves “distinctive combinations, that is, individual subjectivities” out of the hegemonic and nonhegemonic discourses around them; agency resides in the “piec[ing] together” of a subjectivity. She likens the process to the way that speakers of a language create unique, distinctive statements from commonly used materials (“Subjects and Agents: The Question for Feminism”). Such creative selection is also similar to the selecting and editing required to construct an autobiography. The literary critic Marianne Hirsch uses a concept of agency as selection in discussing the use of family photographs by four autobiographers. The philosopher Sandra Lee Bartky suggests that the debate over agency is a new version of the problem of free will versus determinism. If so, each way of understanding human action negates the other, and the debate is at an impasse. Bartky’s view suggests that understanding agency may finally be a matter of faith and therefore not amenable to rational discussion beyond a certain point. Reformulating the question of agency in writing as that of causation obviates this dilemma, allowing one to continue trying to understand writers’ actions. It also acknowledges the poststructuralists’ dispersal of self into various externalized functions while preserving the meaningfulness of writers’ actions in generating their own life stories. For example, when applied to autobiography, Aristotle’s causes – efficient, material, formal, and final – yield the following analysis. Autobiographers are the efficient cause of the text: they bring it about. Language and

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experience are material causes: they form the substance of the work. Ideas about the self, the life course, and genre are formal causes. Autobiography’s reason for being, its final cause, is the desire to communicate an understanding of one’s life. Positing several kinds of causation allows both self and discourse to be considered agents of autobiography’s production.

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Century, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993 Stillinger, Jack, Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991 Taylor, Charles, “Agency and the Self”, part 1 of Human Agency and Language, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985

Thomas R. Smith See also The Self

Further Reading Andrews, William L., To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of AfroAmerican Autobiography, 1760–1865, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986 Barthes, Roland, “The Death of the Author” in Image – Music – Text, translated by Stephen Heath, New York: Hill and Wang, 1977 Bartky, Sandra Lee, “Agency: What’s the Problem?” in Provoking Agents: Gender and Agency in Theory and Practice, edited by Judith Kegan Gardiner, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995 Couser, G. Thomas, “Authority”, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 10 /1 (1995): 34–49 de Man, Paul, “Autobiography as De-facement”, MLN / Modern Language Notes, 94/5 (1979): 919–30; reprinted in The Rhetoric of Romanticism, New York: Columbia University Press, 1984 Derrida, Jacques, The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation: Texts and Discussions with Jacques Derrida, edited by Claude Lévesque and Christie V. McDonald, translated by Peggy Kamuf, New York: Schocken Books, 1985 Eakin, Paul John, Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992 Foucault, Michel, “What is an Author?” in Language, CounterMemory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, edited by Donald. F. Bouchard, translated by Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1977 Friedman, Susan Stanford, Mappings: Feminism and the Cultural Geographies of Encounter, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1998 Gagnier, Regenia, Subjectivities: A History of Self-Representation in Britain, 1832–1920, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991 Hekman, Susan, “Subjects and Agents: The Question for Feminism” in Provoking Agents: Gender and Agency in Theory and Practice, edited by Judith Kegan Gardiner, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995 Hirsch, Marianne, “Resisting Images: Rereading Adolescence” in Provoking Agents: Gender and Agency in Theory and Practice, edited by Judith Kegan Gardiner, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995 Lang, Candace, “Autobiography in the Aftermath of Romanticism”, Diacritics, 12/4 (1982): 2–16 Lejeune, Philippe, “The Autobiographical Pact” in On Autobiography, edited by Paul John Eakin, translated by Katherine Leary, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989 Lejeune, Philippe, “The Autobiographical Pact (bis)” in On Autobiography, edited by Paul John Eakin, translated by Katherine Leary, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989 McKay, Nellie Y., “The Narrative Self: Race, Politics, and Culture in Black American Women’s Autobiography” in Feminisms in the Academy, edited by Domna Stanton and Abigail J. Stewart, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995; reprinted in Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader, edited by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998 Pease, Donald E., “Author” in Critical Terms for Literary Study, 2nd edition, edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995 Smith, Paul, Discerning the Subject, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988 Smith, Sidonie, “The Universal Subject, Female Embodiment, and the Consolidation of Autobiography” in Subjectivity, Identity, and the Body: Women’s Autobiographical Practices in the Twentieth

Aksakov, Sergei

1791–1859

Russian fiction writer and memoirist Although he had written some verse and theatre reviews in the 1820s and 1830s, Sergei Aksakov entered the major phase of his career as a writer only after 1845, first with the publication of a book on fishing (based on personal experience), then with works on hunting (also based on experience), and finally on works of a memoiristic nature. The most important of these, Semeinaia khronika (final version published 1856; Family Chronicle) had its origins in accounts within Aksakov’s family about his grandfather, who had settled with his serfs in the newly opened Orenburg area of the southern Urals in the latter part of the 18th century, and about other relatives of that period. In addition, Aksakov drew on his own memories of his parents to complete the story of the two generations preceding his own. (Family Chronicle concludes with the birth of Sergei himself, although the family name is altered to Bagrov.) Family Chronicle was followed by Vospominaniia (1856; literally “Reminiscences”, translated as A Russian Schoolboy) in which the actual names of Aksakov and his relatives were used, and Detskie gody Bagrova-vnuka (1858; literally “Childhood Years of Bagrov the Grandson”, translated as Years of Childhood ). In addition, Aksakov composed a number of memoirs dealing with various literary and theatrical figures he had known during his lifetime, including the poet Gavriil Derzhavin (1743–1816), the writer Nikolai Zagoskin (1789–1852), Nikolai Gogol’ (1809–1852), and others, as well as the literary and theatrical life of various periods earlier in the century. (Istoriia moego znakomstva s Gogolem, [1855; A History of My Acquaintance with Gogol] is probably the most important.) Although these works were not necessarily written in the order of the internal chronology of the events depicted and differ considerably in their generic affiliations, taken as a whole Aksakov’s narrative works provide a fascinating, if somewhat restricted, view of aspects of Russian social and literary life from the later 18th century to the middle decades of the 19th. In this respect, and in their frequent attention to the minutiae of the everyday family life of the Russian gentry in this period, they set the stage for such later work as the depictions of the Rostov and Bolkonskii families in Tolstoi’s War and Peace. Of Aksakov’s more important works, Family Chronicle is the closest to fiction. Although, in so far as can be determined, Aksakov does not radically alter the crucial events in his family’s history prior to his own birth, he does cast each chapter (deliberately termed a “fragment” of the Chronicle) in a given literary form, whether that is the foundation myth characteristic of the opening of chronicles (the first chapter); the Gothic tale, a typical genre of the late 18th century (the second chapter); or the sentimental romance and family novel (the three subsequent chapters). The self is portrayed in terms of the continuation of

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both familial and textual lineages. Years of Childhood in large part follows the pattern of a single genre, the childhood narrative, with its characteristic focus on the psychological and social development of the narrator’s consciousness. Perhaps most memorable are the introductory section of unconnected memories and the scene of the death of the narrator’s grandfather (the same character who dominates Family Chronicle), which functions as the moment when the child realizes the horror and finality of death. Aksakov’s most significant other autobiographical text is probably A Russian Schoolboy, which deals primarily with his schooldays at the gimnaziia in Kazan and then at the fledgling University of Kazan. In the course of the text, Aksakov matures from a timid child, fearful of separation from his beloved (and intensely protective) mother, to a young man on the threshold of departure for adult life in the distant capital of St Petersburg. Sergei Aksakov stands as the initiator in Russia of literature that presents the self not merely or primarily as a witness of significant events but as a dynamically developing personality, interesting precisely as a consequence of the very ordinariness and universality of its experience.

Family Chronicle, 1924, and Chronicles of a Russian Family, 1924; as A Family Chronicle, translated by Olga Shartse, 1984 Vospominaniia, 1856 (published with Semeinaia khronika); as A Russian Schoolboy, translated by J.D. Duff, 1917 Literaturnye i teatral’nye vospominaniia [Literary and Theatrical Reminiscences], 1856–58 Detskie gody Bagrova-vnuka, 1858; as Years of Childhood, translated by J.D. Duff, 1916, and by Alec Brown, 1960; in part in The Family Chronicle, translated by M.C. Beverley, 1924; as Childhood Years of Bagrov Grandson, translated by Olga Shartse, 1984 Sobranie sochinenii (collected works), 4 vols, 1955–56 Sobranie sochinenii (collected works), 5 vols, 1966

Further Reading Durkin, Andrew R., Sergei Aksakov and Russian Pastoral, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1983 Feuer, Kathryn B., “The Indoor Art of Sergei Aksakov,” Ulbandus Review, 2/1 (1979): 86–102 Leavitt, Marcus, “Aksakov’s Family Chronicle and the Oral Tradition,” Slavic and East European Journal, 32/2 (1988): 198–212 Lobanov, Mikhail, Sergei Timofeevich Aksakov, Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 1987 Mashinskii, S.I., S.T. Aksakov: Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo, 2nd edition, Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1973 (first edition 1961)

Andrew R. Durkin Biography Born in Ufa, Russia, 10 October 1791. His father was a wealthy landowner. Spent his earliest years primarily on the family estates in the region (Orenburg guberniia). Educated at home and later at the gymnasium in Kazan, continuing his studies at Kazan University when it was founded in 1804. Left for St Petersburg without graduating, 1807. Worked in government offices and participated in the theatrical and literary life of St Petersburg. Resigned from the civil service, 1811. Moved to Moscow, where he was active as an amateur in literary and theatrical life. Published first verse (anonymously), 1812. Enlisted in the militia, 1812. Married Ol’ga Semenovna Zaplatina, 1816: six sons and eight daughters. Lived mainly on his estate (Aksakovo) in the Orenburg region, 1816–26; thereafter in or near Moscow. Began to publish translations, theatre reviews, and articles, early 1820s. Hosted a weekly social and literary salon, and joined the Society of Lovers of the Russian Word. Served on the Moscow Censorship Committee, 1827–29 and 1830–32; dismissed for negligence in authorizing the publication of a “scurrilous” pamphlet on drunken policemen. Inspector, Grand Duke Constantine School of Surveying, 1833. Wrote the short story “Metel’” [1834; The Blizzard]. First director of the Geodetic Institute after its reorganization in 1835. Finally retired from the civil service in 1838. Managed family estates, to which he added Abramtsevo (near Sergiev Posad) in 1843; here he entertained, among many others, the writers Gogol, Turgenev, and Tolstoi. Despite failing eyesight, worked throughout the 1840s on his angling and hunting “notes” (published 1847–55), based largely on personal experience, then his family history, reminiscences of childhood and school years, and memoirs and biographies of the literary and theatrical figures he had known. Through two of his sons, Konstantin and Ivan, was associated with the Romantic nationalist Slavophile movement, in whose publications many of his works first appeared. Died at Abramtsevo, the family estate near Moscow, 12 May 1859.

Selected Writings Zapiski ob uzhen’e ryby [Notes on Angling], 1847, revised 1854; translated by Thomas P. Hodge in Notes on Fishing and Selected Fishing Prose and Poetry, 1997 Zapiski ruzheinogo okhotnika Orgenburgskoi gubernii, 1852; as Notes of a Provincial Wildfowler, edited and translated by Kevin Windle, 1998 Istoriia moega znakomstva s Gogolem [A History of My Acquaintance with Gogol], 1855 Semeinaia khronika, 1856, revised 1856; as A Russian Gentleman, translated by J.D. Duff, 1917; translated by M.C. Beverley as The

Akutagawa Ry®nosuke

1892–1927

Japanese fiction writer, critic, and autobiographer Akutagawa’s reputation, both inside and outside Japan, rests chiefly on the body of short stories – aloof, elusive, and intensely “literary” – that won him acclaim during his lifetime. Indeed, in the context of Japanese literary history he is distinguished, within his period, for the way in which his work ran counter to the prevailing tendency of fictional writing to take the form of autobiography, or, in many cases, for what was, in effect, autobiography that laid claim to the status of fiction. Shizenshugi (commonly translated as “naturalism” for want of a better term) was the creation of a number of provincial writers born in the 1870s who interpreted the critic Tsubouchi Shπyπ’s call for literature to consist of truth to life to mean the reproduction of their own, minimally disguised, everyday lives. As Kato Shuichi has remarked, “thus began an age when anybody could be a novelist”. Even writers such as Arishima Takeo, Tanizaki Jun’ichirπ, Miyamoto Yuriko, and Akutagawa’s mentor Natsume Sπseki, who were not associated with the trend, produced works that could either easily be connected to the details of their private lives, or of which the protagonists were as self-absorbed as those of the naturalists. Though naturalism was never a dominant taste among intellectuals of the period, and despite the fact that the reputations of its more purist practitioners have not worn well, the subsequent influence of the movement on Japanese letters has been profound. That tendency to maudlin egocentricity that characterizes the “Inovel” (watakushi shπsetsu), a form that arose in the wake of naturalism, has left a discernible mark on both high and popular Japanese art, and the presuppositions of the genre itself have led to a faith, within literary studies in Japan, in the biographical transparency of the literary text, and a corresponding readiness to conflate an author’s life and work, which would surprise the average Western scholar.

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As a schoolboy Akutagawa was an admirer of the naturalists, as well as various fin-de-siècle Western writers. Later, however, he turned away from naturalism, and his own work, up until 1922 at least, can be seen as a resolute rejection of the crudely autobiographical element then popular in literature. The stories that Akutagawa produced between 1916 and 1922, and on which his reputation now rests, are characterized by a detachment, self-consciousness, and irony that are the antithesis, at least at a surface level, of the confessional. There is a telling moment towards the denouement of Imogayu (1916; Yam Gruel) in which the previously impersonal narrator suddenly addresses us directly with the dry comment that his protagonist is in the process of losing that appetite “which had hitherto commanded our sympathy for him”. The variety of styles and forms Akutagawa employed, and the character of the sources on which he drew for his plots or settings – the weird and grotesque popular illustrated storybooks of the Edo period, collections of medieval Japanese tales and Chinese novels, folk tales, and children’s stories – also mark his oeuvre as rooted more in literature than in “life”. In Hπkyπnin no shi (1918; The Martyr), based upon early Christian writings, he went so far as to perpetrate a hoax: writing in a deliberately archaic style, supplying a bogus reference for the source, and allowing time, on its publication, for some scholarly discussion of the story’s provenance before claiming authorship. Even his best-known story Yabu no naka (1921; In a Grove), often taken as a meditation on the impossibility of absolute truth, is more easily read as an exploration of the nature of fictional realities, since the “facts” that its three incompatible accounts purport to describe have no existence aside from those accounts. Significantly the Faustian painter of Jigokuhen (1918; Hell Screen), who disastrously mingles art and life, is, nevertheless, a painter of mythological subjects. However, Akutagawa’s physical and mental deterioration after 1922 – he suffered from depression, insomnia, and hallucinations, and began to use opium in 1926 – coincided with a move towards the autobiographical. It is the intrusion of the personal into his later writings that now appears to be their weakness. Even the comparatively successful satire Kappa (1927) suffers, at this distance in time, from being too obviously a roman à clef. (Tokyo’s literary scene in the 1920s was as factional and self-absorbed as that of Paris during the same period.) Akutagawa’s obviously autobiographical texts are Haguruma (1927; Cogwheels), about his descent into what he perceived as madness, the unfinished Daidπji Shinsuke no hansei [1924; The Early Life of Daidπji Shinsuke], and the valedictory Aru ahπ no isshπ (1927; A Fool’s Life): they are all clearly intended as direct reflections of the author’s state of mind, though they retain a distance that the “I-novel” never attempted. Akutagawa committed suicide in the early hours of 24 July 1927. It was an event prefigured in the suicide of the poet Tok in Kappa, hinted at in several of the vignettes and reflections that make up A Fool’s Life, and directly referred to in the preface, dated 20 June 1927, to the latter work. Or, at least, it appears to be same event. Left with a brilliant body of work and the moving epitaph of A Fool’s Life it is tempting to feel that in encountering them we are also encountering the man who made them. But there is really no way of knowing whether Akutagawa’s suicide is in some way continuous with that oeuvre, or whether it represents an absolute break with it – a

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break that would be the measure of the distance between literature and life, between what can be communicated and what cannot. In A Fool’s Life a student is described quizzing the narrator: “But a desire for work and a desire for life, aren’t they the same?” He did not answer. Over the field of the red tufted weed, a volcano. The fiery mountain arousing in him an envy. But just why, he couldn’t say … If there is an objection that could be made to the tendency to conflate art and life – as such a tendency is embodied in the genre towards which Akutagawa’s later work appeared to be drifting, or in the critic’s belief in the biographical transparency of literature – it is that it may foster in the reader the illusion that everything about a life can be said. James Kirwan Biography Born Niihara Ry®nosuke in Tokyo, Japan, 1 March 1892. Adopted by his uncle and given the family name of Akutagawa. Studied English at Tokyo Imperial University, 1913–16. Member of the literary staff of the university magazine Shinshichπ [New Thought Tides], 1914 and 1916–17. Published his best-known story, Rashπmon, 1915. Taught English at the Naval Engineering College, Yokosuka, 1916–19. Married Tsukamoto Fumi, 1918: three sons. Literary staff member of the newspaper Osaka Mainichi Shimbun [The Osaka Daily], 1919. Travelled through China and Korea for the newspaper, March–July 1921. Had become addicted to opium by 1926. Wrote his masterpiece, the novella Kappa (1927). Committed suicide in Tokyo, 24 July 1927.

Selected Writings Daidπji Shinsuke no hansei [The Early Life of Daidπji Shinsuke] (autobiographical prose), 1924 Haguruma (autobiographical prose), 1927; as Cogwheels, translated by Cid Corman, 1987; translated by Seiji M. Lippit in The Essential Akutagawa, 1999 Aru ahπ no isshπ (autobiographical prose), 1927; as A Fool’s Life, translated by Will Petersen, 1970; translated by Seiji M. Lippit in The Essential Akutagawa, 1999 Posthumous Works of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, translated by Akio Inoue, 1961 The Essential Akutagawa: Rashomon, Hell Screen, Cogwheels, A Fool’s Life, and Other Short Fiction, edited and translated by Seiji M. Lippit, 1999

Further Reading Akutagawa Ry®nosuke, Kappa, translated by Geoffrey Bownas, London: Peter Owen, 1970; Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle, 1971 Healey, G.H., Introduction to Kappa, by Akutagawa, translated by Geoffrey Bownas, London: Peter Owen, 1970; Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle, 1971 Kato, Shuichi, A History of Japanese Literature, 3 vols, translated by David Chibbett, London: Macmillan, and Tokyo and New York: Kodansha International, 1979–83; abridged edition, edited by Don Sanderson, as A History of Japanese Literature: From Man’yoshu to Modern Times, Richmond, Surrey: Japan Library, 1997 Keene, Donald, Dawn to the West: Japanese Literature of the Modern Era, New York: Holt Rinehart Winston, 1984 Yu Beongcheon, Akutagawa: An Introduction, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1972

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Alfieri, Vittorio

1749–1803

Italian playwright and autobiographer The Vita di Vittorio Alfieri da Asti (1806; Life of Vittorio Alfieri) is the first major modern autobiography written in Italian. The author, one of the most important writers of the 18th-century Italian theatre, relates the events of his early life from childhood until the last period before his death. Alfieri’s tragedies are stylistically very classical and his concept of life strict, so in a certain sense it is surprising to see that he wrote an autobiography that shows him as having all the attributes of a Romantic man. Like many other autobiographies published in the 19th century, it opens with an introduction by the author in which he presents his “autobiographical pact” (to use Philippe Lejeune’s term), stating the explicit reasons that induced him to write, and explaining the modalities of the composition of the text. As in all “classical” autobiographical pacts, Alfieri declares that he will not tell the whole truth, but that all that he does tell will be true. His stated reasons for writing are to leave a biography together with his theatrical work, so that no one will tell lies about him, and to try to make a study of the human animal – he does the same thing in his drama – through the description of the man he knows best: himself. As far as the method is concerned, Alfieri promises a text composed of five parts, corresponding to the five periods of human life: childhood, adolescence, youth, maturity, and old age. The importance he places on childhood, a fundamental element in defining “modern” autobiography, is significant. In fact, it is in his childhood that Alfieri searches for the roots of his identity, of his fears and passions, using a form of psychological research refined for his era. His autobiography is a continuous literary and psychological study of his moral and intellectual evolution, and of his literary conversion. All of Alfieri’s theories – elucidated in his 19 tragedies – on the inevitability, the power, and the logical contradictions of human passions are investigated and tested on himself via innovative and brilliant prose, beautiful neologisms, and new syntactical strategies which make the Vita still one of the most interesting autobiographies in the Italian corpus. One of the principal innovations of the Vita lies in the reasons the author gives for his writing: autobiography is an act of love directed towards himself, an act of vanity, and this is enough to justify the writing and publication of his own life story. Love for himself is the spring that induces him to give a true image of himself to others, to his “public”. Autobiography is for Alfieri a wholly legitimate exercise for everyone; in his case it is not his theatrical work that justifies his Vita, but the other way round. Finished just a few months before his death, the Vita is in reality the achievement of a long autobiographical experiment he had begun when he was young. He had read Le Véritable Mentor, ou, l’éducation de la noblesse by Caraccioli (1759) and the Mémoires d’un homme de qualité by the Abbé Prévost, which inspired him to write a journal during his first youthful travels (Alfieri speaks of it only in 1766, and unfortunately it was destroyed). Following this experiment Alfieri began to take long and detailed notes about the places, people, habits, and customs of the countries he visited. On these notes he based his Giornali, which are a real prelude to the autobiography. These journals were written in French in 1774–75, then in Italian in

1777, and, together with other autobiographical material – such as the Rendimento dei conti, best known as the Annali – converge to become the first manuscript of the autobiography (known as ms. laurenziano 13) written in two months in 1790. At the same time he was influenced by various autobiographical works: the Mémoires of Venetian dramatist Cerlo Goldoni (1787) and the Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782 and 1789) were familiar to him. But he made the ideological choice (very important in Italy during the 18th and 19th centuries) of writing his life in Italian, and this is why he was also under certain Italian influences, such as, for example, the Vita (1728) of sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini. The first manuscript of the Vita was read and perhaps also amended and completed between 1798 and 1803 (this is the version known as ms. laurenziano 24), two months before the death of the author. It is the only signed text and critics do not know how Alfieri amalgamated the different manuscripts. The first edition of the Vita (Florence: Piatti, 1806) was a huge success. It was not only read by a very large public, but also by a number of 19th-century Italian writers of memoirs, for whom Alfieri’s Vita became a model autobiography, and his linguistic choice an act of love for his country. Anna Iuso Biography Born in Asti, Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (now part of Italy), 16 January 1749. Educated at the Royal Academy, Turin, 1759–66. Inherited a vast fortune at the age of 14. Served as an ensign, 1766. Abandoned military career to travel throughout Europe, 1767–72 (resigned commission in 1774). Devoted himself to literature after the success of his first play, Cleopatra (1775); wrote a series of dramas, including his masterpieces Saul (produced 1794) and Mirra (produced 1819). Began lifelong relationship with Luisa Stolberg, Countess of Albany, wife of Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), 1777. Lived with Luisa after the prince’s death in 1788. Escaped from revolutionary Paris with her, 1792. Settled in Florence, leaving the city during the French occupation. Died in Florence, 8 October 1803.

Selected Writings Vita di Vittorio Alfieri da Asti scritta da sé medesimo, 1806; edited by Baldo Curato, 1942, Giampaolo Dossena, 1967, Vittore Branca, 1983, Anna Dolfi, 1987, and edited by Stefania De Stefanis Ciccone and Pär Larson, 1997; as Vita, scritta da esso, edited by Luigi Fassò, 2 vols, 1951; as Memoirs, translated anonymously, 1810, revised by E.R. Vincent, 1961; as The Autobiography of Vittorio Alfieri, translated by C. Edwards Lester, 1865, and by Henry McAnally, 1949 (republished as The Life of Vittorio Alfieri, 1953) Vita, giornali, lettere di Vittorio Alfieri, edited by Emilio Teza, 1861 Vita, rime e satire, edited by Luigi Fassò, 1949 Giornali e lettere scelte, edited by Walter Binni, 1949

Further Reading Betti, Franco, Vittorio Alfieri, Boston: Twayne, 1984 Buffaria, Pérette-Cécile, “Les Intermittences de la langue – bilinguisme et écriture autobiographique: deux examples divergents, Alfieri et Papini” in Miscellanea, edited by Gerald Parks, Trieste: University of Trieste School of Modern Languages, 1992 Cappuccio, C., “Vittorio Alfieri” in I classici italiani nella storia della critica, vol. 2, 2nd revised and enlarged edition, edited by Walter Binni, Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1970 Dossena, Giampaolo, introduction to Alfieri’s Vita, Turin: Einaudi, 1967 Fubini, M., entry on Alfieri in Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 2, edited by Alberto M. Ghisalberti, Rome: Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, 1961 Maier, Bruno, Alfieri, Palermo: Palumbo, 1957

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Megaro, Gaudens, Vittorio Alfieri: Forerunner of Italian Nationalism, New York: Columbia University Press, and London: King, 1930 Scrivano, Riccardo, Biografia e autobiografia: il modello alfieriano, Rome: Bulzoni, 1976

Algeria see Africa: North American Civil War Writings Lives were written in many ways during the American Civil War (1861–65): diaries, journals, letters, stories, biographies, autobiographies, and histories. Soldiers like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr (1842–1935) and Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914?) wrote often during and after the war. His hold on reality shaken, Holmes could not “keep home, parents and such at the same time as a reality – Can hardly indeed remember their existence”. He desperately resolved to shape meaning from absurdly chaotic experiences. Experience became mere fragments of sensation: “Trot to place where boy was shot at – then gallop to where the road bends to right – bang – whiz – ‘Halt’.” He wrote to compose himself as well as his message. In later years, he noted that facts “rapidly escaped the memory” of an intense sensation in battle, and that he needed, as when he was wounded, a fact around which his “thoughts could crystallize”. For Holmes and for Bierce, the product was both the writing and the life. Bierce wrote self-reconstructive essays, including one describing the battle at Shiloh that used fictional devices to shape chaotic experience. On the banks of the Tennessee River, desperate men fled like souls of the damned along the River Styx in Dante’s Divine Comedy: “black figures, ludicrously like the figures of demons in old allegorical prints of hell”. In the midst of horrific events, Bierce abruptly interjected a stabilizing point: “In subordination to the design of this narrative, the incidents related necessarily group themselves about my own personality as a center.” He and Holmes both made consciousness out of war’s accidents, but consciousness of themselves shaped the world as war. Civilians, witnessing baffling events, wrote for personal equilibrium. The diaries of two women, one in the South, the other in the North, are examples that recorded such struggles. Sarah Morgan (1842–1909) fled her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for safety in Union-occupied New Orleans. As years passed and war continued, Morgan’s writing acquired desperate urgency. Her safety in an enemy city crippled writing as a “compromise between laziness and inclination”. Nevertheless, despite growing despair, she kept intact her sense of self by writing “a half way state of existence”. With two brothers’ deaths in combat at war’s end, sickness of soul dissolved her controlled composition into fragments of hopelessness. Morgan universalized her loss of identity as a cry of perplexity: “It is incomprehensible, this change.” Beneath a socially confident exterior, Maria Lydig Daly (1824–94), safely living in New York, wrote of insecurities about personal identity as doubts of national integrity. Uncertain of her country’s future happiness and having no children, she wrote despite political discouragements, military defeats, and biological infertility. When Union armies achieved victory,

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she discovered strength of purpose in her husband’s writing and in her own. In the aftermath of a Union victory, Daly wrote of her reconstructed identity: “Whilst my husband is with me and loves me, I am independent of the whole world.” Americans too easily found themselves in enemy territory. In 1865, shortly after escaping from a Union prison in the North, Confederate soldier Decimus et Ultimus Barziza (1838–82) wrote of his evolution through loss of national identity. He became indifferent “to future danger” and reckless “to the present”. He articulated the resolve of the defeated South to resist forever the conquering Northern power. Barziza acquired his defiance from captivity and escape: he could pass among Northerners by pretending to be one of them, and he learned to write for self-realization, “a favorite occupation” in prison. Susie King Taylor (b. 1848), an ex-slave serving as a laundress in the camps of her “colored” soldier husband in South Carolina, had, like Barziza, life-threatening adventures: “I expected every moment to be killed by a shell.” She delayed writing about her life until 1902, after her son had died in 1898: “It seemed very hard, when his father fought to protect the Union and our flag, and yet his boy was denied, under this same flag, a berth to carry him home to die, because he was a negro.” Taylor saw “the terrors of that war” and her subsequent experiences prompted her to ask, “was the war in vain?”. There were many retrospective accounts of the Civil War. William Watson, a Scotsman born in 1826, was living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when war began. In 1887 he wrote of his life in the Confederate army, confessing no clear reason to fight in a foreign war. He minimized the individual life in war: “The individual soldier is swallowed up in the midst of the turmoil, and … is supposed to see or know nothing.” Writing was an evasive reconstruction of history. Watson had neither “free will or control over his sentiments”. He grew insensitive to human, but not animal, suffering: “I felt more pity at seeing the poor horse shot down than at all the slaughter I had seen.” Watson, an “alien” in the war, was in turn alienated by it until he nearly lost his identity as a civilized being. John D. Billings (1842– 1933) wrote of life in the Union army. The title of his book illustrates the ways Billings, like Watson, diverted attention from life to writing: Hardtack and Coffee, or, The Unwritten Story of Army Life. He offered objects as emblems, and he avoided the troubling realities of emotions that were the material of diary writers like Holmes, Morgan, and Daly. Billings posited reality as matter shared by conqueror and conquered alike. His writing exhausted the burning anger expressed by Barziza and Taylor. Like Watson, he reserved feelings for horses and mules: “It was a sad sight to see these animals sacrificed.” He recorded scenes of humour at the expense of “negroes”, betraying little consciousness of his own complicity. Billings rarely allowed himself to appear at all. Thus the second part of his title, “the unwritten story”, was symptomatic of the feelings of many witnesses to the war, who turned from the written to the unwritten as a trope of incomprehension. Richard D. McGhee Further Reading Life Writings: Balfour, Emma, Vicksburg, a City under Siege: Diary of Emma Balfour, May 16, 1863–June 2, 1863, Vicksburg, Mississippi: Phillip C.Weinberger, 1983

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Barziza, Decimus et Ultimus, The Adventures of a Prisoner of War 1863–1864, edited by R. Henderson Shuffler, Austin, University of Texas Press, 1964 (first published as The Adventures of a Prisoner of War; and Life and Scenes in Federal Prisons: Johnson’s Island, Fort Delaware, and Point Lookout; by An Escaped Prisoner of Hood’s Texas Brigade, 1865) Bierce, Ambrose, “What I Saw at Shiloh” in Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War, edited by William McCann, Chicago: Gateway, 1956 Billings, John D., Hardtack and Coffee, or, The Unwritten Story of Army Life, illustrated by Charles W. Reed, with an introduction by William L. Shea, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993 (first edition, 1887) Boyd, Belle, Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison, edited by Curtis Carroll Davis, South Brunswick, New Jersey: Thomas Yoseloff, 1968 (first edition, 1865) Chesnut, Mary, Mary Chesnut’s Civil War, edited by C. Vann Woodward, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1981 Clifford, Deborah Pickman, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Biography of Julia Ward Howe, Boston: Little Brown, 1979 Daly, Maria Lydig, Diary of A Union Lady 1861–1865, edited by Harold Earl Hammond, New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1962 Famous Adventures and Prison Escapes of the Civil War, New York: Century, 1893 Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr, Touched With Fire: Civil War Letters and Diary of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1861–1864, edited by Mark De Wolfe Howe, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1946 Jones, Katharine M. (editor), Heroines of Dixie: Confederate Women Tell Their Story of the War, Indianapolis; Bobbs-Merrill, 1955 Morgan Dawson, Sarah, The Civil War Diary of Sarah Morgan, edited by Charles East, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991 Pickett, George E., Soldier of the South: General Pickett’s War Letters to His Wife, edited by Arthur Crew Inman, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1928 Preston, Madge, A Private War: The Letter and Diaries of Madge Preston 1862–67, edited by Virginia Walcott Beauchamp, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1987 Sherman, William Tecumseh, Home Letters of General Sherman, edited by M.A. De Wolfe Howe, New York: Scribner, 1909 Taylor, Susie King, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd United States Colored Troops Late 1st S.C. Volunteers, Boston: published privately, 1902; reprinted as Reminiscences of My Life in Camp, New York: Arno Press, 1968 Watson, William, Life in the Confederate Army: Being the Observations and Experiences of an Alien in the South During the American Civil War, with an introduction by Thomas W. Cutrer, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995 (original edition, 1887) Weller, Edwin, A Civil War Courtship: The Letters of Edwin Weller from Antietam to Atlanta, edited by William Walton, NewYork: Doubleday, 1980

Analysis Barton, George, Angels of the Battlefield: A History of the Labors of the Catholic Sisterhoods in the Late Civil War, Philadelphia: Catholic Art Publishing, 1897; 2nd edition, revised and enlarged, 1898 Catton, Bruce, The Centennial History of the Civil War, 3 vols, New York: Doubleday, 1961–65 Culpepper, Marilyn Mayer, Trials and Triumphs: Women of the American Civil War, East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1991 Donald, David Herbert, Lincoln, New York: Simon and Schuster, and London: Jonathan Cape, 1995 Garrison, Webb, Civil War Curiosities: Strange Stories, Oddities, Events, and Coincidences, Nashville, Tennessee: Rutledge Hill Press, 1994 Hoehling, A.A. and Mary Hoehling, The Last Days of the Confederacy, New York: The Fairfax Press, 1981 Kinchen, Oscar A., Women Who Spied for the Blue and the Gray, Philadelphia: Dorrance, 1972 Linderman, Gerald F., Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat

in the American Civil War, New York: Free Press, and London: Macmillan, 1987 Lowenfels, Walter (editor), Walt Whitman’s Civil War, New York: Knopf, 1960 Reynolds, David S., Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography, New York: Knopf, 1995 Toplin, Robert Brent (editor), Ken Burns’s The Civil War: Historians Respond, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996 Wiley, Bell Irvin, The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1943; Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978 Wiley, Bell Irvin, The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1952 Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, Yankee Saints and Southern Sinners, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985 Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, Honor and Violence in the Old South, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986

Amiel, Henri-Frédéric

1821–1881

Swiss scholar and diarist Henri Amiel kept his immense diary for 40–odd years. It is commonly called his Journal intime; that is, the normal French term for a personal diary, yet here the adjective seems to call for a literal English translation. For Amiel reveals a mind that is intensely inward-looking. External stimuli impinge strongly on him, and he ruminates over them, yet no reader can escape the impression that what matters is not so much what they are in themselves as what they signify to him. An overwhelming sense of incapacity for reaching a decision or taking action combines with an exceptional ability to engender emotion when confronted by experience. Amiel’s temperament is, moreover, racked by an acute and abiding moral dissatisfaction at what he perceives as ineradicable personal defects. Such a character, which some might call Hamletic, has affinities with Pascal’s portrayal of mankind abandoned in wretchedness by a Jansenist God; and Protestant writers, as early diaries testify, knew the type too. But the malaise of Amiel in the 19th century seems rather to reflect the incompatibilities of a Romantic mind, stirred by events as well as by reading, no less sensitive to all the arts than to the spectacle of nature, conscious that the penalty for superior mental powers is an unremitting and painful consciousness that the intellect will never encompass a superabundance of emotion. No two days were ever recorded in the same way by Amiel, yet his entry for one Monday, 16 August, reveals much that is typical. Unlike most diarists, who write up the day’s events just once, sometimes even a week or more later, Amiel was not content with a single entry. This is significant. The diary, one senses, was always there, offering surrogate companionship for a shy soul who was always lonely in a crowd. As early as ten o’clock in the morning on the first working day of the week, he could not resist beginning by noting “Languor, wretched condition, ennui and weariness”. The specific trigger of what was virtually Amiel’s constant cri de coeur is the book he has just been reading, Le Peintre de Salzbourg. That Charles Nodier’s epistolary novel, published in 1803 and with no particularly important place in the literary canon, should move Amiel so strongly appears typical of a certain lack of proportion in the diarist. Though he unhesitatingly identifies the cultural context,

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hearing, as he writes it, echoes of Goethe’s Werther and Chateaubriand’s René, this academic pigeon-holing of the work in a century-old tradition does not afford emotional shelter. Instead he cries out that there is too much of this unhealthy and melancholy literature, as if he cannot lay it aside, perhaps because it still strikes home. Thirteen hours later, at 11 o’clock at night, Amiel again picks up his diary. First he records the arrival of mail informing him that a friend will arrive shortly. Noting only that he has replied, he adds neither his reaction to the news, nor the smallest personal detail about his correspondent or the person mentioned in the letter. Next comes a cameo of Amiel’s professional life. Though duty has compelled him to subscribe to academic journals, he has not been able to bring himself to look at them as they arrive. Now a daunting pile confronts him. Typically he cannot find enough determination to do more than start looking through the material. He is, he says, beginning to get back into the role of a professor, a comment that nicely balances complacency and despair. Amiel turns next to landscape description, evoking a lake-side stroll in the moonlight after supper. But the idyll is interrupted by a choking fit. Reflecting on the dissipation of the sense of nullity that he felt earlier in the day, Amiel observes that society has provided some distraction, suggesting to him the necessity of forgetting the “pit” and the future if one is to enjoy the present. Instead of pursuing the point, he turns instead to woman’s place in society in a discussion in which he shows his abhorrence for any sort of superficiality. This final part of the day’s entry is to some extent interesting as a portrayal of the pressures and currents shaping attitudes in the more thoughtful parts of European society in an age of great change. Music critics will for their part pick out many other entries for insight into a mood of criticism that finds access to Romantic and later works in interpreting them as if they were programmatic depictions of varying moods. Yet though Amiel’s range of reference is wide, the major interest resides in an ever-anxious depiction of a self that eventually becomes almost mesmerizing. A partial edition of the Journal published by Edmond Scherer in 1884 brought Amiel to the attention of French readers and critics. They soon accorded him a high place among French post-Romantic introspectives. Mrs Humphry Ward’s translation introduced Amiel to the English reading public, and the review in Macmillan’s Magazine by her uncle Matthew Arnold, though not entirely favourable, undoubtedly fanned the flames of interest. Now that the long-awaited, formidably long complete edition of the Journal has been published (1976–94), Amiel is likely to be accorded an even higher status among the diarists of the 19th century. Christopher Smith Biography Born in Geneva, Switzerland, 27 September 1821. His parents were prosperous French Protestants whose ancestors had emigrated from France to Switzerland for religious reasons. Orphaned at the age of 12 in 1833. Separated from his two sisters, who were sent to boarding school, and brought up by his uncle. Attended the College or Public School of Geneva. Studied at the Academy of Geneva (later the University of Geneva), late 1830s; influenced by the teaching of the philologist Adolphe Pictet. Stayed for a short time in France, 1841. Lived in Italy, 1842. Contributed art reviews to Bibliothèque universelle de Genève, 1842. Moved to Germany, 1844. Studied at

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Berlin University, 1844–48. Travelled widely in Europe, visiting Scandinavia, 1845; The Netherlands, 1846; Vienna, Munich, and Tübingen, 1848. Started writing the journal for which he became best known, 1847. Returned to Geneva, 1848. Appointed professor of aesthetics and French literature, 1849, professor of moral philosophy, 1854, Academy of Geneva; remained in this position until his death. Had an intense love affair with “Philine”, described in his Journal intime. Wrote critical essays and several volumes of poetry. Died in Geneva, 11 May 1881.

Selected Writings Fragments d’un journal intime, edited by Edmond Scherer, 2 vols, 1883–84; as Amiel’s Journal, edited and translated by Mrs Humphry Ward, 1885 Berthe Vadier, et une correspondance inédite de H.-F. Amiel, edited by J. Carmagnola-Richard, 1925 Philine: fragments inédits du Journal intime, edited by Bernard Bouvier and Edmond Jaloux, 1927; as Philine: From the Unpublished Journals of Henri-Frédéric Amiel, translated by Van Wyck Brooks, 1930 La Jeunesse d’Henri-Frédéric Amiel: lettres à sa famille, ses amis, ses amies: pour servir d’introduction au Journal intime (1837–1849), edited by Bernard Bouvier, 1935; as The Private Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel, translated by Van Wyck Brooks and Charles van Wyck Brooks, 1935 Journal intime de l’année 1866, edited by Léon Bopp, 1959 Journal intime: l’année 1857, edited by Georges Poulet, 1965 Journal intime année 1861: journal intime hiver 1874–1875, edited by Bernard Gagnebin, 1966 Journal intime, janvier–juin 1854, edited by Philippe M. Monnier, 1973 Journal intime, edited by Bernard Gagnebin and Philippe M. Monnier, 12 vols, 1976–94

Further Reading Amiel, H.F., Essais critiques, edited by Bernard Bouvier, Paris: Stock, 1932 Arnold, Matthew, “Amiel”, Macmillan’s Magazine, (September 1887); reprinted in Arnold’s The Last Word, edited by R.H. Super, Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1977 Merian-Genast, Ernst, H.-F. Amiel im Spiegel der europäischen Kritik, 1881–1931, Marburg: Elwer, 1931 Pfister, Susanne, Expansion et concentration dans la pensée d’Amiel, Bern and Frankfurt: Herbert Lang, 1991 Thibaudet, Albert, Intérieurs: Baudelaire, Fromenti, Amiel, Paris: PlonNourrit, 1924 Ward, Mrs Humphry, A Writer’s Recollections, London: Collins, 1918 (recalls how she first became interested in Amiel)

Andersch, Alfred

1914–1980

German fiction and prose writer, radio producer, and autobiographer Just as the life of the young Alfred Andersch was a series of concrete and existential reflexes to the Nazi dictatorship and its aftermath, so was his work – his short stories, novels, sketches, essays, radio plays, and radio essays – a series of reflections on individual possibilities and responsibilities of thought and action to what he termed the “total state”, thought and action revolving around ideas of freedom and resistance. In the tension between political constrictions and the personal mandates of physical and psychic survival, one’s identity, according to Andersch, is often forged in desperation, and his writing – much of it incognito autobiography – makes possible the full realization of this struggle for the self.

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Prior to his defining experience of World War II Andersch partook of the intellectual life of Weimar Germany through his veneration of the novelist Thomas Mann, and through involvement in a Communist youth organization, which led, subsequent to the Nazi takeover, to a three-month imprisonment at Dachau and to continued Gestapo surveillance. Until drafted in 1940 Andersch worked as an office clerk, but his identity sought sanctuary in the aesthetic cocoons of German neo-Romanticism (the writings of Rilke) and existentialism (the philosphy of Heidegger). With his own experience of war as a draftee, Andersch entered the labyrinthian search for a response to the individual confrontation with authority, dictatorship, and terror. Understanding freedom not as a philosophical idea but as an existential experience, Andersch concluded that, given his situation, only desertion would represent a real emancipation of the self from the death and destruction of ideology and power. In June 1944 he consequently surrendered to US forces at the Italian front. Andersch’s war experiences, which led him inexorably to his “honourable desertion”, were captured in his first literary success, the autobiographical novel-memoir Kirschen der Freiheit [1952; Cherries of Freedom]. With a quote from André Gide as subscription (“I base my hopes only on the deserters”), the work draws on two cultural traditions, which determined to a large extent its style, structure, and theme. First, the empiricism and pragmatism of liberal-democratic American society, with its frontier individualism and historical optimism, left their mark on Andersch. American literary life (Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway) functioned as models for a new, concise, objective realism, all very much evident in Kirschen. Second, the moralexistential thought of Jean-Paul Sartre provided Andersch with the philosophical fundamentals for the principle of desertion as a necessary act of existential freedom and as an ultimate and exemplary act of resistance. After the war, and during his productive and influential career as critic, essayist, journalist, and radio personality, Andersch founded two journals, Der Ruf [The Call] and Texte und Zeichen [Texts and Signs], participated in the establishment of the well-known writers’organization Gruppe 47, created and produced countless radio programmes, plays, and essays, and played a central role in the German literary life of the 1950s. Throughout, he sought to address issues of the individual in modern German society and of the aesthetic consciousness of the European avant-garde. His best-known work, the novel Sansibar, oder, der letzte Grund (1957; Flight to Afar), marked the beginning of his career as a freelance writer. But by posing the questions “What is worth fighting for?” and “What is worth escaping from?” it also recapitulated his autobiographical problematic of freedom and flight, its risks and costs. In the 1960s and 1970s Andersch continued to expand upon the themes of his earlier works. Comprehending identity as the realization of consciousness through moral action in the concrete, historical world, Andersch’s truths lay ultimately neither in personal, romantic subjectivity nor in public, ideological objectivity, but in the existential actions of individuals as they live their lives. Ralph W. Buechler

Biography Born in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, 4 February 1914. Educated at the Wittelsbacher Gymnasium, Munich, 1924–28. Worked for a publisher, 1928–30. Member of the youth organization of the Communist Party, 1932, and as a result spent three months in Dachau concentration camp, 1933. Office worker, Munich and Hamburg, 1933–40. Married Angelika Albert, 1935 (divorced 1943): one daughter. Served in the German army, 1940–41 and 1943–44: deserted on the Italian front and became a prisoner of war in the United States, where he worked on Der Ruf, a prisoners’ publication, 1945. Editorial assistant to Erich Kästner, Neue Zeitung, Munich, 1945–46; co-editor, Der Ruf, Munich, 1946–47. Co-founder, Gruppe 47, 1947. Founder and director of Abendstudio, Frankfurt Radio, 1948–50, and of “radioessays” for South German Radio, Stuttgart, 1955–58. Married Gisela Groneuer-Dichgans, 1950: two sons and one daughter. Founder and editor, Texte und Zeichen, 1955–57. Worked as a freelance writer after the success of his novel Sansibar, oder, der letzte Grund (1957; Flight to Afar). Moved to Switzerland, 1958, and became a Swiss citizen, 1973. Led an expedition to the Arctic, 1965. Died in Berzona, Ticino, Switzerland, 21 February 1980.

Selected Writings Kirschen der Freiheit, 1952

Further Reading Jendricke, Bernhard, Alfred Andersch mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1988 Kunz, Eleonore, “Das publizistische und literarische Wirken Alfred Anderschs von 1945 bis zum Ende der fünfziger Jahre” (dissertation), Leipzig: University of Leipzig, 1984 Liebe, Matthias, Alfred Andersch und sein Radio Essay, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1990 Reinhardt, Stephan, Alfred Andersch: eine Biographie, Zurich: Diogenes, 1990 Wehdeking, Volker, Alfred Andersch, Stuttgart: Metzler, 1983

Angelou, Maya

1928–

American autobiographer and poet Maya Angelou’s creative role as an autobiographer is what catapulted her to the fame and eminence she was never able to achieve as a singer in the late 1950s. With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1969 she embarked on what would become a five-volume serial autobiography delineating her growth as a person and an artist. Throughout these five selfexplorations, Angelou appears to the reader as a “phoenix-like heroine” (McPherson) who keeps rising from the ashes of a chaotic existence, first as a child and adolescent, and then as a young woman, always painfully aware of the impositions placed on her as a black female by the “tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power”, as she puts it, but always rejecting the black victim status in favour of a self-empowered and warrior self at the centre of her identity. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings covers the author’s formative years in rural Arkansas, marked by her abandonment by her divorcing parents, her witness of the humiliation of Southern blacks at school and outside, her rape at the age of eight by her mother’s lover, and her pregnancy at the early age of 16. The only positive force in the shaping of the young Maya (whose full name was Marguerite) is her grandmother, “Momma”. Indeed, the first part of the book is a hymn to this loving, protective, and nurturing mother figure whose spiritual power and pride at

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being black, notwithstanding her conservatism and inflexibility, give the young girl a sense of security and self-confidence that she will lose only as the “outsiders” come back into her life: her father first, who makes her question the worth of being female, and her beautiful but frivolous mother later. Out of this chaos of racism, sexism, rape, and self-imposed silence (traumatized by rape, young Maya stopped speaking for a year), a singing “caged bird” will emerge at the end of the book in the lifeaffirming scene of giving birth to her son – a scene that can be interpreted also as a devastating way to begin life as an adult. In Gather Together in My Name (1974), which covers her life from the ages of 16 to 19, Angelou reveals the many intimate secrets, mistakes, and feelings of a young woman who is trying to make it as an adult, but fails to achieve the American Dream. During these years of spiritual disintegration in urban California, Maya plays the most sordid and confusing roles while she works as a cook, waitress, dancer, prostitute, clothing seller, restaurant manager, and Madam. Still, Maya matures with these bitter experiences, and mitigates them with her youthful optimism and idealism (“I had no idea what I was going to make of my life, but I had given a promise and found my innocence”). Like so many American autobiographies of education, this volume is intended to be exemplary, and to serve as a warning for young people, as its author has explained: “if by my revelation I can encourage anybody to avoid some of the things I experienced … if I can encourage them to forgive themselves, it’s all worth it”. The symbolic change of names from Marguerite Johnson to Maya Angelou, so common in life writing in the genre of slave narratives, marks the girl’s passage into adulthood and the white world. The period covered in Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (1976) – stimulated again by Angelou’s eschewing of self-concealment or veiled confession – assembles together her initial experiences of marriage (to a white man), divorce, motherhood, and show business and follows her in the international tour of Porgy and Bess, which gains her a wider knowledge of the world and of herself. The fourth instalment, The Heart of a Woman (1981), takes us through one of the most formative periods of Angelou’s exciting life: her beginnings as a writer and an activist in New York. It portrays a more politicized and communal self, who changes her career and decides to become involved in the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and 1960s. The autobiographer now recounts a more public and historical chronicle of those tumultuous years in which Martin Luther King appointed her the northern coordinator of SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference); here, as Cudjoe writes, “superficial concerns about individual subject give way to the collective subjection of the group”. At the Harlem Writers Guild, the mother to a nowrebellious teenage son starts her writing career and finds the love of an African freedom fighter, whom she marries and follows to Africa. In Egypt, she will become the editor of the Arab Observer. The adult self is thus at its prime. Finally, in All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986), Angelou gives her personal recollection of a historical time when Africans were leading their own countries independently after centuries of colonial rule (she is now an expatriate in Ghana, where she has joined a community of black Americans). In this vivid celebration of the sensuousness of Africa, Angelou also explores what it means to be an African American on the

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mother continent, where colour no longer matters, but where “Americanness” asserts itself in baffling ways. Nostalgically, Angelou finishes this journey into Africa – and into that part of every African American’s self that is still wedded to Africa – returning to the United States, only to face the painful truths about black betrayal. Placing Angelou in the tradition of black autobiography, we can see that she partakes of the general themes of white racism and of black reaction to this racism, and she constructs a life around the mythical patterns of journeys through chaos, quests of identity, and achievements. However, while many black autobiographers speak with a collective “I”, portraying themselves less as individuals than as “members of an oppressed social group” (as Butterfield puts it), Angelou speaks quite clearly as an individual who intimates the secrets of a unique life – inevitably influenced by issues of race, class, and gender. As FoxGenovese makes clear, the black woman’s self cannot be divorced from the history of that self or the history of the people among whom it took shape. Moreover, Angelou’s contribution to black autobiography is her “self-parody” and use of “comic irony” (McPherson) while celebrating a life in a prose full of lyricism, rhythmic language, and detailed portraiture. Angelou has written that while she speaks to the black experience, she is “always talking about the human condition” so that the universality of her books derives “from black life’s traditions seeming to mirror, with extraordinary intensity, the root uncertainty in the universe” (Kent). And so, the destination of her journey to an uncertain self-awareness is brilliantly revealed at the end of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: “I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware. And the worst part of my awareness was that I didn’t know what I was aware of”. Isabel Durán Biography Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St Louis, Missouri, United States, 4 April 1928. Her father was a doorman and naval dietician; her mother worked in various jobs, including nursing. Moved with her parents to Long Beach, California, shortly after her birth. Was sent with her brother to live with her paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas, a poor rural area, after her parents’ early divorce: attended public schools there. Was raped while visiting her mother in St Louis, mid1930s: refused to speak for a year, after the man responsible was killed by her uncles, believing that she had caused his death by testifying at his trial. Moved with her brother to San Francisco, California, to live with her mother, now remarried and running a boarding house, 1940. Educated at George Washington High School, San Francisco. Had son a few months after graduating in 1945. Worked as a cook, waitress, and nightclub singer. Married Tosh Angelos, 1950 (later divorced). Studied dance with Martha Graham, Pearl Primus, and Ann Halprin; drama with Frank Silvera and Gene Frankel. Adopted the stage name Maya Angelou. Worked as a dancer and actress, touring Europe and Africa in Porgy and Bess, 1954–55. Lived in a houseboat commune in California, late 1950s. Moved to New York, 1958; joined the Harlem Writers Guild. Appeared in the off-Broadway plays Cabaret for Freedom (1960) and The Blacks (1961). Served as northern coordinator of Martin Luther King Jr’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Married Vusumzi Make, a South African dissident lawyer (later divorced), and moved with him to Cairo, Egypt, 1961: associate editor for the English-language newspaper Arab Observer, 1962–63. Moved to Accra, Ghana, 1963: assistant administrator at the School of Music and Drama, University of Ghana, 1963–66; writer for the Ghanian Times, 1963–65, and the Obanian Broadcasting Corporation, 1963–65; feature editor for African Review, 1965–66. Returned to the United States, 1966. Lecturer, University of California at Los Angeles,

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1966. Continued to pursue acting and writing careers, appearing in productions of Medea, 1966, Look Away, 1975, and in the television mini-series Roots, 1977. Writer-in-residence, University of Kansas, mid-1970s. Published I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first volume of her autobiography, 1969, and subsequently devoted herself to writing projects. Received a Pulitzer prize nomination in 1972 for Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Diiie (1971), the first of several volumes of verse. Married Paul Du Feu, 1973 (divorced 1981): one son. Visiting professor, Wake Forest University, Wichita State University, and California State University, 1974. Directed the film All Day Long, 1974, and the plays And Still I Rise, 1976, and Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, 1988. Member, American Revolution Bicentennial Council, 1975–76, and National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year. Wrote The Heart of a Woman (1981). Reynolds Professor of American Studies, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 1981. Wrote and delivered a commemorative poem, “On the Pulse of Morning”, at the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton, 1993.

Selected Writings I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (autobiography), 1969 Gather Together in My Name (autobiography), 1974 Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (autobiography), 1976 The Heart of a Woman (autobiography), 1981 All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (autobiography), 1986 Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now (autobiographical essays), 1993

Further Reading Andrews, William L. (editor), African American Autobiography: A Collection of Critical Essays, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1993 Arensberg, Liliane K., “Death as Metaphor of Self in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, CLA Journal, (1976): 273–91 Blackburn, Regina, “In Search of the Black Female Self: AfricanAmerican Women’s Autobiographies and Ethnicity” in Women’s Autobiography: Essays in Criticism, edited by Estelle C. Jelinek, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980 Braxton, Joanne M., “A Song of Transcendence: Maya Angelou” in her Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition within a Tradition, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989 Butterfield, Stephen, Black Autobiography in America, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1974 Cudjoe, Selwyn R., “Maya Angelou and the Autobiographical Statement” in Black Women Writers (1950–1980): A Critical Evaluation, edited by Mari Evans, New York: Anchor-Doubleday, 1984 Davis, Carole Boyce, Black Women, Writing, and Identity: Migrations of the Subject, London and New York: Routledge, 1994 Demetrakopulos, Stephanie A., “The Metaphysics of Matrilinearism in Women’s Autobiography” in Women’s Autobiography: Essays in Criticism, edited by Estelle C. Jelinek, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980 Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth, “My Statue, My Self: Autobiographical Writings of Afro-American Women” in The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women’s Autobiographical Writings, edited by Shari Benstock, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988 Gates, Henry Louis (editor), Reading Black, Reading Feminist: A Critical Anthology, New York: Meridian, 1990 Hagen, Lyman B., Heart of a Woman, Mind of a Writer, and Soul of a Poet: A Critical Analysis of the Writings of Maya Angelou, Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1996 Kent, George E., “Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Black Autobiographical Tradition” in African American Autobiography: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by William Andrews, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1993 King, Sarah E., Maya Angelou: Greeting the Morning, Brookfield, Connecticut: Millbrook Press, 1994 Kinnamon, Kenneth, “Call and Response: Intertextuality in Two Autobiographical Works by Richard Wright and Maya Angelou” in Belief vs. Theory in Black American Literary Criticism, edited by

Joe Weixlmann and Chester J. Fontenot, Greenwood, Florida: Penkevill, 1986 Lee, A. Robert, “‘The Stance of Self-Representation’: Moderns and Contemporaries in Afro-American Autobiography” in First Person Singular: Studies in American Autobiography, edited by A. Robert Lee, New York: St Martin’s Press, and London: Vision Press, 1988 Lionnet, Françoise, “Con Artists and Storytellers: Maya Angelou’s Problematic Sense of Audience” in her Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1989 MacKethan, Lucinda H., “Mother Wit: Humor in Afro-American Women’s Autobiography”, Studies in American Humor, 4/1–2 (1985): 51–61 McPherson, Dolly A., Order Out of Chaos: The Autobiographical Works of Maya Angelou, New York: Peter Lang, 1990 O’Neale, Sandra, “Reconstruction of the Composite Self: New Images of Black Women in Maya Angelou’s Continuing Autobiography” in Black Women Writers (1950–1980): A Critical Evaluation, edited by Mari Evans, New York: Anchor-Doubleday, 1984 Shapiro, Miles, Maya Angelou, New York: Chelsea House, 1994

Anthropology and Life Writing The essence of life writing is the representation of an individual self – in Western culture, historically, this happened first in relation to God (Saint Augustine’s Confessions and the Puritans), then in relation to a (tribal) community, and eventually in relation to oneself (Rousseau). The implicit or explicit extension of life writing from one to all human beings, i.e. the anthropological turn of life writing, is related to the emergence of the human subject from the medieval social order of the “chain of being” into a more autonomous existence. In the context of European culture the first manifestations of an independent individuality are recorded in the Renaissance with regard to individual acts of conquest (Columbus), individual religious beliefs (Martin Luther, Jean Calvin), individual political minds (Thomas More), and men and women of letters, who depict the dangers of self-realization (as Shakespeare does through his character Hamlet). Such conceptions of the individual figured prominently in the autobiographies of Italian Renaissance men, such as Girolamo Cardano’s De propria vita (written 1575/76) and Benvenuto Cellini’s Vita (written 1558–66). Michel de Montaigne’s Essais (1580–88) represent the first instance of the interrelation of life writing and anthropology in the Renaissance, historically coincidental with the etymological origin of the term anthropology as the study of the nature and essence of humankind (in the years 1585–95). Expressive of the era’s feeling about the instability of the emergent subject, Montaigne conceived of his three versions of the Essais as “a record of the essays of my life”. Despite all his criticism of the baseness of human nature he intended to present the individual as a whole, and saw his self-portrait as a reflection of all humankind according to his belief that “each man bears the entire form of man’s estate”. His early reflections on the cannibals as the barbarians of the New World, in which he defends a natural state of being, makes him a precursor of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Enlightenment project. The 18th century, the era of the Enlightenment, turned Montaigne’s isolated case of anthropological life writing into a full-scale epistemological quest. The focus was now on the nature of man as a combination of body and mind, counteract-

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ing their Cartesian separation. The increasing questioning of the existence of God led to the question of the origin of humankind and of universal anthropological features. Johann Gottfried Herder’s and Rousseau’s essays about the origin and universality of humankind entailed the discussion of primitive tribes in the New World and their natural states of being. The fields of physical and cultural anthropology hence received an ethnographic dimension and emphasized the importance of its literary rendition. The affinity of anthropology to travel writing and autobiography emerged in the second half of the 18th century, and continued into the 20th. Prior to the constitution of anthropology as a scientific field of research in the 19th century, and prior to anthropological autobiographies proper, the connection between anthropology and life writing originated in the ethnographic description of unknown and exotic people before eventually moving to include the discovery of the “other” in oneself, in the Romantic period. Part of the discourse on anthropology, particularly in France and Germany in the second half of the 18th century, was its relation to literary forms of representation, in which the exploration of an individual self served as a model for the exploration of universal human characteristics. The (auto)biographical novel Anton Reiser (1785–90) allowed its author, Karl Philipp Moritz, to continue his philosophical reflections about life in Beiträge zur Philosophie des Lebens in a fictional form that turns into a version of literary anthropology, a combination which Herder also favoured until the publication of Rousseau’s Confessions. The shocking details of Rousseau’s life in that work became the basis for a representation of the range of human behaviour. Rousseau’s project was not an apologia; rather, his own self served as a sounding board for all humankind. The beginning of the first volume of Confessions (1782) announces this project: “Je veux montrer à mes semblables un homme dans toute la vérité de la nature; et cet homme, ce sera moi. Moi seul. Je sens mon coeur et je connois les hommes”. With the ruthless description of his wayward behaviour he recognized the deviant within himself which – in the view of Claude Lévi-Strauss – was the beginning of ethnographic description as a source of enlightenment about one’s self. At the same time, such a ruthless self-revelation also contained the danger of self-alienation, which is the subject of Rousseau’s other autobiographical works, Rousseau juge de Jean Jacques: Dialogues (1780) and Reveries d’un promeneur solitaire (1782; The Reveries of a Solitary Walker), which foreshadow the modern / Freudian disintegration of the self. From a different perspective, with respect to the nascent American republic, Benjamin Franklin showed the anthropological side of his exemplary life as a success story, leaving out most of the adverse events. In its pragmatic-moralistic orientation, his Autobiography (published posthumously in 1791) moves from an individualistic account in Part 1 to a universal scheme (Part 2) encapsulated by the new American republic (Part 3). This correlation of the advancement of the human race and that of national history underpins a number of American autobiographies in the 19th century. Thus, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854) showed the exemplary American individual in the service of the true course of American democracy, in the same way in which Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Representative Men (1850) traced the history of humankind in a series of biographies, in accordance with his belief that all

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history was the biography of great men (inspired by Thomas Carlyle’s On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, 1841). Walt Whitman, in turn, celebrated the individual in the portion of Leaves of Grass (1855, first version), later entitled Song of Myself, by making the celebration of the subject have communal resonance, to include all races, classes, and genders. This combination of anthropology and race is a theme of African American slave narratives from the creation of the republic to the civil war (perhaps most famously, those mid19th-century works by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs). German writers at the beginning of the 19th century reflected the virulent discussions of natural science and anthropology in their literary works. In continuation of Immanuel Kant’s and Herder’s considerations of a moral or pragmatic anthropology, and following on from Moritz’s Anton Reiser, Jean Paul thematized in his autobiographical works the interior reaches of physical experiences. The auto/biographical interaction of the writers was quite productive, as the relations between Moritz, Jean Paul, and Goethe show. Goethe, who had translated Benvenuto Cellini’s Vita into German (1796) from Thomas Nugent’s English version and written a biography of the German art historian Winckelmann (1805), felt that, in view of personal and national crises such as the Napoleonic wars, he had to order his life through writing and had to stress the pragmatic dimension of worldly affairs. Dichtung und Wahrheit (1811–33; Poetry and Truth) was the summation of his life studies, which always started with the physical world of science and anthropology, and moved by way of entelechy to spiritual refinement. Other reflections of Napoleonic and revolutionary times are the autobiographical works of Chateaubriand and Stendhal. Chateaubriand’s Mémoires d’outre-tombe (published 1849–50) record his flight from revolutionary France to four continents, with a special emphasis on his encounter with the Native Americans, who figure prominently in his fictional work. These encounters with non-European people provided the basis for his anthropological stance, which allowed him to adopt the rhetorical perspective of an individual who looks back over his life and his time from beyond the grave. Stendhal, on the other hand, identified with the revolutionary forces against a royalist France in Vie de Henri Brulard (written 1835–36, published 1890; Life of Henry Brulard), where he recorded his youth and his participation in Napoleon’s incursion into Italy. In the second half of the 19th century, the Renaissance idea of the individual as a full-blown subject gradually dissolved. This process had been prefigured in life writings by the Romantics, such as Stendhal, who referred to the composite of “Je” and “Moi”. Nietzsche and Freud, as well as Wilhelm Dilthey, announced a new development in the anthropological focus of life writing. Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo (written 1888; published 1908) is the apotheosis of a human being who puts himself in the place of God. It is a celebration of the superman. Freud, in turn, focused on the Id-quality of human beings in his Die Traumdeutung (1900; The Interpretation of Dreams), which included his own dream life. And Dilthey instituted the human sciences and the hermeneutic method when he declared biography to be the basis of all history, and had his son-in-law Georg Misch work on the Geschichte der Autobiographie (from 1907; A History of Autobiography in Antiquity). Dilthey’s concept of Geisteswissenschaften created an opposition between

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the human and natural sciences, also represented by the rise of psychology. Consequently, cultural anthropology and ethnography were to come to the fore. The emigration of German anthropologists like Franz Boas and Alfred Kroeber to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, and the serious academic interest in Native American languages and cultures reinforced the field trip as a major means of anthropological inquiry. These contacts with the peoples of study are always part of a mutual process of revelation in so far as the understanding of unknown customs is reflective of “white” terminology and “white” methods, and thus often reveals as much about the object of inquiry as the subject. Famous examples of this process are the “as-told-to” autobiographies, in which white ethnographers have written down the life of a tribe given to them – often by way of an interpreter – by a chief or elder. Black Elk Speaks, Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (1932) was recorded by the white ethnographer John Neihardt. American folklorist Zora Neale Hurston’s field trips to the Caribbean islands in search of her African heritage are one of the rare examples of non-white anthropological endeavours. An equally interesting, and theoretically appealing, ethnographic account of native people is Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques (1955), an autobiographical record of field trips to the Brazilian Indians in the Amazon region (1935–39), which became the basis for the social anthropologist’s kinship studies and his structural anthropology. At the same time the recognition of difference forced the anthropologist to redefine his own self. Similarly, Michel Leiris’s avant-gardist project of “the autobiographer as torero” was based on his field trips in Africa and his study of the rituals of possession among Ethiopians in the 1930s, a project that eventually turned into a ritualistic investigation of his own possessions and obsessions (L’Age d’homme, 1939; Manhood) in the tradition of Rousseau. This recognition of cross-cultural fertilization through the ethnographical encounter with tribal communities seems to be the position of modern anthropology as defined by the German philosophical anthropologist Arnold Gehlen, who regards the purpose of anthropological research as a process of selfencounter and self-discovery. This position has changed in the postmodern age. Postmodern anthropologists like James Clifford and George E. Marcus have argued that anthropological research is no more the self-discovery through the description of other customs in field trips, but instead the ethnographic description of the “other” in oneself, which might then take on a universal dimension. Gertrude Stein’s Everybody’s Autobiography (1938), written in Paris after an extended visit to her home country which she had not seen in more than 30 years, is a case in point, although its pretensions are literary rather than ostensibly anthropological. In this book, the foreign and unfamiliar aspects of her native land are yet part of her own culture as an American citizen. This new kind of anthropological life writing is most often utilized by minority groups and by women, often from thirdworld countries. Exiled from or alienated within their own cultures or origins, these life writers recover their own heritage and self and seek to give a universal frame. Simultaneously, this form of anthropological life writing has an affinity – like Goethe’s autobiography – with a language of poetics, a combination which both Wolfgang Iser and James Clifford note

from the perspective of the literary critic and the postmodern anthropologist respectively. Postmodern anthropology and literary anthropology meet in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior (1976), where the autobiographical persona defines herself in contact with white Americans and her mother’s “talk-stories” about China. All of these experiences together with her discovery of herself as a writer constitute this poetic form of anthropology that Hong Kingston herself labels a “global novel”. Equally transnational and global are the autobiographical fictions of Caribbean and postcolonial writers like Michelle Cliff, Jamaica Kincaid, or Gloria Anzaldúa, who deconstruct the influence of colonial cultures to unearth the heritage of their native predecessors buried in the lands of their origin. Such a reconnection with the tribal past challenges the often superficial assumptions of Western cultures and their conceptions of human values worldwide. Telling lives remains the supreme art of anthropological endeavour. Alfred Hornung See also Autoethnography; Ethnography; Oral History; Orality

Further Reading Baker, Lee D., From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896–1954, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998 Benedict, Ruth, An Anthropologist at Work: Writings of Ruth Benedict, edited by Margaret Mead, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, and London: Secker and Warburg, 1959 Bloom, Harold (editor), Caribbean Women Writers, Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997 Boas, Franz, A Franz Boas Reader: The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883–1911, edited by George W. Stocking, Jr, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982 Boas, Franz, The Mind of Primitive Man, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983 (first edition, 1911) Bowman, Derek, Life into Autobiography: A Study of Goethe’s Dichtung und Wahrheit, Bern: Herbert Lang, 1971 Carrithers, Michael, Steven Collins, and Steven Lukes (editors), The Category of the Person: Anthropology, Philosophy, History, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985 Cavallin, Jean-Christophe, Chateaubriand et “l’Homme aux songes”: l’initiation à la poésie dans les Mémoires d’outre-tombe, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1999 Cavallin, Jean-Christophe, Chateaubriand mythographe: autobiographie et allégorie dans les Mémoires d’outre-tombe, Paris: Champion, 2000 Cerroni-Long, E. L. (editor), Anthropological Theory in North America, Westport, Connecticut: Bergin and Garvey, 1999 Chateaubriand, François-René, Oeuvres complètes de Chateaubriand, Paris: Garnier, 1929 (reprint) Chateaubriand, François-René, Travels in America, translated by Richard Switzer, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1969 Chateaubriand, François-René, Voyage en Amérique, edited by Pierre Barberis, Paris: J.-C. Godefroy, 1982 Chinard, Gilbert, L’Exotisme américain dans l’oeuvre de Chateaubriand, Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1970 (first edition, 1918) Clifford, James and George E. Marcus (editors), Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography: A School of American Research Advanced Seminar, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986 Clifford, James, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1988 Clifford, James, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1997 Conner, Tom, Chateaubriand’s Mémoires d’outre-tombe: A Portrait of the Artist as Exile, New York: Peter Lang, 1995 Daniel, E. Valentine and Jeffrey M. Peck (editors), Culture /

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Contexture: Explorations in Anthropology and Literary Studies, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996 De Mijolla, Elizabeth, Autobiographical Quests: Augustine, Montaigne, Rousseau, and Wordsworth, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1994 DeMarrais, Kathleen Bennett (editor), Inside Stories: Qualitative Research Reflections, Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998 di Leonardo, Micaela (editor), Gender at the Crossroads of Knowledge: Feminist Anthropology in the Postmodern Era, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991 Dilthey, Wilhelm, Introduction to the Human Sciences: An Attempt to Lay a Foundation for the Study of Society and History, translated by Ramon J. Betanzos, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1988 Freud, Sigmund, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, edited by James Strachey, London: Hogarth Press, 1953 Freud, Sigmund, The Interpretation of Dreams, translated by James Strachey, New York: Science Editions, 1961; translated by Joyce Crick, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999 (German edition, 1900) Gehlen, Arnold, Man, His Nature and Place in the World, translated from the German by Clare MacMillan and Karl Pillemer, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, The Autobiography of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by John Oxenford, New York: Horizon Press, 1969 Harrison, Ira E. and Faye V. Harrison (editors), African-American Pioneers in Anthropology, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999 Helm, June (editor), Pioneers of American Anthropology: The Uses of Biography, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1966 Herder, Johann Gottfried, Werke, 2 vols, edited by Wolfgang Pross, Munich: Hanser, 1984–87 Herder, Johann Gottfried, Johann Gottfried Herder: Selected Early Works, 1764–1767: Addresses, Essays, and Drafts; Fragments on Recent German Literature, edited by Ernest A. Menze and Karl Menges, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992 Herder, Johann Gottfried, Against Pure Reason: Writings on Religion, Language, and History, translated from the German by Marcia J. Bunge, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993 Hurston, Zora Neale, Mules and Men, preface by Franz Boas, New York: Perennial Library, 1990 (first edition, 1935) Hurston, Zora Neale, Folklore, Memoirs, and Other Writings, New York: Library of America, 1995 Jaeger, Michael, Autobiographie und Geschichte: Wilhelm Dilthey, Georg Misch, Karl Löwith, Gottfried Benn, Alfred Döblin, Stuttgart: Metzler, 1995 Jay, Martin, Cultural Semantics: Keywords of Our Time, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998 Jones, James T., Jack Kerouac’s Duluoz Legend: The Mythic Form of an Autobiographical Fiction, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999 Kant, Immanuel, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, translated from the German by Mary J. Gregor, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974 Kant, Immanuel, Immanuel Kants Menschenkunde, edited by Friedrich Christian Starke, Hildesheim and New York: Olms, 1976 Kremer-Marietti, Angèle, Wilhelm Dilthey et l’anthropologie historique, Paris: Seghers, 1971 Kroeber, Alfred Louis, Anthropology: Race, Language, Culture, Psychology, Prehistory, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1948; selections as Anthropology: Culture Patterns & Processes, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1963 Kroeber, Alfred Louis, The Nature of Culture, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1952 Kroeber, Alfred Louis (editor), Anthropology Today: An Encyclopedic Inventory, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953 Krupat, Arnold (editor), Native American Autobiography: An Anthology, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994 Leigh, David J., Circuitous Journeys: Modern Spiritual Autobiography, New York: Fordham University Press, 2000 Marcus, Laura (editor), Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of

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Dreams: New Interdisciplinary Essays, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1999 Marin, Louis, L’Ecriture de soi: Ignace de Loyola, Montaigne, Stendhal, Roland Barthes, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1999 Mead, Margaret, The Changing Culture of an Indian Tribe, New York: Columbia University Press, 1932 Mead, Margaret and Ruth Leah Bunzel (editors), The Golden Age of American Anthropology, New York: Braziller, 1960 Mead, Margaret, Anthropology, a Human Science: Selected Papers, 1939–1960, Princeton, New Jersey: Van Nostrand, 1964 Misch, Georg, Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie: eine Auseinandersetzung der Diltheyschen Richtung mit Heidegger und Husserl, Leipzig: Teubner, 1931 Misch, Georg, A History of Autobiography in Antiquity, 2 vols, translated from the German by E.W. Dickes and the author, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1950; Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1973 Montaigne, Michel de, The Autobiography of Michel de Montaigne, edited and translated by Marvin Lowenthall, London: Routledge, 1935; reprinted, Boston: Godine, 1999 Montaigne, Michel de, The Complete Essays, translated by Michael Andrew Screech, London: Penguin, 1991 Moore, Jerry D., Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists, Walnut Creek, California: AltaMira Press, and London: Sage, 1997 Moritz, Karl Philipp, Die Schriften in dreissig Bänden, edited by Petra Nettelbeck and Uwe Nettelbeck, Nördlingen: F. Greno, 1986 Moritz, Karl Philipp, Anton Reiser: A Psychological Novel, translated by John Raymond Russell, Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1996 Munzel, G. Felicitas, Kant’s Conception of Moral Character: The “Critical” Link of Morality, Anthropology, and Reflective Judgment, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999 Nietzsche, Friedrich, The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, edited by Oscar Levy, Edinburgh and London: T.N. Foulis, 1909–13; reprinted, New York: Gordon Press, 1974 Olney, James, Memory & Narrative: The Weave of Life-Writing, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998 Reed-Danahay, Deborah, Auto/ethnography: Rewriting the Self and the Social, Oxford and New York: Berg, 1997 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, The Collected Writings of Rousseau, edited by Roger D. Masters and Christopher Kelly, Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1990— (translations) Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (Second Discourse); Polemics; and, Political Economy, edited by Roger D. Masters and Christopher Kelly, translated from the French by Judith R. Bush et al., Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1992 Rügemer, Werner, Philosophische Anthropologie und Epochenkrise: Studie über den Zusammenhang von allgemeiner Krise des Kapitalismus und anthropologischer Grundlegung der Philosophie am Beispiel Arnold Gehlens, Cologne: Pahl-Rugenstein, 1979 Singh, Amritjit, Joseph T. Skerrett, Jr, and Robert E. Hogan (editors), Memory, Narrative, and Identity: New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994 Steinbuch, Thomas, A Commentary on Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo, Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1994 Stendhal, Oeuvres complètes de Stendhal, 25 vols, edited by Georges Eudes, Paris: Pierre Larrive, 1951–56 Stendhal, Oeuvres intimes, edited by Henri Martineau, Paris: Gallimard, 1955 Stendhal, The Life of Henry Brulard, translated by John Sturrock, New York: Penguin, 1995

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Apartheid and Post-Apartheid Life Writing Although racism pervaded South Africa before 1948 (as much life writing indicates), the Afrikaner Nationalist government’s policy of apartheid enshrined racist separation in increasingly draconian laws. During the apartheid period (1948–94) life writing, especially prose narratives in English, became an increasingly important weapon in the struggle. Autobiographies by Peter Abrahams (Tell Freedom, 1954), Trevor Huddlestone (Nought for Your Comfort, 1956), Albert Luthuli (Let My People Go, 1962), and Don Mattera (Memory is the Weapon, 1987; also published as Gone with the Twilight), as well as biographies such as Donald Woods’s of anti-apartheid campaigner Steve Biko (1978), kept South African racism on the agenda. For apartheid to work, “non-Europeans” had to be dehumanized, their history excised. Much life writing thus sought to contest apartheid’s obsession with group identity and the concomitant erasure of individuals. Although seemingly at odds with this aim, many writers focused on the typicality (rather than the distinctiveness) of their subjects’ experiences, thus broadening the scope of affirmation. This is evident in such texts as Ezekiel Mphahlele’s Down Second Avenue (1959), Z.K. Matthews’s Freedom for My People (1981), Ellen Kuzwayo’s Call Me Woman (1985), Mark Mathabane’s Kaffir Boy (1986), and the anonymous Thula Baba (1987). Moreover, life writing increasingly reinterpreted history and politics. Naboth Mokgatle’s The Autobiography of an Unknown South African (1971), Donald Woods’s Asking for Trouble (1987), Philip Kgosana’s Lest We Forget (1988), Mosiuoa Lekota’s Prison Letters to a Daughter (1991), and Maggie Resha’s ‘Mangoana Tsoara Thipa Ka Bohaleng (1991) all seek to correct authorized accounts. State repression under apartheid led to escalating violence and human rights violations. Experiences of banning and banishment are recounted by many auto/biographers, such as Helen Joseph (Side by Side, 1986), Frank Chikane (No Life of My Own, 1988), Winnie Mandela (Part of My Soul Went with Him, 1985, revised 1986), and Hilda Bernstein (The World That Was Ours, 1967). Because of its potential political impact, much life writing was banned, including most of the aforementioned texts and everything by banned or listed persons, such as Ruth First’s biography of Olive Schreiner, Bloke Modisane’s Blame Me on History (1963), and Mary Benson’s biography of Luthuli. Prison memoirs were also banned: Ruth First’s 117 Days (1965), Albie Sachs’s Jail Diary (1966), Quentin Jacobsen’s Solitary in Johannesburg (1974), Hugh Lewin’s Bandiet: Seven Years in a South African Prison (1981), Tim Jenkins’s Escape from Pretoria (1987), and Caesarina Kona Makoere’s No Child’s Play: In Prison under Apartheid (1988) are but a sample. Breyten Breytenbach’s The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist (1984) is a notable exception; it escaped banning. As apartheid intensified, life writing reflected a growing democratization. Of the 143 (English and Afrikaans) autobiographies listed by Rowse Ushpol in 1958, 142 are by whites. (These racial labels reflect contemporary usage; earlier in the 20th century “racism” meant antagonism between Afrikaner and English whites.) In the 1950s only two black South Africans published their autobiographies (Abrahams and Mphahlele),

but by the 1980s life writing by black South Africans outnumbered that of whites by about four to three. Moreover, greater diversity in terms of the subjects’ class and gender occurred. Women subjects were increasingly common: prominent white women such as Sarah Gertrude Millin, Louwtjie Barnard (ex-wife of the heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard), the athlete Zola Budd, and the actresses Moira Lister and Barbara Kinghorn were joined by activists such as Helen Joseph, Frances Baard, Helen Suzman, Norma Kitson, Janet Levine, and Pauline Podbrey. The first black woman autobiographer was Noni Jabavu (The Ochre People, 1963). After Elsa Joubert’s semifictionalized biography of “Poppie Nongena” (Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena, 1978; Poppie Nongena), black women’s published life writing also multiplied, with texts such as Kuzwayo’s innovatively addressing a black readership. Collections of life stories devoted to women include Working Women (by Lesley Lawson, edited by Helene Perold, 1985), Vukani Makosikazi (edited by Jane Barrett et al. 1985), Sibambene: The Voices of Women at Mboza (edited by Hanlie Griesel 1987), Lives of Courage (by Diana Russell, 1989), Barbara Schreiner’s anthology of women’s prison writings, A Snake with Ice Water (1992), and de-individuated accounts such as Belinda Bozzoli’s Women of Phokeng (1991). Regarding class, the learned elite who were the subjects of earlier life writing were joined by members of the uneducated poor, such as The Story of Mboma (by Kathy Bond, 1979), The Sun Shall Rise for the Workers (by Mandlenkosi Makhoba, 1984), and A Working Life, Cruel beyond Belief (by Alfred Qabula, 1989). These testimonies also addressed the semiliterate masses, with some, such as We Came to Town (by Caroline Kerfoot, 1985), emerging from – and designed to be used in – literacy classes. Democratization is evident also in the published works of indigenous self-representational poetry: Trevor Cope’s collection (Izibongo, 1968) recorded the praise poems of Zulu royalty and chiefs, whereas Liz Gunner and Mafika Gwala’s text (Musho! Zulu Popular Praises, 1991) included those of ordinary Zulus. Publication aside, the diversified vernacular oral tradition was important throughout the apartheid period. These nonnarrative poems (izibongo in Zulu and Xhosa, and lithoko and lifela in Sotho), performed by the subject or other community members, generally blur the distinction between the autobiographical and the biographical, since authorship is rarely specified. Although they typically focus on the individual, the praises of heroic figures such as the historic Zulu leader Shaka were nevertheless instrumental in creating pride and a spirit of resistance in the oppressed. Praises are less common now (especially among the urban population) and narrative prose life writing (usually in English) has been increasing (with some evocative linguistic medleys such as Godfrey Moloi’s My Life, volume 1, 1987). English and print were the favoured media because of the greater potential audience and also because English was popularly perceived to be the language of liberation. As the range of authors and subjects broadened, forms of life writing diversified. In addition to conventional Westernstyle prose narratives, such as Richard Rive’s Writing Black (1981) and Frieda Matthews’s Reminiscences (1987), there are researcher-authored records, such as the aforementioned compilations and Carol Hermer’s anthropological The Diary of Maria Tholo (1980), Tim Keegan’s oral history (Facing the

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Storm, 1988), and Shula Marks’s edition of the correspondence of three women, entitled Not Either an Experimental Doll (1987). There are also the postmodernist experiments of Breyten Breytenbach and Lyndall Gordon (Shared Lives, 1992) and a small number of auto/biographical dramas (e.g. the musical adaptation of Nat Nakasa’s story of the boxer King Kong Dlamini, King Kong: An African Jazz Opera, edited by Harold Bloom, 1961; the cast’s adventures are recounted in Todd Matshikiza’s Chocolates for My Wife, 1961). Other plays include Stephen Gray’s Schreiner (1983) and Athol Fugard’s autobiographical Master Harold and the Boys (1982). The political context notwithstanding, some South Africans continued to produce apolitical life stories. Ulf Boberg (The Boberg Story, 1957), Ernie Duffield (Through My Binoculars, 1982), and Ruth Gordon (Alive, Alive, O!, 1984) – all white South Africans – give little indication of the socio-political context. Such insularity was not possible for everyone: Natie Ferriera (The Story of An Afrikaner: Die Revolusie van die Kinders?, 1980) and Riaan Malan (My Traitor’s Heart, 1990) are guilt-stricken. Numerous stories by activists record rejections of apartheid: there is Alan Paton’s Apartheid and the Archbishop (1973), Norma Kitson’s Where Sixpence Lives (1987), Pauline Podbrey’s White Girl in Search of the Party (1993), and Carl Niehaus’s Om Te Veg Vir Hoop (1993). Apart from biographies of Nationalist political leaders (usually in Afrikaans), texts supporting apartheid are scarce. A sample includes J. D’Oliviera’s on Vorster (1977), and homages to H.F. Verwoerd (by Marie van Heerden, 1984, and Gert Scholtz, 1974) and P.W. Botha (by Dirk and Johanna de Villiers, c.1984). Little known is Independence My Way (1976) by the “Bantustan” leader Kaizer Matanzima. The post-apartheid “new South Africa” is characterized by a desire for historical resolution, which finds its apotheosis in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Political transformation is, however, blunted by the lingering inequalities of apartheid, and life writing reflects both the continuities and the changes. Astonishingly (given the fact that there are five times more black South Africans than whites), life writing published since 1994 with white subjects outnumbers that with black subjects by roughly three to one, thus reversing the trend manifested in the last decade of apartheid. The reasons may include a lack of desire or need on the part of black South Africans to recall oppression or adjust to political liberation. Those in power may be too busy running the country (while the rest struggle to survive). Furthermore, the oral testimony of victims, published by white researchers, has dwindled, possibly because such work now seems patronizing or appropriative. (Notable exceptions are K. Limakatso Kendall’s edition Singing Away the Hunger on the life of Mpho ‘M’atsepo Nthunya (1996), Margaret McCord’s The Calling of Katie Makanya (1995), and Charles van Onselen’s award-winning biography, The Seed is Mine: The Life of Kas Maine, a South African Sharecropper (1996)). Most probably, however, the reversal indicates that testimony was indeed perceived as a crucial weapon in the struggle; liberation having been achieved, this need no longer exists. Since 1994, three broad categories of auto/biographical production are discernible, the first two continuing narrative traditions practised during apartheid. The group comprising personal memoirs includes texts such as Mary Holroyd’s Weigh-

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Less Forever (1997) and Kate Turkington’s There’s More to Life than Surface (1998), which barely discuss apartheid. Given that no black South Africans could be unaffected by racism, these apolitical accounts are all written by whites. The second group, comprising life stories that recover portions of history or experience suppressed by the apartheid regime, remains important in post-apartheid South Africa as the full extent of the state’s deception comes to light. Examples include the stories of activists such as Nelson Mandela (in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (1994), numerous biographies, and Goodbye Bafana (1995) by Mandela’s jailor, James Gregory), Thabo Mbeki, Eddie Daniels, Ronnie Kasrils, and Joe Slovo (Slovo: The Unfinished Autobiography, 1995). Slovo’s daughter, Gillian, tries to make sense of her parents’ lives and her mother’s death in Every Secret Thing: My Family, My Country (1997). Mamphela Ramphele’s A Life (1995) documents her involvement with Biko and the Black Consciousness movement. The third category responds to the demise of apartheid. Some texts represent attempts to reconcile the African and European worlds: whereas William Makgoba’s Mokoko: The Makgoba Affair (1997) and Wilfred Cibane’s Man of Two Worlds (1998) are not primarily concerned with personal transmutation (unsurprisingly, since the colonized have always been obliged to adapt to the hegemony), white South Africans such as Sarah Penny, Peggy Norton, Antjie Krog, Ian Player, Breyten Breytenbach, Nicki Arden, and Wilhelm Verwoerd (grandson of the architect of apartheid) interrogate alternative truths and negotiate self-transformation. Penny’s The Whiteness of Bones (1997) problematizes her racialized identity, and Arden recounts how, in training to become a sangoma (a traditional African healer and diviner), she resolves the conflict between contradictory value systems by capitulating to African traditions. Player reverses the cliché of the white man bringing enlightenment to Africa; gradually overcoming his “civilized” European norms, he absorbs the wisdom of his illiterate Zulu mentor. But political change has prompted many to seek accommodation in the “new” South Africa, and not all engage in profound self-scrutiny. The former prime minister F.W. de Klerk exonerates Nationalists as “products of [their] time and circumstances”. His narrative of the dismantling of apartheid (The Last Trek: A New Beginning, 1998) is, however, undermined by Jacques Pauw (Into the Heart of Darkness, 1997) and Eugene de Kock (Long Night’s Damage, 1998), who reveal secret governmental involvement in torture, murder, gun-running, fraud, and theft. De Kock’s book was apparently an attempt to publicize his Truth and Reconciliation Commission amnesty application. Two other narratives – by George Bizos (No One to Blame?, 1998) and Antije Krog (Country of My Skull, 1998) – also arose in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Whereas Bizos’s call for understanding for the perpetrators emerges from a position of difference from – and superiority to – Afrikaner Nationalists, Krog and Wilhelm Verwoerd (My Winds of Change, 1997) must negotiate shame and guilt to achieve self-reconciliation and the acceptance of their (reconstituted) Afrikaner identities. Judith Lütge Coullie

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Further Reading Brown, Duncan (editor), Oral Literature & Performance in Southern Africa, Oxford: James Currey, Cape Town: David Philip, and Athens: Ohio University Press, 1999 Chapman, Michael, Southern African Literatures, London and New York: Longman, 1996 Coullie, Judith Lütge, “Self, Life and Writing: A Study of Selected South African Autobiographical Texts” (dissertation), Durban: University of Natal, 1995 Coullie, Judith Lütge, “The Space between Frames: A New Discursive Practice in Ellen Kuzwayo’s Call Me Woman” in South African Feminisms: Writing, Theory, and Criticism, 1990–1994, edited by M.J. Daymond, New York: Garland, 1996 Coullie, Judith Lütge, “The Power to Name the Real: The Politics of the Worker Testimony in South Africa”, Research in African Literatures, 28/2 (1997): 132–44 Nuttall, Sarah and Carli Coetzee (editors), Negotiating the Past: The Making of Memory in South Africa, Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1998 Opland, Jeff, Xhosa Oral Poetry: Aspects of a Black South African Tradition, Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1980; Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983 “South African Autobiography”, special issue of Alter/Nation, 7/1 (2000) “South African Autobiography”, special issue of Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, 3/1 (1991) Ushpol, Rowse, A Select Bibliography of South African Autobiographies, Cape Town: University of Cape Town School of Librarianship, 1958

Apologias An apologia is a defence. Often anglicized as “apology”, this form of life writing may also be understood as a justification or as the elaboration or clarification of a problem or issue. In ancient Greece the term apologia referred to a kind of speech delivered for forensic purposes. The division of Plato’s Apologia (written 4th century bce; Apology of Socrates) into two main parts (excluding the farewell address) corresponds to the two principal speeches that the accused in Socrates’ position was to deliver: the speech of defence proper and, in the case of conviction, a speech proposing a counter-penalty. While Xenophon’s Apologia (4th century bce; Apology of Socrates to the Jury) makes mention of the latter speech, its primary focus is on Socrates’ innocence of the charges that Meletus had brought against him. In literary dictionaries and encyclopedias in English, the examples of the apologia that one is likely to find most often are Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Sir Philip Sidney’s Apology for Poetry (1595, also published as The Defence of Poesy), and John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864). Whether the focus is on an art form, a way of life, or an individual person’s decisions, the apologia carries with it the purpose of defence. In the case of autobiographical writing, the apologia can resemble confession, with its introspective focus and articulation of the writer’s convictions. Further, because of the apologia’s tendency to develop philosophical and theological themes, it can also at times bear family resemblances to such modes of dispute as polemic or even the philosophical dialogue. A related kind of writing is apologetics, the defence of a people or faith, as one finds in the Greek historian Josephus’ Against Apion (written 1st century ce) and the theologian Tertullian’s

Apologeticum (written 2nd century ce; Apology for the Christians). For further treatments of specifically religious and theological traditions of apologetics, one may find helpful entries in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, The New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, and The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. Since apologias tend to arise from controversy, their focus is generally on answering an accusation or set of accusations. Even when the apologia is not addressed specifically to a jury, legal language can remain relevant to it. As Walter E. Houghton writes of Cardinal Newman in his Apologia, “he appealed to the British public as if to a jury and predicted that he would vanquish ‘not only my Accuser, but my judges’”. Writing on Spanish autobiography, James D. Fernandez also points out the significance of conflict in the apologia, in his definition of the form as “a verbal self-defense before one’s contemporaries”, thus emphasizing that the writing of an apologia “signals an intense engagement with the here and now”. Fernandez contrasts the here-and-now address of apology to the act of apostrophe, the direct address of someone who is absent, of an abstraction, or of God, and then goes on to point out that many works of autobiography employ both apology and apostrophe. In fact, many addresses of apostrophe would seem to have apologetic concerns, in that they are addresses that the writer means her or his contemporaries to overhear and to be persuaded by. One might discern something of the reverse dynamic occurring in certain apologias; while the address is directed most pointedly to the writer’s or speaker’s accuser, it is also meant to appeal to a wider audience, and for the sake of defending more than the speaker or writer alone. Thus, while Plato’s Apology for Socrates addresses itself most directly to the Athenian jury, it also addresses itself to “the Athenian public at large, and even other Greeks, if they are interested” (Slings), and it works as a defence not only of Socrates, but also of the philosophical way of life that Socrates represents. The writer and orator Apuleius in his Apologia (written 2nd century ce), in which he is responding to charges of sorcery, explicitly states his dual purpose of “clearing philosophy of the aspersions cast upon her by the uninstructed and of proving my own innocence”. Nevertheless, even within such a broad focus of argument, the here-and-now and particular will often still show. In the midst of defending certain tenets of his faith, the poet John Milton, in his Apology against a Pamphlet Called A Modest Confutation (1642), offers an explanation of how he spends his mornings. Before Apuleius takes up the charge of sorcery, he answers the charges that he cleans his teeth with powder, writes amatory verses, owns a mirror, and lives in a state of poverty. Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua works particularly well as an example of the complexity of the kinds of defence that can circulate through a single text. The work grew out of a dispute with Charles Kingsley over whether Newman recognized truth as a value in itself, and while Newman does defend his belief in the value of truth, he also defends, for example, his decision to become a Roman Catholic, as well as the legitimacy of the Roman Catholic Church. Further, the tension between the hereand-now circumstances that gave rise to the text and Newman’s concerns to make appeals beyond these circumstances shows in the revisions of the work and its title. The first edition (1864), which was composed of the pamphlets that Newman published on successive Thursdays from 21 April to 2 June 1864, along

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with an appendix, was entitled Apologia Pro Vita Sua: Being a Reply to a Pamphlet Entitled “What, Then, Does Dr Newman Mean?”. The second edition (1865) shifts the emphasis of the work in part by deleting the first two sections, which deal primarily with Kingsley’s charges, and changing the title to History of My Religious Opinions. The title of the fourth edition (1873) illustrates how effectively this personal and religious history carries with it the apologetic purposes that motivated its initial writing: Apologia Pro Vita Sua: Being a History of His Religious Opinions. Even with its emphasis on defence, the apologia allows for a variety of possibilities. For example, the accuser, the accusation, and the speaker can be fictitious, as in Robert Browning’s “Bishop Blougram’s Apology” (1855). While the bishop’s defence of his worldly and sybaritic way of life may be loosely based on Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman (1802–65), the apologetic monologue becomes an occasion for Browning to do what he does in many other poems, explore the ambiguities of the character’s thought and experience. French essayist Montaigne’s Apologie de Raimond Sebond (1580; Apology for Raymond Sebond) becomes an occasion for an extended meditation on the limits of human knowledge. In An Apology for the Life of Mr Colley Cibber, Comedian (1740), the writer, a major actor and playwright, not only defends himself against his many detractors, but also provides a rather intimate view of a part of the history of the British theatre. An Apology for the Life of James Fennel (1814) reads largely as a cautionary tale about the possible dangers of generosity and profligacy. Finally, lest anyone form the impression, from reading many of the works mentioned here, that the apologia is exclusively a domain of bitter conflict, vituperation, or narrowly defined philosophical and theological dispute, it may be advisable to read Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Apology for Idlers” (1881). Jerry Harp Further Reading Allen, Frank Charles, A Critical Edition of Robert Browning’s “Bishop Blougram’s Apology”, Salzburg: Institut für Englische Sprache und Literatur, 1976 Allen, R.E., Socrates and Legal Obligation, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980 Ashley, Leonard R.N., Colley Cibber, revised edition, Boston: Twayne, 1989 (first edition, 1965) Blehl, Vincent Ferrer, S.J. and Francis X. Connolly (editors), Newman’s Apologia: A Classic Reconsidered, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1964 Brickhouse, Thomas C. and Nicholas D. Smith, Socrates on Trial, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1989 Edwards, Mark, Martin Goodman, and Simon Price (editors), in association with Christopher Rowland, Apologetics in the Roman Empire: Pagans, Jews, and Christians, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999 Fernández, James D., Apology to Apostrophe: Autobiography and the Rhetoric of Self-Representation in Spain, Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1992 Helmling, Steven, “‘Hippoclides Doesn’t Care”: Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua” in his The Esoteric Comedies of Carlyle, Newman, and Yeats, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988 Hopkins, Kenneth, “Colley Cibber” in The Poets Laureate, London: Bodley Head, 1954; New York: Library Publishers, 1955; revised edition, New York: Barnes and Noble, and Wakefield, Yorkshire: EP Publishing, 1973 Houghton, Walter E., The Art of Newman’s “Apologia”, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, and London: Milford, 1945

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Myers, William, “Autobiography and the Illative Sense” in his The Presence of Persons: Essays on Literature, Science, and Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century, Aldershot, Hampshire, and Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate, 1998 Newman, John Henry, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, edited by David J. DeLaura, New York: Norton, 1968 Reeve, C.D.C., Socrates in the Apology: An Essay on Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Indianapolis: Hackett, 1989 Slings, S.R. (editor), Plato’s Apology of Socrates: A Literary and Philosophical Study with a Running Commentary, edited and completed from the papers of the late E. DeStrycker, S.J., Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994 Xenophon, The Shorter Socratic Writings: Apology of Socrates to the Jury, Oeconomicus, and Symposium, edited and translated by Robert C. Bartlett, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1996

Arabic Autobiography Autobiographical writing has a very long and rich history in Arabic letters, and it is possible to trace it back to the intensely personal poetry written in pre-Islamic and early Islamic times. Poetry, as the oldest, most revered, and best loved of Arabic literary genres, was the vehicle through which Arab poets not only expressed their personal passions, grievances, and contentions but also recorded their history. Such was the fascination of Arabs with poetry that poems were learned by heart and handed down orally from one generation to the next. This helped keep the personal stories of poets and the history of their societies vivid and alive in the minds of subsequent generations, long before the tradition of recording personal histories in autobiographies actually started. It is this tendency to juxtapose the personal and the public that was to become a salient feature of the tradition of autobiographical writing in Arabic. One of the earliest autobiographies in Arabic was written by the religious scholar, mystic, and philosopher al-Ghazƒl¡ (1058– 1111). He was born in a village near T®s in the Persian province of Khurasan and had a brilliant teaching career at the theological academy in Baghdad, but underwent a spiritual crisis that drove him suddenly to renounce his professorship and withdraw from the world. His spiritual development and search for truth are traced in his autobiographical work entitled al-Munqidh min al dalƒl (“The Deliverer from Error”). In this autobiography he records his struggle to keep his sanity under the burden of scepticism and the compulsion he felt to regain his faith. Doubt, according to him, was a disease that could be overcome only through God’s grace, His benign intervention, and the divine light He reveals out of His infinite mercy. It is hardly surprising, then, that this autobiography has often been compared to the Confessions of Augustine (written c.397–400). There is little doubt that al-Ghazƒl¡’s work has a distinct place in the history of Arabic autobiographical writing not only because it explores with forcefulness and forthrightness the intimate nature of the Sufi (mystic) experience but, more importantly, because the personal element in it is given far more weight and importance than the public. This is where it diverges from the mainstream Arabic autobiographical tradition, in which personal and public elements were often fairly well balanced. A prominent example of this balance can be found in the autobiography written by the Arab knight Usƒma ibn Munqidh

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(1095–1188) under the title Kitƒb al-i‘tibƒr (literally “Book of Learning”, translated as Memoirs of an Arab-Syrian Gentleman). It is a gallery of brilliant vignettes chronicling the long struggle against the Crusaders during the 12th century. Usƒma recounts his personal experiences and adventures side by side with descriptions of the political and social events of his time, in a simple, direct style, using the vernacular and moving away from the heavily ornate style of literary discourse prevalent during this era. Unlike al-Ghazƒl¡’s autobiography, Usƒma’s work is not pronouncedly philosophical. But if there is one predominant idea that runs throughout the work, it is the conviction, shared no doubt by a great many of his contemporaries, that human life is pre-ordained and pre-determined, that history is but the unfolding of Divine Will. Of great interest to the history of Arabic autobiographical writing is the book by the philosopher, sociologist, historian, traveller, and politician Ibn Khald®n (1332–1406) entitled alTa’r¡f bi-Ibn Khald›n [Introducing Ibn Khaldun; French translation as Voyage d’occident et d’orient]. Its significance stems from the fact that it brilliantly interweaves personal history with accounts of political and historical events. He gives details of his upbringing, the learned men who taught him, the letters he wrote, and the poems he composed while at the same time offering his perceptive observations on the traditions and customs of the lands he visited during his frequent travels from his native Tunisia to Spain, Morocco, Algeria, and then to Egypt where he was offered a professorship of jurisprudence. He was later appointed as chief judge but was expelled from the post on account of the conspiracies of those he referred to as “enemies” and “intriguers”. But beyond all this is his attempt to justify himself, explain his motives, and refute the charges frequently levelled at him that he fomented troubles and participated in rebellions. His autobiography was his attempt to vindicate himself by telling the truth as he himself saw it. With increased contact between the Arab world and the West in the 19th century there was a revival of interest in the art of autobiography, and writers tried to reconcile the imported Western forms with the indigenous classical models drawn from their Arab heritage. From the 19th century onwards autobiographies proliferated. A prominent example is the autobiography of ‘Al¡ Mubƒrak (1823–93), Egyptian educationalist, historian, and literary prose writer, who was one of the early Arab scholars to benefit from the educational missions to Europe, the system introduced by Mohammed Ali, the Albanian-born ruler of Egypt in the first half of the 19th century, to establish and strengthen cultural ties between Egypt and Europe. His autobiography, named al-Khitat al-Tawf¡qiyya [New Plans], was published between 1886 and 1889. It is a monumental work of 20 volumes that combines topographical details of Egypt with historical and personal accounts, written in a simple, factual style. The work, though firmly established within the Arabic tradition of autobiographical writing, bears the imprint of the contact with French literature. The most influential autobiographical work in modern Arabic letters, however, is no doubt al Ayyƒm by Tƒhƒ Husayn (1889–1973), the outstanding figure of the modernist movement in Arabic literature. It is perhaps one of the most popular works in modern Arabic literature if we judge by the number of reprints of the book. Its popularity is due in part to the great emotional impact of the author’s depiction of his early child-

hood in Upper Egypt and his valiant struggle with blindness. It has a great deal of ironic humour that saves it from descending into melodrama. It appeared in three parts, the first of which was published in book form in 1929 (An Egyptian Childhood) and is the record of his early education at the village school up to his departure to study at al-Azhar University in Cairo. The second part, published in 1932 (The Stream of Days), deals with his student days at Al-Azhar, and the third part was published in Beirut in 1967 under the title Memoirs (A Passage to France). Unlike the usual mix of the personal and the public found in most traditional Arabic autobiographies, Tƒhƒ Husayn’s work, though conscious of the social and political forces shaping the protagonist’s life, remains deeply entrenched in the private and the personal. Many Arab writers followed in the footsteps of Tƒhƒ Husayn and recorded their own life stories. Most notable among these is the Egyptian Ahmed Am¡n (1886–1954), who was given the honorary title of “father of the modern generation” and wrote about his experiences in Hayƒt¡ (1950–52; My Life: The Autobiography of an Egyptian Scholar, Writer, and Cultural Leader). The great Egyptian poet, critic, and biographer ‘Abbƒs Mahm®d al-‘Aqqƒd (1889–1964) wrote his autobiography in two parts, the first entitled Ana [meaning “I”] and the second entitled Hayat qalam [The Life of a Pen], both published in 1964. Yahyƒ Haqqi (1905–93), the renowned Egyptian novelist and critic, also recorded his life history in his autobiographical work Khallihƒ ‘alƒ Allƒh [1959; Leave It All to God]. Tawf¡q alHak¡m wrote his life story in Zahrat al-‘umr [1943; The Flower of Life] and Sijn al-‘umr (1964; The Prison of Life: An Autobiographical Essay). The writing and publication of women’s memoirs, journals, and autobiographies in Arabic is mainly a 20th-century phenomenon, brought about undoubtedly by the marked increase in the number of educated women in the Arab world and by the growing participation of women in public life. Many educated women found the directness of autobiography the best form in which to express their grievances against society. Hudƒ Sha‘rƒw¡ (1879–1947), one of the pioneers of the feminist movement in Egypt, who called for the liberation of women from the shackles of conventions and defied society by taking off her veil in public, recorded her life history in the mid-1940s in her book Mudhakkirƒti (not published until 1981; Harem Years: The Memoirs of an Egyptian Feminist 1879–1924). In it she tells of her aristocratic upbringing, the segregated life she led, her growing awareness of the constraints imposed on the women of her generation, and her determination to fight for their independence. Through the very act of writing this autobiography, Hudƒ Sha‘rƒw¡ was challenging the dominant patriarchy as well as the potent tradition, taken very much for granted in her society, that women should always observe silence, especially concerning their private lives. The last three decades of the 20th century have witnessed the proliferation of autobiographies written by Arab women throughout the Arab world. The Moroccan writer Leila Ab® Zayd wrote in 1993 about her childhood experiences in her book Ruju’ila al-tufulah (Return to Childhood: The Memoir of a Modern Moroccan Woman). The Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan in her autobiography Rihla Jabaleyya (1985; A Mountainous Journey: An Autobiography) described her childhood and her growing awareness of what it meant to be a woman in

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an Arab society. Moreover, with women’s increased participation in political life, many of them went through the trauma of political imprisonment on ideological grounds. The harrowing experience of incarceration was faithfully and poignantly recorded by the Egyptian writer Lat¡fa al-Zayyƒt in her autobiographical work Hamlat Taft¡sh (1992; The Search: Personal Papers) and by the Egyptian feminist writer Nawƒl al-Sa‘dƒw¡ in Mudhakkirƒt¡ f¡ sijn al-nisƒ (1983; Memoirs from the Women’s Prison). Amira Hassan Nowaira Further Reading al-Qƒd¡, W., “Biographical Dictionaries: Inner Structure and Cultural Significance” in The Book in the Islamic World: The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East, edited by George N. Atiyeh, Albany and Washington, DC: State University of New York Press / Library of Congress, 1995 Brugman, J., An Introduction to the History of Modern Arabic Literature in Egypt, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1984 Kramer, Martin (editor), Middle Eastern Lives: The Practice of Biography and Self-Narrative, Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1991 Malti-Douglas, Fedwa, Blindness & Autobiography: Al Ayyƒm of Tƒhƒ Husayn, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1988 Malti-Douglas, Fedwa, Woman’s Body, Woman’s Word: Gender and Discourse in Arabo-Islamic Writing, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991 Meisami, Julie Scott, “An Anatomy of Misogyny”, Edebiyât, 6 (1995): 303–15 Meisami, Julie Scott and Paul Starkey (editors), The Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, 2 vols, London and New York: Routledge, 1998 Ostle, Robin, Ed De Moor, and Stefan Wild (editors), Writing the Self: Autobiographical Writing in Modern Arabic Literature, London: Saqi Books, 1997 Reynolds, Dwight (editor), “Arabic Autobiography”, special issue of Edebiyât, new series, 7/2 (1997) Reynolds, Dwight (editor), Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000 Reynolds, Dwight, “Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhƒb’s al-Sha‘rƒn¡’s 16thCentury Defense of Autobiography”, Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review, 4/1–2 (1997–98): 122–37 Rooke, Tetz, “In My Childhood”: A Study of Arabic Autobiography, Stockholm: Stockholm University, 1997 Rosenthal, Frantz, A History of Muslim Historiography, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1952 Shuiskii, Sergei A., “Some Observations on Modern Arabic Autobiography”, Journal of Arabic Literature, 13 (1982): 111–23 Toorawa, Shawkat M., “Language and Male Homosocial Desire in the Autobiography of Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi”, Edebiyât, 7/2 (1997): 235–49

Arabic Biography In the first decades of the 7th century ce the “dawn of Islam” as a da’wa or message to the Arabs and the world at large marked the birth of a new and vigorous nation soon to face the requirements of statehood. The necessary functions of clerks and interpreters gave rise to the need to teach their children “to read and write and shoot and ride” on the injunction of the Prophet Muhammad himself. The rich tradition of pre-Islamic poetry, narratives of famous wars, tribal feuds, and heroic exploits (the ayyƒm al-‘Arab) and

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their ansab (genealogy), their myths and proverbs had all been orally circulated and transmitted from one generation to the next. Recorded Arabic literature starts with Islam; the originally oral nature of the medium of transmission stamped all recorded information with the need to trace the chain of authority back through a number of informers to the original trustworthy source. Pre-Islamic biographical information orally transmitted by one rƒw¡ (narrator) after another was later incorporated in the work of historians and biographers. The family tree of every character of note was meticulously preserved, elaborated, and expounded by huffaz who were part genealogists and part wise men and bards. The practice continued in all works of Arabic / Islamic scholarship until the end of the Middle Ages. The art of biography was early described in Arabic as ’ilm (a science), i.e. a work of learning and scholarship. The general term was tarjama (interpretation), now more commonly used for translation. The verb tarjama li meant to write a biography, with the name of the subject following. Because one of the earliest biographies of the Prophet Muhammad, his companions, wives, and followers was the Tabaqƒt of Ibn Sa‘d (d. 845), tabaqƒt often came to be used to indicate works of biography. The term tabaqƒt (generations) was used by Ibn Sa‘d to indicate his system of classifying his material according to generation. In general trajim (pl.) were classified under tabaqƒt, wafayƒt (dates of death) generally of notables, with a subdivision of a‘mar (age by decade at time of death). There were also maghƒz¡ (military expeditions) of subjects, as well as manƒqib (virtues) of princes, noblemen, etc., a continuation of preIslamic culture. Most Muslim scholars engaged in historiography, and it has been estimated that more than half of Arabic literature consists of historical works, which do not stop with the annals of historians such as al-Tabar¡ (839–923) or Ibn al-Ath¡r (1160– 1233) or public and general collections such as the Mur›j aldhahab (Meadows of Gold) by geographer and historian alMa‘s®d¡ (c.896–956), but include for the greater part a host of biographies. Biographers also exceeded the mere presentation of biographical data, more often including incidents and public events to which their subjects were witnesses, participants, or simply contemporary. A 15th-century biography compilation of tabaqƒt (“Generations of Shafie Imams”) provides important historical information covering more than five centuries, including the great catastrophe of the Mogul invasion, akhbƒr (accounts) of Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulako, as well as events of the Crusades. The same could be said of the great biographical compilations, for example, the Wafayƒt al-a‘yƒn of Ibn Khillikƒn (d. 1282). Modern readers are often impressed by the wonderful variety of classifications adopted by historians in their biographical compilations: companions of the Prophet and his followers, readers and interpreters of the Qu’rƒn, the Faq¡hs of the four doctrines, muhaditheen (traditionists) and Ruwah (transmitters), the Fundamentalists, the Shi‘a and Mu‘tazilah (rejectionists), the Zuhhad (ascetic-hermits) and Sufies, artists and poets, linguists and grammarians, physicians, wise men and philosophers, judges, caliphs, princes and ministers, historians and genealogists, and biographies of women: an endless list. Biographical information on individuals was even used in works of geography: for example, Yƒq®t’s Mu‘jam al-buldƒn, and the books of akhbƒr of Mecca, Medina, Egypt, the

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Maghrib, and Andalus. A wealth of biographical information is included in the famous annals and histories mentioned above, for no branch of scholarship set out its findings without biographical material for reference, or simply to enlighten and entertain the reader. Arabic biography per se started with the establishment of Islam in Arabia in the 7th century, the death of the Prophet Muhammad (631ce), the conquest of the neighbouring territories of the ancient empires of Rome and Persia, and the infighting of different branches of his family and successors. Muslim historians started with recording the S¡ra (life course) of the Prophet some decades after his death. A s¡ra is basically a biography, but when the definite article is used “the s¡ra” means the life of the Prophet Muhammad, written down and supported by the ever-growing apparatus of narratives, pronouncements, and traditions (had¡th), testimonies and akhbƒr, and maghƒz¡. For almost a century after his death, qussƒs (storytellers) and narrators continued to compile and disseminate stories of his life. Even serious scholars collected information according to the old practice of oral transmission, guaranteed by the authority of isnƒd (the chain of reference), which regularly constituted the method of the s¡ra. The S¡ra of Ibn Hisham, written more than 100 years after the Prophet’s death, is still the most accessible and informative account. It was the main source used by Tƒhƒ Husayn for a literary life of the Prophet, ‘Ala Hamish al-S¡ra (1933), a fascinating work in which he admitted giving rein to his imagination, except for matters of faith (hamish is the margin of a page, used for notes; also the fringe). The figure of the Prophet that emerges from the S¡ra is contemplative, charismatic, and deeply humane, a man fond of women and perfume and proud of exceptional sexual prowess, but modest as to his original wealth and status: “I am only the son of a simple Arab woman who ate jerked meat!” The love that millions of Muslims feel for Muhammad has been fed by folk versions of the Sira narrated by itinerant bards. Al-S¡ra al-Muhammadia became part of the repertory of the folk sha‘ir narrating with a touch of acting in coffee shops, market squares, and before desert tents for centuries past, and now settled in regular troupes financed by ministries or agencies of culture in most Arab countries. Such folk recensions are actively discouraged and often banned outright by modern fundamentalist revivalists. The wives of the Prophet later named “Mothers of the Faithful” figure prominently in all traditional compilations of history/ biography. The first two volumes of the biographical dictionary Tabaqƒt (9 vols) of the aforementioned Ibn Sa‘d devoted to the Prophet give ample space to his wives. In fact the wives, particularly ‘$’isha, were recognized sources of isnƒd, though some later editors described the isnƒd of some of them as “weak”, that is, not entirely reliable. A number of them were later singled out for separate biographical studies, for all had important family and clan affiliations and the marriage contract often marked the sealing of a political alliance or pact of noninterference. The two wives most favoured by biographers to this day are Khadijah bint Khuwailed (d. 621), Mohammad’s first wife and staunch supporter, and ‘$’isha, daughter of Abu Bakr, his first convert and the first of his companions to succeed him. ‘$’isha was only 18 when he died, and has been described as “Muhammad’s Beloved”. Modern Muslim scholars have used the lives of these two women to demonstrate the honoured

position of women in Islam. ‘$’isha ‘Abd al-Rahmƒn (Bint alShƒti’, 1912–74) wrote a series of modern biographical studies in Nisa al-Nabi (Wives of the Prophet), devoting a volume to each of the principal wives. Muslim feminists also made ‘$’isha their own: Nabia Abbott wrote Aishah the Beloved of Mohammed (1942), breaking new ground. She stresses the important role of Khadijah in Muhammad’s career. A wealthy widow of noble family, Khadijah employed the dreamy Muhammad, 15 years her junior, on missions of trust. Impressed by his integrity, she sent a proposal of marriage to her handsome young agent. They were happily married, and she believed in his mission and protected him against the malice of Quraish. She was the only one of his wives to give him children, and he never took another wife in her lifetime. Khadijah’s ministering care of Muhammad when he was stricken after visions of the Angel of God and her support of him by consulting wise hermits have been widely elaborated in later studies and folk narratives. The romance of ‘$’isha, the child wife who came into the Prophet’s house as a little girl playing with her dolls, fired Nabia Abbott’s imagination. There has always been a wealth of information in classical Arabic sources on ‘$’isha, or ascribed to her. Her career as the Widow of the Prophet, trying to further the interest of her family, and leading troops against Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, has gained her a place in the gallery of cursed devils of the shi‘a. Modern Arabic literature is greatly influenced by works of biography written in modern European languages; the old sources are ransacked for information, but the biographical style is more along the lines of Thomas Carlyle, André Maurois, or Maksim Gork’ii. Deeply impressed by Carlyle, the poet and literary critic ‘Abbƒs Mahm®d al-‘Aqqƒd (1889–1964) wrote a series of biographies under the title ‘Abqariya (genius): the “Genius of Omar”, the “Genius of Abu Bakr”, and the “Genius of Khalid ibn al-Walid” (the great general of Islam). They have been very popular, repeatedly published in cheap editions and set for school reading. His last work of this kind, the “Genius of Jesus” (1952), is not so widely known. Fatma Moussa-Mahmoud Further Reading al-Qƒd¡, Wadƒd, “Biographical Dictionaries: Inner Structure and Cultural Significance” in The Book in the Islamic World: The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East, edited by George N. Atiyeh, Albany and Washington, DC: State University of New York Press / Library of Congress, 1995 Brugman, J., An Introduction to the History of Modern Arabic Literature in Egypt, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1984 Della Vida and Levi G., entry on S¡ra in Encyclopaedia of Islam, including bibliography of classical works, Leiden: E.J. Brill, and London: Luzac, 1960— Ibn al-Jauzi, A‘mar al-A‘yan [Ages of Notables], edited by M.M. Tanahi, Cairo: Maktabat al-Khangi, 1994 (includes a full bibliography of classical biographies in modern editions in Arabic) Kramer, Martin (editor), Middle Eastern Lives: The Practice of Biography and Self-Narrative, Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1991 Meisami, Julie Scott and Paul Starkey (editors), The Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, 2 vols, London and New York: Routledge, 1998 Roded, Ruth, Women in Islamic Biographical Collections: From Ibn Sa’d to Who’s Who, Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 1994 Rosenthal, Frantz, A History of Muslim Historiography, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1952

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Arabic Travel Writing For the Arabs inhabiting the Arabian Peninsula in the first millennium ce, travelling was a way of life. They had to travel not only in search of water but also in order to trade with more prosperous neighbouring nations, hence the traditional annual journey north to Syria in the summer and south to Yemen in the winter. It is hardly surprising, then, that such a people should have a rich literary heritage dealing with their experiences while travelling to other lands, the references to which can still be found in the poetry they composed, recited, and handed down orally to later generations. It was after Islam and the expansion of Muslim domains that travelling became more closely associated with the love of learning and the spirit of scientific enquiry. Sciences such as geography, history, sociology, and astronomy were nurtured by the observations supplied by the ardent and dedicated Arab travellers. The earliest Arab travellers to leave written records of their journeys lived in the 9th century and were mostly linguists and geographers. One of these was al-Mas‘®d¡ (c.896–957). He was a historian and traveller, and he had no settled abode for most of his adult life. He was named “Herodotus of the Arabs”, travelling as he did as far as Syria, Iran, Armenia, the shores of the Caspian Sea, the Indus Valley, Ceylon, Oman in Arabia, and the east coast of Africa. He was the first Arab to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work, Mur›j aldhahab wa ma‘ƒdin al-Jawhar (literally “The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems”, translated as Meadows of Gold). In it he stresses the importance of travels to “learn the peculiarities of various nations and parts of the world” and devotes whole chapters to describing the history, geography, social life, and religious customs of non-Islamic lands, such as India, Greece, and Rome. The problem with al-Mas‘®d¡, however, was that he sometimes recounted what he learnt from the people he met on his travels uncritically. But he was genuinely interested in different social systems and in different religions, including Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, as well as Judaism and Christianity. Muhammad ibn al-Idr¡s¡ (1100–65/66), the Arab geographer and traveller, combined accounts of his travels with the sciences of geography and astronomy. He spent much of his early life travelling in North Africa, Spain, and many parts of western Europe, including Portugal, northern Spain, the French Atlantic coast, and southern England, visiting Asia Minor when he was barely 16 years old. Around 1145 he entered the service of Roger II of Sicily. This resulted in the completion of three major geographic works, the most important of which is the great work of descriptive geography known as Nuzhat al-mushtƒq f¡ ikhtirƒq al-ƒfƒq [The Pleasure Excursion of One Who is Eager to Traverse the Regions of the World], and also as Kitƒb Rujƒr, or al-Kitƒb ar-Rujƒr¡ [The Book of Roger] after his patron, the Sicilian king Roger II. In compiling it, al-Idr¡s¡ combined material from Arabic and Greek geographical works with information obtained through first-hand observation and eyewitness reports. It is recognized as a serious attempt to combine descriptive and astronomical geography and is particularly valuable for its data on such regions as the Mediterranean basin and the Balkans. Travel literature came to its peak with Ibn Batt®ta (1304– 68/69 or 1377), the greatest medieval Arab traveller and the author of one of the most famous travel books, the Rihlat

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(Travels). It describes his extensive travels, estimated at 75,000 miles, to almost all the Muslim countries and to regions as far afield as China and Sumatra, rightly earning him the title “the traveller of Islam”. Ibn Batt®ta embarked on his travelling career by going on the pilgrimage to Mecca. At first his purpose was to fulfil this religious duty and to study under famous scholars in the Near East (Egypt, Syria, and Hejaz). But he was seized by an irresistible passion for travel, and he decided to visit as many parts of the world as possible, vowing “never to travel any road a second time”. While his contemporaries travelled for practical reasons (such as trade, pilgrimage, and education), Ibn Batt®ta enjoyed travelling for its own sake, for the joy of learning about new countries and new peoples, and in the process making a living out of it. He enjoyed the generosity and benevolence of numerous sultans, rulers, governors, and high dignitaries in the countries he visited, thus securing an income that enabled him to continue his wanderings. His Rihla, as his book is commonly known, is an important social, cultural and political document. Because of its wealth of detail it is used as a source book for the history of the Muslim world. Ibn Batt®ta’s reliability is accepted in general, although there are a few instances of discrepancies that can be accounted for by lapses of memory rather than by wilful distortion on his part. The book is also interesting in that it reveals to the reader the reactions and opinions of an average middle-class Muslim of the 14th century. In modern times, travel writing has taken a very different shape. Gone is the link between travelling and geography and other sciences. Travel accounts and narratives became largely the domain of fiction writers recounting their experiences in foreign lands, especially Europe. From the beginning of the 19th century onwards, the Arab world looked to the West for knowledge, science, and progress. Since many Arabs travelled for the sake of studying at European institutions, they went home with countless impressions that they wished to record creatively, hence the proliferation of what came to be known as “travel fiction”. The most notable examples of this are the Egyptian writer Tawf¡q al-Hak¡m’s (c.1902–87) novel ‘Usf›r min al-sharq (1938; Bird of the East), the Lebanese writer Suhayl Idris’s (b. 1923) al-Hayy al-Lƒt¡n¡ (1954; The Latin Quarter), and the Sudanese novelist al Tayyib Sƒlih’s (b. 1929) Mawsim al-hijra ilƒ al-shimƒl (1965; Season of Migration to the North). Amira Hassan Nowaira Further Reading Batt®ta, Ibn, The Travels of Ibn Batt›ta, translated by H.A.R. Gibbs and C.F. Beckingham, Cambridge: Hakluyt Society and Cambridge University Press, 1958–71 (3 vols) and 1994 (vol. 4) Boullata, Issa J. (editor), Critical Perspectives on Modern Arabic Literature, Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1980 Brugman, J., An Introduction to the History of Modern Arabic Literature in Egypt, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1984 Dunn, Ross E., The Adventures of Ibn Batt›ta: A Muslim Traveller of the 14th Century, London: Croom Helm, 1986 Gibb, H.A.R., Arabic Literature: An Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1926; revised edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963 Hourani, G.F., Arab Seafaring, revised by John Carwell, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995 (first edition, 1951) Ronart, Stephan and Nandy Ronart, Concise Encyclopaedia of Arabic Civilization: The Arab East, Amsterdam: Djambatan, 1959; New York: Praeger, 1960

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Archives In the case of famous men and women, and above all writers, their life writing is normally preserved in manuscript form by their families and by universities and research institutes. However, a number of institutions also archive life writings by ordinary people. They deal with diaries, letters, and autobiographies, but also other family writings, collections of poems, recipe-books, and other materials. Often these institutions are linked to universities, but sometimes they are independent, created exclusively to archive life writing. Most of the latter are in Europe and North America, where the tradition of archiving this kind of material started at the beginning of the 20th century. We can distinguish three “generations” of this type of institution: the first is linked to intellectual traditions engaged in the rebirth of a nation; the second is a consequence of fieldwork in history and sociology in the middle part of the 20th century, when these studies were concerned, above all, with specific social groups (women, workers, young people, and so on); the third is the generation of “archives of the self”, founded not to gather material for research in the social sciences, but to claim the right to archive autobiographical writings from both wellknown individuals and ordinary people. The method of collecting material varies according to the activities and the particular focus of an archive. Very often, an archive is also a centre for research. Historically, material has been collected through the gathering of ethnological data, the organization of autobiographical contests, the creation of a net of correspondents, or appeals to people (by radio and newspapers) to send in their personal writings. Although globally there are an enormous number of archives with a declared interest in life writing, particularly in North America and Australasia, there has been little organizational coordination or intellectual analysis of these as a group. There are, however, a number of European institutions that belong to a network and share an explicit identity as archives created explicitly to house life writing, and deserve extended comment here. It should be said, however, that archives elsewhere generally follow the pattern of “three generations” outlined above. Finland has pioneered the archiving of life writing in Europe. The State Archives contain collections of life writings produced by important families (the most ancient dating from 17th century) and from various professionals such as statesmen, politicians, businessmen, civil servants, clergymen, scientists, and successful artists. Literary studies of the Kalevala, the great Finnish epic poem, which carried considerable significance during the constitution of the Finnish nation, led to the collection of (oral) life histories, then to the gathering of life writing. The Folklore Archive of the Finnish Literature Society, for example, has been collecting the life histories of ordinary elderly men and women since at least 1923. Nevertheless, it is quite impossible to know how many of these texts it contains today, because a large part of this material, in an archive system concentrating on folklore, has been classified as being of literary origin, as “fiction” or booklore. In contrast, the Literature Archive of the Finnish Literature Society, the central archive for literary research in Finland, contains autobiographies of young writers produced in response to a competition held by the Otava publishing company in 1972. There are also other Finnish

archives that collect life writing: the National Board of Antiquities, whose oldest life-history materials (in the ethnological section) date from 1900, the Workers’ Archive, and the People’s Archives, where sociologists work on the life writings of ordinary people. These latter Finnish institutions collect life writing through autobiographical contests, a method originating in Poland, which owns the oldest and richest autobiographical archives in the world. After the studies that led to the publication of The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1918–20), a study on Polish emigration in the United States (in collaboration with William I. Thomas at the University of Chicago) using the letters and autobiographies of emigrants, the sociologist Florian Znaniecki returned to Poland, where in 1921 he founded the Sociological Institute and organized the first autobiographical contest. The method, which consisted of asking people from specific social groups to submit their autobiographies and giving a prize to the “best one”, spread throughout the whole of Poland where the intelligentsia was committed to the reconstitution of a “national memory” following the regaining of Polish independence in 1918. Some of these texts, which were published regularly, were considered a sort of popular literature and enjoyed great success. Autobiographical contests were subsequently organized by universities and cultural institutes, but also by newspapers and radio stations. The materials obtained were kept by the organizing institutions, or were given to the archives. Today there are three archives of life writings in Poland: the oldest, the Pamietnikarstwo Polskie, contains more than 500,000 autobiographical texts; the more recent ones, Karta and the Archive of the Popular Polish Republic, both founded in 1980, held 4200 autobiographical texts by 1999. Additionally the National Library of Warsaw’s manuscript department contains life writings of ordinary people, as well as important historical figures, with the earliest dating back to the 15th century. In Britain, an original centre, created in 1937, is the Mass Observation project, founded by the anthropologist Tom Harrisson, the documentary maker Humphrey Jennings, and the surrealist poet Charles Madge, in order to develop a method of analysing English society from the inside. This project of “selfanthropology”, by which the theories of surrealist poetry were applied as a scientific method, was based on personal writings and on written observations of society produced by ordinary people. A panel of correspondents either answered open-ended questionnaires on specific matters, called directives, or submitted personal diaries which provided a particularly rich source of information on everyday life during World War II. The project was revived as an archive in 1981 at the University of Sussex, Brighton, and a new panel has been recording everyday life in Britain since 1981. It is, however, the only archive that works primarily with a panel of correspondents (currently 400–strong), whose identity is protected by the allocation of personal membership numbers which they attach to the texts they send. The “second generation” archives in Europe are found primarily in Germany, Austria, and Italy, all founded in the 1970s and 1980s. In Germany, the University of Bochum houses the Bochumer Auswandererbrief-Sammlung (5000 emigrants’ letters); another, the Archiv Kindheit-Jugend in Siegen, concentrates on the personal writings of young people:

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diaries, letters, and essays written for a contest organized in 1983, but also drawings, photos, and a very good library of childhood autobiographies, most of which are already published. Other centres include the Deutsches Gedächtnis of the University of Hagen (which contains chiefly oral histories, but also the Rössler-Archiv für Schuleraufsetzen, a collection of 80,000 essays and a number of short autobiographies written by young people between 1948 and 1956) and the Erzählarchiv in Tübingen, where there are several hundred unpublished autobiographies by minor writers and lesser literary “professionals”. These centres are normally linked to universities, but in Germany there is one significant exception: an archive created by a writer, Walter Kempowski. In 1979 he asked people, via newspapers and the radio, to send him their personal and family writings in order to give him “historical data” for his work. Following this, he wrote and published a large number of novels, and, most importantly, he received around 5000 autobiographical texts; he collected these and created in Hamburg the Kempowski-Archiv für unpublizierte [unpublished] Biographien. The activities of these bodies are varied: they often operate simultaneously as archives, research centres, publishers (of the texts they receive), and museums (see for example the Deutsches Gedächtnis, publisher of the review Bios: Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History). In this sense, the most active are the Dokumentation lebensgeschichtlicher Aufzeichnungen in Vienna, which is also the source of an archive on the personal writings of women, the Frauennachlässe (which inspired a group of Czechoslovakian historians to create a similarly titled centre in Prague), and the Archivio della Scrittura Popolare in Trento, Italy. The Archivio’s researchers have so far concentrated on memories of World War I and have founded a Federation of Italian Life-Writing Archives, which organizes an annual symposium for Italian students of autobiographical writings. By 2001 this archive was to open a section that would contain correspondence received from famous historical, literary, and media figures. In such centres, often created to record history “from below”, and where material arrives spontaneously, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, literary historians, psychologists, and linguists can find rich data. In all the archives mentioned above (which, unless otherwise specified, contain several hundred texts) the authors are generally well known and all the texts are read and catalogued (title, length, contents, historical events the author has lived through, famous people he or she has met, places he or she lived in or travelled to, and so on). In the first and second “generations” of archives the works are also often published; in the third publication is rarer, but the rights always belong to the authors. Among the “third generation” of archives one can find a number of centres founded since the 1980s not by researchers, but by people interested in writing and conserving life writing, a genre considered as a creative democratic act that every individual has the capability of producing. These centres include: the Archivio Diaristico Nazionale in Italy (Pieve Santo Stefano; 4200 texts); the Association pour l’Autobiographie (cofounded by the autobiography theorist Philippe Lejeune, in Ambérieu en Bugey; more than 1000 texts) and Vivre et l’Ecrire (Orléans; hundreds of diaries and thousands of letters by young people, not catalogued) in France; the Tagebuch-Archiv

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(Emmendingen; 200 texts) in Germany; and the Arxiu Memoria Popular (La Roca del Vallés; fewer than 100 texts) in Spain. These archives are very varied, because they respond to different social needs: the Italian centre is a municipal institution, founded by journalist Saverino Tutino to give everyone the right to “make history”, and to obtain an “archive of the present” using the method of the autobiographical contest; the Association pour l’Autobiographie, on the other hand, is an association where members read the texts of the other members, meet regularly, publish a review, and refuse to institute any competition or publications, to stress that their organization focuses on meetings around the “autobiographical act and experience”. The German Tagebuch-Archiv archive is a communal institution, which local politicians encourage to gather the memories of ordinary people to rebuild a national history; it refuses the contest method and gives a number of public readings of the texts it receives. In contrast, the Spanish Arxiu Memoria Popular is built on the Italian model. In the United States and Canada, life-writing materials tend to exist rather more as sub-categories of large, general historical, sociological, literary, or folkloric collections, which have emerged on the lines of the second and third generations of the European archives. Notable centres include: the Library of Congress (Washington), as in the Congressional Archives; the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas (Austin) which holds much on British literature that came on the market in the 1950s; Harvard University’s Houghton Library (Cambridge, Massachusetts), and the Widener as well; Yale University’s Bieneke Library; the Huntington Library in Pasedena, California; the Newberry in Chicago; the principal library at Berkeley, California; the Fales at New York University; the main library at the University of Indiana, which has huge collections in medieval and folklore studies; and the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, Massachusetts), an extensive library of original editions of books published by American authors. For African American texts, the Schomburg Center in New York is an important source (the Schomberg Library of 19th-century black women writers series, edited by Henry Louis Gates, is a published archive in a sense). In Canada, there is the Library of Canada in Ottawa, and the Thomas Fischer Library, part of the Roberts Library complex at the University of Toronto. In Australia, the terms “life writing” and “life history” are generally not used in relation to archives. Collection managers instead use the term “personal papers” to cover a variety of material. Each state (and the federal government) has a major publicly funded library that also has a manuscripts section. The manuscripts section actively seeks out personal papers, and these often include diaries, letters, and other kinds of autobiographical writings. Most of these libraries also have important oral-history collections, the biggest and oldest such collection being that of the National Library of Australia. These state and federal institutions sometimes also fund projects specifically designed to gather what might be termed “life histories” (although this is not what the institutions call them). A notable example is the “Bringing Them Home Oral History Project”, funded by the commonwealth government, and organized by the National Library of Australia. The project arose out of the report of the “National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Children from Their Families”. Its aim is to collect and preserve a range of stories

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(with eventual publication of some material) from the Australian indigenous people and others involved in the process of child removals, and is seen as an important step in the process of reconciliation between the indigenous people and other Australians. This initiative reflects the broad trend, outlined earlier in this essay, in which archives are used to review the constitution of national identity, particularly appropriate in the postcolonial world. The principal remaining archival / manuscript collections containing personal papers are based in universities. Again, some universities also house oral-history projects to help build up the “life history” side of their collections (though again, this particular terminology is not current). One such collection is the Oral History Program in the University of New South Wales Archives, which not only collects interviews, but also uses survey-based work, where, through in-depth questionnaires, respondents essentially write their memoirs in reply to specific questions. The subjects are also encouraged to donate other material about their lives (including photographs, notebooks, journals, etc.). This kind of survey-based work, like much of that in Europe, arose out of fieldwork in the disciplines of history and sociology. The Australian War Memorial is a publicly funded national institution that includes a substantial research collection. It is a major resource for material on Australian military history, the armed forces, and the sociological aspects of war. Of relevance to life writing is its substantial collection of private records donated by veterans from all walks of life and socio-economic classes, including letters, postcards, diaries, manuscripts, and interviews. They cover the lives of soldiers not only in wartime, but also before and after war service. Finally, it is worth noting that there are also some important private collections, which have been established to document personal lives along with social movements. These include the Australian Gay and Lesbian Archives in Melbourne and the Jesse Street Women’s Library and Archive, which documents feminism in Australia. Anna Iuso Julia Horne (Australia sections) Further Reading American Library Association, Letters, Diaries and Lives: Women’s Special Collections and Archives, Dallas, Texas: Acts, 1989 Antonelli, Quinto and Anna Iuso (editors), Vite di carta, Naples: L’Ancora, 2000 Barkow, Ben (editor), Testaments to the Holocaust (microform), Woodbridge, Connecticut: Primary Source Media, 1998 (archives of the Weiner Library) Britton, Heather, “Writing for Posterity: Cultural Heritage Collections and Community Writing in South Australia”, Artwork Magazine, 21 (December 1993): 10–13 Buchanan, Heather, Guide to Women’s Sources at National Archives, Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand: National Archives, 1993 Buss, Helen and Marlene Kadar (editors), Working in Women’s Archives: Researching Women’s Private Literature and Archival Documents, Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2001 Daniels, Maygene F. and Timothy Walch (editors), A Modern Archives Reader: Basic Readings on Archival Theory and Practise, Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, 1984 Dean, Joanna and David Fraser, Women’s Archives Guide: Manuscript Sources for the History of Women, Ottawa: National Archives of Canada, 1991

Dulczewski, Zigmunt, “Florian Znaniecki as the Originator of the Autobiographical Method in Sociology”, Sysyphus: Sociological Studies, 2 (1982): 75–86 Elder, Glen H., Eliza K. Pavalko and Elizabeth C. Clipp, Working with Archival Data: Studying Lives, Newbury Park, California: Sage, 1993 Fortunoff Video Archive, Guide to Yale University Library Holocaust Video Testimonies: Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, New York: Garland, 1990 Friedlander, Saul, Archives of the Holocaust: An International Collection of Selected Documents, New York: Garland, 1989 Hämmerle, Christa, “Récits de vie à Vienne”, Cahiers de Sémiotique Textuelle, 20 (1991): 103–14 Heinritz, Charlotte, “Les Archives biographiques en Allemagne”, Cahiers de Sémiotique Textuelle, 20 (1991): 87–102 Hildenbrand, Suzanne, Women’s Collections: Libraries, Archives, and Consciousness, New York: Haworth Press, 1986 Iuso, Anna, “Les Archives du moi, ou, la passion autobiographique”, Terrain, 28 (March 1997): 125–38 Iuso, Anna, “Per una genealogia europea” in Vite di carta, edited by Quinto Antonelli and Iuso, Naples: L’Ancora, 2000 Lejeune, Philippe (editor), “Archives autobiographiques”, special issue of Cahiers de Sémiotique Textuelle, 20 (1991) Lichtman, Allan J., Your Family History: How to Use Oral History, Personal Family Archives, and Public Documents to Discover Your Heritage, New York: Vintage, 1978 McPaul, Christine, “Creative Acts: Archives, Artifacts and Australian Women’s Autobiographies”, Australian Literary Studies, 17/3 (1996): 304–09 Markiewicz-Lagneau, Janina, La Formation d’une pensée sociologique: la société polonaise de l’entre-deux-guerres, Paris: Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1982 Martin, Sylvia, “Reading Life Writing: Australian Women’s Letters and Diaries”, Hecate, 18/2 (1992): 126–37 Mellor, Doreen, “Bringing Them Together: The Partnerships Being Forged by the National Library’s ‘Bringing Them Home Oral History Project’”, National Library of Australia News, 10/9 (2000): 19–21 Peltonen, Ulla-Maija, “Biographische Sammlungen in Finnland”, Bios: Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History, 1 (1988): 89–93 Peltonen, Ulla-Maija, “Working-Class Lore in Finnish Archives” in To Work, to Life or to Death: Studies in Working-Class Lore, edited by Flemming Hemmersam, Copenhagen: Selskabet til Forskning Arbejdebevaegelsens Historie [Society for Research in the History of the Labour Movement in Denmark], 1996 Poignant, Roslyn, “Wudayak / Baman (Life History) Photo Collection: Report on the Setting up of a Life History Photo Collection at the Djomi Museum, Marringrida”, Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2 (1992): 71–77 Powell, Graeme, “The Collecting of Personal and Private Papers in Australia”, Archives and Manuscripts: The Journal of the Australian Society of Archivists, 24/1 (1996): 62–77 Rawitsch, Mark Howland, Family Archives: History in Human Terms, Riverside, California: published by the author, 1976 Read, Janet and Kathleen Oakes, Women in Australian Society, 1901–45: A Guide to the Holdings of Australian Archives Relating to Women, 1901–45, Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1977 Sheridan, Dorothy, “Writing to the Archive: Mass-Observation as Autobiography”, Sociology (special issue on autobiography), 27/1 (1993): 27–40 Sheridan, Dorothy, Brian Street, and David Bloome, Writing Ourselves: Literacy Practices and the Mass-Observation Project, London: Hampton Press, 1999 Somerville, Margaret, “Life (Hi)story Writing: The Relationship between Talk and Text”, Hecate, 17/1 (1991): 95–109 United States National Archives and Records Administration, Women’s Lives – Women’s Voices: Sources in Women’s History in the Records of the National Archives, Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995 United States National Archives and Records Administration, Black Studies: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm

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Publications, Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1996 Walch, Timothy, Our Family, Our Town: Essays on Family and Local History Sources in the National Archives, Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1987 Ward, Beverley, “The Edited Topical Life History: Its Value and Use as a Research Tool”, Education Research and Perspectives, 26/2 (1999): 45–60 Znaniecki, Florian, “The Importance of Memoirs for Sociological Studies”, Sysyphus: Sociological Studies, 2 (1982): 9–15

Arenas, Reinaldo

1943–1990

Cuban novelist, poet, and autobiographer Traditional autobiography often involves authors’ narrative subordination of their younger selves with the aim of recounting supposedly real experience in the past to explain their current situations. According to these terms, the Cuban Reinaldo Arenas’s swan song, Antes que anochezca (1992; Before Night Falls: A Memoir), finished shortly before his suicide, in anticipation of his imminent death from AIDS, might be considered a perverse text. Its narrative authority is shattered by situational dispersal, represented by a structure consisting of a series of interrelated but self-expository vignettes and liberal quotation from, or allusions to, his own or others’ texts. Grotesque exaggeration and caricature also help to undermine autobiographical authenticity in an inversion of the autobiographical grounding of much of Arenas’s fiction. If death is the spur to writing his autobiography, textuality promises Arenas a way of prolonging life beyond his own physical death as well as a space where the representation of oppressive figures in his life, particularly Fidel Castro, allows the opportunity for revenge through extreme condemnation, defamation, and ridicule. While Castroist Cuba is represented as the Inferno that Arenas directly blames for his own death, his reverent homage to one of his mentors, Virgilio Piñera, and his prayer to him at the beginning of the autobiography, asking for enough time to finish his final work, installs Piñera as a Caribbean Virgil. Piñera’s death in Cuba in 1979 as a disgraced writer and his subsequent revival in Arenas’s text perhaps rehearses Arenas’s own wish to be reborn as a literary point of reference for Cuban writers in the future, to whom he bequeaths his life /story. As an integral part of the account of his life as a child and adult, the book dwells on Arenas’s discovery, gleeful pursuit, and assertion of his homosexuality, an orientation that he claims is widespread even among the most stereotypical representatives of Cuban machismo. (As a full-length gay autobiography in a non-western context, the book is, however, still quite unusual.) The tone and style of his representation of Cuban homosexuality range among the picaresque, the Arcadian, the righteously angry, and the scandalously crude. Against the background of hypocritical Caribbean homophobia, of which the Cuban Revolution’s persecution of homosexuals, including Arenas, has been but one manifestation, Arenas’s literary shock tactics are unashamedly clear. But beyond these, homosexuality comes to represent one aspect of the freedom Arenas craves throughout the account of his life, and at whose denial, primarily by the

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Castro regime, he rages. It is interesting in this respect that the descriptions of his earliest sexual escapades, when he was about six years old, are juxtaposed with celebrations of the landscape and natural world of the Cuban countryside, where he spent his childhood. Such nostalgia for his roots is counterpointed with the defiantly rootless freedom afforded by his writing, the conditions for which are constituted painfully by internal exile, on the run from the Cuban authorities, or fairly high-profile dissidence abroad as part of the Cuban diaspora. Arenas associates such nostalgia and the painful freedom of his subsequent life with two women: his grandmother and his mother. To the first (an illiterate peasant woman but also a repository of folk culture, belief, and imaginative skills such as storytelling) he attributes his sense of life’s mystery and hidden possibilities, and to the second (who taught him the actual skills of reading and writing), his literacy. In fact, Arenas places women at the centre of Cuban life as those at the hub of family life, as the spur to his own development as a writer, and at the gates of popular and high culture. His father is absent from the beginning of Reinaldo’s life, having abandoned the writer’s mother before he was born. The matrilinearity of Arenas’s formation thus contests the patriarchal authority of Caribbean machismo and, as he presents it, the Cuban Revolution. The staging posts of Arenas’s personal history – from rural backwater, to the stultifying provincialism of the town of Holguín, to the cultural excitement and sexual promise of city life in Havana, and finally metropolitan life in the United States – do not form a progressive map towards freedom. In all these locations, any measure of freedom is delimited but also provoked into defiant existence by oppressive limitations. These are, respectively, machista rural values so prevalent that Arenas is wracked with guilt as a child for his first sexual escapades; the seeds of disillusionment, sown by the revolution he fervently supported after arriving in Holguín; the full brunt of state oppression suffered by him following his artistic acclaim and gay relationships in the capital; and the crassness of American life in general and Cuban American life in particular, as well as the physical ravages and social stigma attached to any AIDS sufferer. The very title of the autobiography communicates the ethos of struggling against crushing limitations: having to write before the darkness of nightfall when he was on the run and living in Havana’s Lenin Park, and snatching some semblance of life and agency from disease and imminent death. At all levels, Arenas’s text attempts to undermine authority and reclaim a true revolutionary freedom that might break the bounds imposed by not only political contingency but also the biological limits of the autobiographer’s life. John D. Perivolaris Biography Born in the province of Holguín, Cuba, 16 July 1943. His formal education was sketchy and he was largely self-taught. Researcher at José Martí National Library in Havana, 1963–68: befriended by Eliseo Diego, Cintio Vitier, and other intellectuals who worked there. Published Celestino antes del alba (Singing from the Well), the first of five semi-autobiographical novels, 1967. Editor of La Gaceta de Cuba, 1968–74. Had manuscripts confiscated and was denied access to employment. Imprisoned in El Morro, Havana, 1974–76. Left Cuba during the Mariel exodus in 1980. Published La vieja Rosa (Old Rosa), the first of a cycle of short novels, 1980. Professor of Cuban literature, University of Florida, 1980; Professor of literature, Cornell University,

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1985. Also published poetry, notably Leprosorio [1989; The Leper Colony]. Became terminally ill with AIDS. Committed suicide in New York, 7 December 1990.

Selected Writings Antes que anochezca, 1992; as Before Night Falls: A Memoir, translated by Dolores M. Koch, 1993

Further Reading Angvik, Birger, “Textual Constellations: AIDS and the Love of Writing in the Postmodern Era”, Journal of Latin American Studies, 7/2 (1998): 165–83 Ellis, Robert Richmond, “The Gay Lifewriting of Reinaldo Arenas: Antes que anochezca”, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 10/1 (1995): 126–44 Estévez, Abilio, “Between Nightfall and Vengeance: Remembering Reinaldo Arenas” in Bridges to Cuba / Puentes a Cuba, edited by Ruth Behar, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995 Reid, Alastair, “Troublemaker”, New York Review of Books, 40 (18 November 1993): 23–25 Soto, Francisco, Reinaldo Arenas: The Pentagonía, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994

Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von

1785–1859

German letter writer The life writing of Bettina [or Bettine] Brentano-von Arnim should not be read as an attempt to represent factual events. In the three epistolary texts in question – Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde (1835; Goethe’s Correspondence with a Child), Die Günderode (1840; translated as Günderode or Correspondence of Fräulein Günderode and Bettine von Arnim), and Clemens Brentanos Frühlingskranz [1844; Clemens Brentano’s Spring Wreath] – Brentano-von Arnim reconstructs her relations to these friends and relatives in a way at once more greatly subjective and more greatly objective. Each text is based on actual correspondence between the author and the person named in the title, but in each case the epistolary material has been radically enhanced and /or altered. Literary critics have been most disturbed by the factual inaccuracies in Brentano-von Arnim’s Goethe text. The most notable example is a letter the author allegedly received from Goethe’s mother, one she dated after Frau Rath Goethe had died. However, this is a trivial error compared with the bemoaned misrepresentation of her relationship to the great poet. Brentano-von Arnim had met Goethe, written him admiring letters, and received a few responses in a distant tone. The relationship she portrays is one in which, for instance, she becomes the muse for poems he actually wrote for other occasions and to other people. While the actual correspondence is rather brief, her epistolary Goethe text is very lengthy. This, Brentano-von Arnim’s first publication, is the one with which she probably took the most liberties. However, it is unlikely that any of these objections would have unnerved Brentano-von Arnim in the slightest. For this late-Romantic author reality existed on a different plane from actuality, and her subjective representation of this relationship may be considered true for her perception of it. Brentano-von Arnim’s portrait of her admiration for the poet (who is not presented uncritically) and their imagined relationship charts the development of her own

interest in the aesthetic and literary ideals of Goethe, her own muse, to whom she wrote this monument. Die Günderode portrays the author’s friendship with the poet Karoline von Günderode (1780–1806), which lasted from 1804 until the poet’s suicide. Brentano-von Arnim characterizes the interchange in the relationship as occurring between friends with vastly different philosophies and views on aesthetics. Günderode argues for a view of life and authorship that resembles the prevailing one, while Bettina Brentano proposes one that integrates spontaneity into art and aesthetics into life. Hers is an essentially Romantic view of the inseparability of art and life, but without the characteristic Romantic attraction to the primacy of the Ideal. For Brentano-von Arnim failure to enhance daily reality suffocates life. This theme is further modulated in her third epistolary text, a correspondence with her brother, the Romantic poet Clemens Brentano (1778–1842). The early intimacy of their relationship is gradually destroyed as he recommends, even insists, that she adopt behaviour appropriate for a conventional young woman. They are his Romantic ideals of feminine behaviour, and she ultimately rejects them as stifling her aesthetic, personal, and social desires. Of the two, she is the one concerned to create a new reality and integrate her ideals into daily life. Read in their biographical order, rather than the order of publication, these texts present a view of Brentano-von Arnim’s development as one that occurred in and through these essential relationships. Although the concept of unique “personality” formed the core of her self-understanding, the conceptualization of her “self” and her development is exclusively a relational one. Throughout these texts, named after her correspondents, her growth is conditioned by their “personalities”. They represent simultaneously a portion of her “self” as well as the limits or options she ultimately rejects for the sake of her “self”. Thus, for all the subjectivity of the texts, Brentano-von Arnim has given us a more open view of the development of her personality, one which the reader must labour to interpret. According to reports Brentano-von Arnim spent many hours reworking these texts, polishing the “spontaneous” style. In addition to these biographical epistolary texts (some refer to them as novels), she wrote other epistolary or conversational texts with a greater political content: Dies Buch gehört dem König [1843; The King’s Book], and Gespräche mit Dämonen [1852; Conversations with Demons]. Since her death various portions of her actual correspondence have been published. Unfortunately, although much of her correspondence with Goethe is extant, very little of her original correspondence with Karoline von Günderode or with her brother Clemens has survived. Katherine R. Goodman Biography Born Catharina Elisabetha Ludovica Magdalena Brentano in the German city of Frankfurt-am-Main, 4 April 1785; sister of the Romantic poet Clemens Brentano. Brought up by her grandmother, the writer Sophie von La Roche, after her mother’s early death. Educated at a convent in Fritzlar, 1794–97, then in Offenbach, Frankfurt, and Marburg. Became a friend of Goethe, whom she met in 1807. Married the Romantic poet Ludwig Achim von Arnim, 1811: seven children. Spent some of her married life on their estate, Wiepersdorf. Moved to Berlin without her husband, 1817. Hosted a literary and political salon; associated with Ludwig Tieck, the Grimm brothers, the

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Humboldt brothers, Friedrich Jacobi, and F. Schleiermacher; was also acquainted with Beethoven, Franz Liszt, and Hans Christian Andersen. Began her literary career after her husband’s death in 1831. Oversaw the publication of a complete edition of his works. Died in Berlin, 20 January 1859.

Selected Writings Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde: seinem Denkmal, 1835; edited by Waldemar Oehlke, 1984; edited by Walter Schmitz and Sibylle von Steinsdorff, 1992; as Goethe’s Correspondence with a Child, translated in part by the author, 2 vols, 1837; book 3 translated as The Diary of a Child, 1838; translated by Wallace Smith Murray in German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, vol. 7, 1913 Die Günderode, 2 vols, 1840; edited by Elisabeth Bronfen, 1982; as Correspondence of Fraülein Günderode and Bettine von Arnim, translated by Margaret Fuller and Minna Wesselhöft, 1861 Dies Buch gehört dem König, 2 vols, 1843; edited by Ilse Staff, 1982 Clemens Brentanos Frühlingskranz: aus Jugendbriefen ihm geflochten, wie er selbst schriftlich verlangte, 1844 Gespräche mit Dämonen: des Königsbuches zweiter Band, 1852 Werke, edited by Heinz Härtl, 1986— Achim und Bettina in ihren Briefen: Briefwechsel Achim von Arnim und Bettina Brentano, edited by Werner Vordtriede, 2 vols, 1961 Der Briefwechsel Bettine von Arnims mit dem Brüdern Grimm 1838–1841, edited by Hartwig Schultz, 1985 Bettine von Arnims Briefwechsel mit ihren Söhnen, 1999— (vol. 1 edited by Wolfgang Bunzel and Ulrike Landfester)

Further Reading Bäumer, Konstanze, Bettina von Arnim, Stuttgart: Metzler, 1995 Böttger, Fritz, Bettina von Arnim: zwischen Romantik und Revolution, Munich: Wilhelm Heyne, 1994 Daley, Margaretmary, Women of Letters: A Study of Self and Genre in the Personal Writing of Caroline Schlegel-Schelling, Rahel Levin Varnhagen, and Bettina von Arnim, Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House 1998 Drewitz, Ingeborg, Bettine von Arnim: Romantik, Revolution, Utopie: eine Biographie, Dusseldorf: Diederichs, 1969 Frederiksen, Elke P. and Katherine R. Goodman (editors), Bettina Brentano-von Arnim: Gender and Politics, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995 Goodman, Katherine, Dis/Closures: Women’s Autobiography in Germany between 1790 and 1914, New York: Peter Lang, 1986 Waldstein, Edith, Bettine von Arnim and the Politics of Romantic Conversation, Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1988

Artifacts and Life Writing In a broad sense, any personal possession can be considered an auto/biographical artifact. Through the use of insignia, some possessions extend their biographical role by claiming affiliation between the biographical subject and a personally significant group – a clan, religious order, profession, school, military unit, sports team, etc. Some objects, however, embody a more selfaware and deliberate connection between subject and life narrative. The following account explores suggestively rather than exhaustively the autobiographical function of such artifacts. The role of artifacts in life writing can be divided into two broad categories: objects that physically encode auto/biographical information, and objects that have been preserved due to their auto/biographical associations. Both categories participate in the tension between the discursive and the figural that characterizes the relationship between word and image. For this reason, auto/biographical artifacts may be difficult to interpret

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for an observer not already acquainted with the life data represented through the object. In addition, as Mircea Eliade points out: “The use of an object clearly influences the beholder’s presumptions and associations: function guides the projection that the beholder makes. This phenomenon is also familiar from literature, where the reader’s expectations are shaped by the literary genre” (“Iconography”). The practice of graphically representing biographical information predates writing, but writing does not fully replace it. Historically, biographical artifacts have more often been approached anthropologically than textually. For example, funerary objects that indicate the social rank, profession, or gender of the deceased tend to be interpreted by anthropologists in terms of categorical rather than individual significance, although they could not attain the latter without representing the former. The category of objects that physically encode auto/biographical information can be further divided into those that literally incorporate materials from the subject’s life and those that merely represent elements of that life pictorially or graphically. The former, smaller subset is exemplified by quilts made from textiles woven or worn by the subject, or Victorian mourning pictures and brooches made from the hair of the deceased. The larger subset includes such phenomena as totem poles, kente cloth, or Australian “dreamings”, among other things, which tend to broaden the subject of life inscription from the individual to the communal. Although non-verbal in content, auto/biographical artifacts can be approached textually. Totem poles and appliquéd quilts operate pictographically, while kente cloth, pieced quilts, and Australian “dreamings” operate hieroglyphically. The former present the viewer with images that are apprehensible either literally or symbolically, while the latter group is more likely to present design value than information value to the uninitiated observer. A totem pole is “read” from top to bottom, although the largest, most important figure appears at its base. The crest image traditionally identifies the supernatural creature through which a human, by means of a marvellous encounter with the creature, establishes an ancestral connection to divinity; however, since a crest could also be acquired through marriage or by conquest of an enemy family, as well as traded, given as compensation, or appropriated from a family line that had become extinct, it becomes difficult to interpret a totem pole accurately when it is separated from its familial provenance. Grand in scale like totem poles, quilts provide a broad canvas for the representation of the maker’s relationships, ideologies, and tastes. A quilt may depict portraits of loved ones or admired political figures, or it can function as a graphic witness to significant life events such as birth, attainment of majority, marriage, and death. The “album” quilt incorporates not only personally relevant imagery but inscriptions such as names, addresses, dates, statements of relationships, personal messages, and literary quotations which may be inked, stamped, or embroidered on white spaces in the patterns. In such quilts the biographical intention is unambiguous. When a quilt is not textually augmented it may be difficult to determine whether the use of symbolic imagery such as the American eagle and the Whig rose intends a personal statement

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or merely incorporates a motif considered fashionable at the period of its making, unless textual documentation has also been preserved. Even more ambiguous is the biographical content of a pieced quilt of which the geometrical pattern bears a symbolically charged name. The application of the names “Kansas Tears” and “Texas Tears” to the same pattern in different decades of the 19th century points to a specific historical and regional consciousness, but other seemingly political pattern names are known to have been invented by the editors of women’s magazines to give a specious gravitas to fashion. Unlike “traditional” tartan (which actually acquired its semiotics of clan affiliation only in the 18th century, after the English conquerors of Scotland lifted a ban they had imposed on its use), kente cloth patterns are rarely linked to specific lineages; an exception is the “Asasia”, which can be worn only with the permission of the Asantehene or by descendants inheriting that permission. In Africa, kente cloth patterns are more typically linked to the status of the wearers. The traditional patterns, when their names are known, offer a semiotic representation of historical events, philosophy, and politics, among other themes. As is true for pieced quilt patterns, the significance of the names is not clearly visible in the textile. A contemporary wearer choosing a pattern named after a historical event or a proverb may be making a conscious statement or may be choosing only to please the eye. For African Americans, kente cloth has become a symbol of cultural heritage and pride irrespective of regional origin. In contrast to kente cloth patterns, the designs of Australian “dreamings” connect strongly both to clan and to land. While the x-ray representations of animal forms in Australian “dreamings” are clearly comprehensible as images of supernatural beings, the geometrical patterns in this art form mediate between the individual present and the ancestral past by encoding the relationship between primordial beings, people, and place. These designs are conceived as extensions of the ancestral beings themselves and are sometimes referred to as their “shadows”. Aboriginal women use analogous, but genderspecific, systems of design in their sand drawings. The information about kinship, class, renown, or relationship to divinity encoded in traditional artifacts may diminish in its communicative power when such artifacts enter the marketplace. Thus American New Deal-era totem pole restoration projects, even though undertaken by the Indian Civilian Conservation Corps, produced such an increase in white attention to the art form that many traditional carvers were tempted to pander to nontraditional tastes, creating works with more aesthetic than documentary value. The non-African wearer of kente cloth is not entitled to the status claims made by the quality and pattern of the fabric, even if she or he fully understands them, while a contemporary quilter may choose to reproduce the pattern New York Beauty merely because it is visually striking, and not out of a wish to make a statement about the Empire State Building or the ability of railroads to penetrate the Adirondack mountains. At the same time as traditional auto/biographical artifacts can diminish in evocative power through commercialization, commercial products can become “totemized”; gang members may choose off-the-rack garments in identifying colours, for example, while truck drivers in Haiti and Afghanistan intensely personalize their vehicles with paint, beadwork, photographs,

and other materials. Another way in which an artifact not originally designed to convey biographical information can be drawn into the nexus of life writing is through its connection to a significant personal event. Souvenirs and scrapbooks accomplish this connection straightforwardly and so are preserved despite their limited intrinsic value, but other kinds of artifacts attain enhanced value from the life narratives used to justify their preservation. Like totem poles, these artifacts frequently commemorate an encounter with a dignitary; for example, a particular quilt is preserved because, in her childhood, its maker gave a dipperful of water to George Washington on his way from New York to Philadelphia. Such heirlooms become the repositories of family folklore as well as the embodiment of intergenerational continuity, which confers on them a value independent of their aesthetic or economic merit. The auto/biographical function of artifacts, then, is highly contingent on context. Cut off from the communities that create and preserve them, such artifacts may be rendered illegible, translated from the narrative or didactic mode into the discourse of consumption. Joanne B. Karpinski See also Visual Arts and Life Writing

Further Reading Adjaye, Joseph K., “The Discourse of Kente Cloth: From Haute Couture to Mass Culture” in Language, Rhythm, and Sound: Black Popular Cultures into the Twenty-First Century, edited by Joseph K. Adjaye and Adrianne R. Andrews, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997 Burt, Eugene C., Ethnoart: Africa, Oceania, and the Americas: A Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations, New York: Garland, 1988 Christaller, Thomas and Kerstin Dautenhahn, “Remembering, Rehearsal and Empathy: Towards a Social and Embodied Cognitive Psychology for Artifacts” in Two Sciences of Mind: Readings in Cognitive Science and Consciousness, edited by Sean O’Nuallian, Paul McKevitt, and Eoghan MacAogain, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins, 1997 Darling, David and Douglas Cole, “Totem Pole Restoration on the Skeena, 1925–30: An Early Exercise in Heritage Conservation”, BC Studies (Canada), 47 (1980): 29–48 Eliade, Mircea, entry on “Iconography” in The Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Eliade, New York: Macmillan, 1987 Elsley, Judy, Quilts as Textiles: The Semiotics of Quilting, New York: Peter Lang, 1996 Gennari, Silvia, Barbara C. Malt, Meiyi Shi, Steven A. Sloman, and Yuan Wang, “Knowing versus Naming: Similarity and the Linguistic Categorization of Artifacts”, Journal of Memory and Language, 40/2 (1999): 230–62 Hanson, Louise and F. Allan Hanson, The Art of Oceania: A Bibliography, Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1984 Meyer, Laure, Art and Craft in Africa: Everyday Life, Ritual, and Court Art, edited by Jean-Claude Dubost and Jean François Gonthier, translated by Jean-Marie Clarke, Paris: Terrail, 1995 (French edition, 1994) Oberholtzer, Catherine, “The Re-Invention of Tradition and the Marketing of Cultural Values” with French summary, Anthropologica, new series, 37/2 (1995): 121–53 Peterson, Thomas V., “Introduction: Cultural and Historical Interpretation through Nontextual Material”, Historical Reflections, 23/3 (1997): 259–67 Scarry, Elaine, “The Made-Up and the Made-Real” in Field Work: Sites in Literary and Cultural Studies, edited by Marjorie Garber, Paul B. Franklin, and Rebecca L. Walkowitz, New York: Routledge, 1996 Shuman, Malcolm K., “Artifacts and Archeology” in Digging into

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Popular Culture: Theories and Methodologies in Archeology, Anthropology and Other Fields, edited by Ray Browne and Pat Browne, Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1991 Stewart, Hilary, Totem Poles, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1990 Thomas, Nicholas, In Oceania: Visions, Artifacts, Histories, Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1997 Watson, Christine, “Re-Embodying Sand Drawing and Re-Evaluating the Status of the Camp: The Practice and Iconography of Women’s Public Sand Drawing in Balgo, WA”, Australian Journal of Anthropology, 8/1 (1997): 104–24

Asian American Life Writing Asian Americans began emigrating to the United States from the 1840s onwards, and auto/biographical and other accounts of their experiences began to appear from the 1880s. The earliest Asian labour immigrants to America tended to be sojourners, and rarely left behind any English-language accounts of their time in America when they left. However, many other early immigrants, including diplomats, foreign students, and scholars, did write autobiographical accounts of their experiences in America, partly in order to ingratiate themselves with an often hostile, predominantly white, host society. Elaine H. Kim has named these early autobiographers “ambassadors of goodwill”, precisely because of their attempts to promote Asians to America. These accounts include Chinese immigrant Lee Yan Phou’s When I Was a Boy in China (1887), Japanese American Etsu Sugimoto’s A Daughter of the Samurai (1925), Chinese American Lin Yutang’s My Country and My People (1937), Korean American Younghill Kang’s East Goes West (1937), and Filipino American Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart (1946). Somewhat outside the main development of Asian American life writing, but worth mentioning, are the turn-of-the-century Chinese Eurasian sisters, Edith Maude Eaton / Sui Sin Far and Winnifred Eaton / Onoto Watanna, who wrote autobiographical narratives exploring their position as biracial subjects in America. Both sisters adopted pseudonyms in order to write: Edith a Chinese-sounding name, and Winnifred a Japanesesounding name. The early cultural ambassadors were mainly first-generation immigrants, but their writings were later succeeded by accounts authored by American-born Asians, published in the 1940s and 1950s. These narratives include Chinese American Pardee Lowe’s Father and Glorious Descendent (1943) and Chinese American Jade Snow Wong’s Fifth Chinese Daughter (1945). These Chinese American narratives betray their authors’ eagerness to prove their Americanness to a white reading public; but, unlike the earlier autobiographies, this eagerness is coupled with an insistence upon the autobiographers’ right to exist in America. Sau-ling C. Wong has termed these writers’ work “autobiography as guided Chinatown tour” (in King-kok Cheung), because both texts offer a picture of Chinese America as exotic and different. For these American-born writers, America is their only home, so their texts do not reflect the “between-worlds” conflicts of the earlier narratives to the same extent.

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A further group of Chinese American women writers wrote a series of autobiographical pieces from the 1940s onwards. These include Han Suyin’s The Crippled Tree (1965), A Mortal Flower (1966), Birdless Summer (1968), My House Has Two Doors (1980), and the fictionalized Destination Chungking (1942); Helena Kuo’s I’ve Come a Long Way (1942); Mai-mai Sze’s Echo of a Cry: A Story Which Began in China (1945); and a collective autobiography by three sisters, Adet, Anor and Meimei Lin, Dawn over Chungking (1941). These Chinese American life stories have several Japanese American equivalents, although predominantly authored slightly later (between the 1940s and the 1980s). Many Japanese Americans were interned by the United States government during World War II, and much Japanese American life writing during the period 1946–82 focuses on this experience, protesting the treatment of interned Japanese Americans as well as exploring its psychological effects upon the victims. The majority of these narratives are by women, and include Miné Okubo’s Citizen 13660 (1946), Monica Sone’s Nisei Daughter (1953), Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s Farewell to Manzanar (1973), and Yoshiko Uchida’s Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a JapaneseAmerican Family (1982). Texts by male Japanese Americans include Daniel Inouye and Lawrence Elliot’s Journey to Washington (1967), and Daniel Okimoto’s American in Disguise (1981). The era of the civil rights movements saw catalytic changes in Asian Americans’ self-image and a heightened awareness of racial identity for many Asian American writers. This resulted in a new kind of life writing, far more confident in both style and tone. Many of these more contemporary writings are experimental in form, mixing genres such as autobiography and fiction together. The best known of these is Chinese American Maxine Hong Kingston’s pair of memoirs / auto/biographies, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts (1976) and China Men (1980). Both of these texts relate the histories of Kingston’s ancestors: The Woman Warrior of her female relatives, and China Men of her male relatives. The Woman Warrior, in particular, has attracted widespread critical attention and acclaim, partly because of Kingston’s skilful mixing of genres, and partly because of her weaving together of her autobiography with the biography of her mother and other imagined and real female forebears. Another increasingly wellknown example is Korean American Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s multi-genre, experimental text, Dictee (1982). Other Korean American life writing includes Mary Paik Lee’s Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean American Woman in America (1990), and Margaret K. Pai’s The Dreams of Two Yi-Min (1989). Other recent forms of Asian American life writing include biographical work. Ruth Lum McCunn’s fictionalized biography of Chinese American pioneer Lulu Nathoy (Anglicized name Polly Bemis), Thousand Pieces of Gold (1981), is one such example. Another Chinese American example is Lisa See’s epic biography of her family, On Gold Mountain: The OneHundred-Year Odyssey of a Chinese-American Family (1995). A text that crosses the boundary between biography and literary criticism is Annette White-Parks’s literary biography, Sui Sin Far / Edith Maude Eaton: A Literary Biography (1995). Japanese American biographical work includes Akemi Kikumura’s anthropological / autobiographical texts about her parents, Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant

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Woman (1981) and Promises Kept: The Life of an Issei Man (1991). One final form of Asian American life writing that bears mention is the recent trend of writing memoir-as-theory. Chief exponents of this kind of writing are the works of South Asian American women writers, including Meena Alexander’s Fault Lines: A Memoir (1993) and The Shock of Arrival (1996), Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days (1987), and Malayan American Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian American Memoir of Homelands (1996). Japanese American equivalents include Kyoko Mori’s The Dream of Water: A Memoir (1995) and Lydia Minatoya’s Talking to High Monks in the Snow: An Asian American Odyssey (1992). Helena Grice Further Reading Grice, Helena, “Asian American Women’s Prose Narratives: Genre and Identity” in Asian American Studies: Identity, Images, and IssuesPast and Present, edited by Esther M. Ghymn, New York: Peter Lang, 2000 Kim, Elaine H., Asian American Literature: An Introduction to the Writings and Their Social Context, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982 King-kok, Cheung (editor), An Interethnic Companion to Asian American Literature, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997 Lim, Shirley Geok-lin, “Japanese American Women’s Life Stories: Maternality in Monica Sone’s Nisei Daughter and Joy Kogawa’s Obasan”, Feminist Studies, 16/2 (Summer 1990): 289–312 Ling, Amy, Between Worlds: Women Writers of Chinese Ancestry, New York: Pergamon, 1990 Su, Hongjun, “Strangers within Our Gates: A Study of Four First Generation Chinese Immigrant Men’s Autobiographies, 1930s–1940s” (dissertation), Iowa City: University of Iowa, 1996 Wong, Sau-Ling C., Reading Asian American Literature: From Necessity to Extravagance, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993

Aubrey, John

1626–1697

English writer of biographical sketches John Aubrey’s name is remembered today because it is attached to a work he neither published in his lifetime nor finished, Aubrey’s Brief Lives, a title that is most frequently encountered in the footnotes of other biographers. In his own time, he was recognized as an antiquarian, having brought to light the megalithic remains at Avebury and produced numerous accounts (also unfinished and unpublished, but circulated in manuscript) of the topography and archaeology of his native Wiltshire, of Surrey, and Stonehenge. A man of insatiable curiosity, with a vast circle of friends, Aubrey in 1667 offered his assistance to the Oxford chronicler Anthony Wood, who was then beginning to compile the Athenae Oxonienses, a biographical dictionary of the writers and bishops educated at Oxford. Wood, who was as reclusive and unpopular as Aubrey was convivial, accepted the offer with alacrity, and over the next 20 years set Aubrey on a career of biographical investigation. For Aubrey, the task could not have been more congenial. “I am glad you put me on it”, he later wrote to Wood, “I doe it playingly”. Aubrey produced his Lives – or as he called them, “minutes of lives” – “tumultuarily”,

setting down thoughts as they occurred to him or as he received his information, supplying far more than the specific facts Wood had requested (personal observations, the recollections of distant connections – often at second or third-hand – gratuitous anecdotes and credulities), but with little regard for order or stylistic nicety. “First draughts ought to be as rude as those of Paynters,” he told Wood, “for he that in his first essay will be curious in refining will certainly be unhappy in inventing.” “A biography should either be as long as Boswell’s or as short as Aubrey’s”, Lytton Strachey wrote in an essay on Aubrey. On average, Aubrey’s lives were rarely longer than a single page, and he produced 462 of them. The shortest, on Abraham Wheelock, consists of only two words (“Simple man”); the longest, on his good friend the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, runs to about a dozen pages. Aubrey dashed off verbal caricatures that caught and preserved what was most memorable about his subjects. He seized upon details, such as Sir John Denham’s eyes (“1ight goose-gray”), that stared out of a face “unpolished with the smallpox”; they “had a strange Piercingness (like a Momus)” – or Ben Jonson’s – one of which was “lower than t’other, and bigger, like Clum the player; perhaps he begott Clum”. He reported that John Milton pronounced the letter “R” “very hard – a certaine signe of a Satyricall Witt”; that the poet Sir John Suckling was one of the best bowlers in England, but was bad at cards; that Hobbes “would drinke to excesse to have the benefit of Vomiting, which he did easily”. He records the dispositions in terms of the four humours of his subjects and, when possible, the precise hours of their births, for astrological purposes, along with the exact locations of their graves. And if a subject brought an interesting bit of oral history to mind, that too would be included. Indeed, such particulars may be the only justification for commemorating his more obscure subjects. In defence of this practice, Aubrey wrote that “men thinke because every body remembers a memorable accident shortly after tis done, twill never be forgotten, which for want of registering, at last is drowned in Oblivion; which reflection has been a hint that by my meanes many Antiquities have been reskued and preserved”. Such an unmethodical, antiquarian interest in people does not discriminate against rumours and unverifiable beliefs, however, and Aubrey has been generally blamed for his credulousness. He reports that Ben Jonson “killed Mr. Marlow, the Poet, on Bunhill, comeing from the Green-curtain play-house”, and, on the authority of Thomas Hobbes, that Francis Bacon died of a cold contracted when he attempted to preserve the flesh of a chicken by stuffing it with snow. Aubrey, in fact, took pains to determine the accuracy of information, and when possible records the names of his informants. For his life of Milton, he checked and rechecked his notes by interviewing the poet’s widow, his brother, and nephews; and when he encountered contradictory reports, as in the life of Sir Edward Coke, he registered the two contrary assertions impartially, with the complaint, “What shall one believe?”. To Anthony Wood, he made his purpose in the Lives clear: I here lay-downe to you … Trueth, and, as neer as I can and that religiously as a Poenitent to his Confessor, nothing but the trueth: the naked and plaine trueth, which is her exposed so bare that the very pudenda are not covered … So that after your perusall, I must desire you to make a

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Castration … and to sowe-on Figge-leaves … Unfortunately, Wood did not heed this final admonition. In transcribing Aubrey’s life of David Jenkins, the Oxford chronicler included the note that Jenkins might have become a Westminster Judge had he “given money to Chancellor Hyde”, a lapse for which Wood was fined and expelled from the university, his book publicly burned. Aubrey’s authority for the note was Jenkins’s. George Wasserman Biography Born in Easton Piercy, a hamlet in the parish of Kington St Michael, Wiltshire, England, 12 March 1626. Educated at local church schools and at Blandford Grammar School, Dorset. Studied law at Trinity College, Oxford, 1642, 1643, and 1646–48 (studies interrupted by illness and the Civil War), and the Middle Temple, London, 1646–48. Returned home after his father’s death. Spent much of his time on topographical, antiquarian, and archaeological pursuits; drew attention to the megalithic remains at Avebury, Wiltshire, 1649. Began a ruinous lawsuit concerning his encumbered inheritance, 1656. Researched north Wiltshire for a proposed county history from 1659. Elected fellow of the Royal Society, 1663. Embroiled in lawsuit over his disastrous engagement to Joane Sumner, 1665–69. Forced to sell the last of his estates, 1670, and his books, 1677. Granted crown patent to make antiquarian surveys, 1671; made a tour of Surrey, 1673. Wrote a comedy, The Country Revell, never performed. The only work published in his lifetime was Miscellanies (1696), a collection of folklore. Died June 1697.

Selected Writings Lives of Eminent Men, in Letters Written by Eminent Persons in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, vol. 2, edited by J. Walker, 1813; revised as Brief Lives, Chiefly of Contemporaries, 2 vols, edited by Andrew Clark, 1898; as The Scandal and Credulities of John Aubrey, edited by John Collier, 1931; as Brief Lives and Other Selected Writings, edited by Anthony Powell, 1949; as Aubrey’s Brief Lives, edited by Oliver Lawson Dick, 1949 and reprinted 1962 and 1982 Memoir of Aubrey (letters), edited by John Britton and the Wiltshire Topographical Society, 1845

Further Reading Altick, Richard D., Lives and Letters: A History of Literary Biography in England and America, New York: Knopf, 1966 Darbishire, Helen, The Early Lives of Milton, London: Constable, and New York: Barnes and Noble, 1932 Hunter, M., John Aubrey and the Realm of Learning, London: Duckworth, and New York: Science History Publications, 1975 Powell, Anthony, John Aubrey and His Friends, London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1948; revised edition, London: Heinemann, and New York: Barnes and Noble, 1963 Stauffer, Donald A., English Biography Before 1700, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1930 Strachey, Lytton, “John Aubrey” in Portraits in Miniature and Other Essays, London: Chatto and Windus, and New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1931

Augustine, Saint

354–430

Bishop of Hippo and autobiographer Augustine’s magnificent autobiographical Confessiones (written c.397–400; Confessions) has proven perennially captivating not only because it portrays vividly the progress of a life of a great

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sinner to that of a great saint, or because it portrays the sinner himself with exceptional vivacity, but also because it constitutes a conceptually and philosophically rich piece of life writing. It is also one of the most rigorously sustained undertakings of selfinvestigation: throughout its pages, as Augustine writes with characteristic rhetorical power, “I probed the hidden depths of my soul and wrung its pitiful secrets from it” (all quotations are from the Pine-Coffin translation). Augustine, born in Thagaste in Roman north Africa, lived through many of the radical and often dramatic changes in politics, theology, philosophy, and culture at large that together marked the transition from late Roman paganism to early medieval Christianity. As a child he found himself surrounded by the culture of Roman antiquity; nearly 80 years later, as he lay dying, the invading Vandals were advancing rapidly toward his episcopal city of Hippo (now Annaba, Algeria), and early medieval Europe had already taken form out of the steeply declining Roman empire. Augustine, in writing the most influential of all ancient autobiographies, was honest enough a philosopher to extend his self-analysis into the analysis of memory itself. He observes that, despite virtually all of his experience residing within “the vast cloisters of my memory”, despite it being within memory (as he memorably puts it) that we meet ourselves, and despite the prodigious power of memory to plumb its own depths and thus actively to constitute the very subject being investigated, memory is nevertheless insufficient to the task of “understand[ing] all that I am”. And in his distinctive philosophical voice, he adds that: “this means, then, that the mind is too narrow to contain itself entirely”. Pressing beyond autobiographical self-reflection into its curious reflexive logic, Augustine finds himself lost in what he calls a bewildering maze of conceptual difficulties, deeply puzzled about where that part of the mind could be: “Is it somewhere outside itself and not within it? How, then, can it be part of it, if it is not contained in it?” As the 13 chapters unfold, we encounter Augustine’s boyhood, his early religious instruction, and the famous episode of his stealing pears from a pear tree, which he savoured not for the pears but rather for the taste of his “own sin, which [he] relished and enjoyed”, and indeed “it was the sin that gave it flavour”; it is no surprise that he quicky turns from this foundational and metaphorically significant episode to the subject of “lustful caresses” and “unchaste love”. He proceeds chronologically through his self-indulgent time in Carthage, his moving description of the death of a friend, his writing a book on Beauty and Proportion, his Manichean and Neoplatonic periods, his advancement from the literal to the figurative interpretation of scripture, his philosophizing concerning the nature of God and the explanation of evil, his long (and unsteadily prepared) conversion and baptism, and the death of Monica, his mother. At this point (chapters 10–13) the autobiographical writing changes to more purely philosophical and conceptual reflection on problems such as memory, time, creation, form, and matter, and he closes the book with a rigorously sustained allegorical interpretation of the final chapter of Genesis. This rather sudden textual division has provoked debate concerning the true end of the Confessions as composed by Augustine, with some arguing that Monica’s death at the close of chapter nine was the intended end of the autobiography. Be that as it may, we are extremely fortunate to have the last four chapters for all their

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intricate conceptual richness, and indeed we might argue that without seeing the philosopher Augustine we are not seeing the whole Augustine. It is of the essence to Augustine’s thought that, when recounting the experiences of his infancy and youth, he seizes the opportunity to reflect on the nature of language and languageacquisition. He reports that he noticed associations between sounds made and objects in the world and thus came to name the one with the other; he observes (placing emotional experience both logically and psychologically prior to language) that he recognizes jealousy in a baby who does not yet know how to talk and yet “whenever he [the baby] saw his foster-brother at the breast, he would grow pale with envy”. And he learned the “language” of adult facial and bodily gestures as well, relating them to his growing grasp of linguistic meaning. He reflects on his boyhood, noting that he was “a great sinner for so small a boy”; progresses in adolescence to his lust and its consequences – noting in retrospect that, introducing a distinction from Plato (to whom, along with Aristotle, he is considerably indebted), he was happy only on the level of appearance; and, although unbeknown to himself at the time (and thus beginning the debate over self-interpretive revisionism), he was most unhappily suffering in hedonistic anti-salvation. He examines his early subscription to the bifurcated philosophy of the Manicheans. They were followers of Mani, born 216ce in Babylonia, the founder of an influential religion whose central tenet concerned the dualism of good versus evil, where the origins of each are not derived from the same ultimate source but rather stand as metaphysically separate and theologically distinct forces of Light and Darkness, and where both are corruptibly intermingled in embodied humanity. Augustine then examines his subsequent disillusionment over their inability to reconcile their doctrine to empirically proven scientific facts. As an intellectually engaged member of the cultural world of late Roman antiquity, Augustine had an education that placed much emphasis on literary, and particularly rhetorical, study. This emphasis on the masters of Greek and Roman epic and drama clearly shows in his own refined rhetorical facility, and one of his early worldly ambitions was satisfied with the appointment to a chair of rhetoric in Milan. But, like the culture around him, Augustine’s mind was in transition, and he records throughout the Confessions a growing suspicion of rhetoric and its inherent dangers of making the false position appear, through rhetorical redecoration, persuasive: he thanks God for having taught him “that a statement is not necessarily true because it is wrapped in fine language or false because it is awkwardly expressed”. Always the philosopher, Augustine quickly articulates the converse, that “an assertion is not necessarily true because it is badly expressed or false because it is finely spoken”. And, in his distinct philosophical-autobiographical style, he shows an inward suspicion of rhetorical persuasion that parallels his outward suspicion of the rhetorical charm of writers – he is vigilant against the dangers of self-deception, and particularly so, given his background, to the variety of self-deception that is linguistically or propositionally stabilized. Modern readers of the Confessions may not always be convinced that Augustine is immune to that particular danger; his recounting of the heartbreaking necessity of breaking off with his beloved mistress to marry (so heartbroken he took another mistress to fill the void) can give rise to questions of whether he is protesting his own sins

too much, and perhaps satisfying a desire to make the absent lover present (rhetorically if not physically) in a way inconsistent with his textual self-definition. It is, again, in the final philosophical chapters of this adventurous study of selfhood that we find a famous encounter with the problem of evil (if God is omnipotent and benevolent, how can we explain the presence of evil in the world?) and an equally famous encounter with the problem of the nature of time (how can we make sense of the question of what God was doing before creation? What was before the beginning of time?). In the former, evil is reconstrued as a privation, as an absence not yet saturated by goodness and not something substantive in and of itself; in the latter, time is reconstrued not as a self-subsistent entity but rather as a form of relations between temporal events, thus precluding nonsensical rhetoric concerning the time when there was no time. Contained within these remarks is an implicit salutary warning concerning not only the conceptual dangers of rhetoric, or of grammatical appearance, but also the necessity of a particular context for intelligibility. Those issues, along with many others related to Augustine’s great project of selfinvestigation, have been taken up throughout the history of philosophy, and the lengthy list of important thinkers that his work has influenced includes Anselm, Aquinas, Petrarch, Dante, Luther, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein. Moreover, in the centuries following Augustine’s death, there developed within theology what came to be known as Augustinianism or the Augustinian tradition, which, eventually closely linked to the Franciscan Order but widely influential beyond those boundaries, largely dominated medieval thought until the time of Thomas Aquinas and the subsequent legacy of Aristotelian Thomism throughout the late-medieval intellectual world. Augustinians drew from all of Augustine’s voluminous and fortunately well-preserved writings, and, among other tenets, posited faith as a precondition for understanding (codified in Anselm’s maxim Credo ut intelligam: “I believe in order to understand”); they also posited that the human being is a composite of soul and body where the former is (temporarily) using the latter and – resonant with the general idea of the Confessions if not invariably with its exact content – that the soul has direct knowledge of itself (and it is plausible to believe that Augustine exerted a decisive influence on Descartes’s conception of the interior self). But, most centrally, it is in the Confessions that we see the conceptually nuanced encounter of the self with that self’s representation in language. As such, Augustine’s work established a genre of philosophical autobiography defined through moral crisis, self-examination, and confession that has been canonized from Wilhelm Dilthey to Françoise Lionnet as the origin and pattern of Western autobiography. Garry L. Hagberg Biography Born Aurelius Augustinus in Thagaste (now Souk Ahras, Algeria) in the Roman province of Numidia, 13 November 354ce. Brought up as a Christian by his mother, Monica; his father Patricius was a pagan. Educated in rhetoric in nearby Madauros (now Mdaourouch), and went to Carthage to study rhetoric, 371. Abandoned Christianity. Had one son with his concubine, c.373. Adopted Manichaeism, 374. Taught rhetoric in Thagaste, 375–76, in Carthage, 376–83. Became disillusioned with Manichaeism, 383. Sailed to Rome, 383, and turned to Neoplatonism. Taught rhetoric in Milan, where he met Ambrose the bishop, 384–86. Converted to Christianity, 386: baptized by Ambrose,

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387. Mother died, 387. Returned to Africa, 388, and established a monastic community at Thagaste. Son died, 390(?). Was ordained priest in Hippo Regius (now Annaba, Algeria), 391, and became its bishop, 395. Wrote his autobiography, the Confessions. Contended with the Donatist schism, Pelagian heresy, and Vandal invasions, and wrote De Trinitate (On the Trinity) and De civitate Dei (The City of God) in response, among other works. Was the first Christian theologian to elaborate the doctrine of human salvation through divine grace. Died in Hippo, 28 August 430ce. (Feast day: 28 August.)

Selected Writings Confessionum libri XIII, written c.397–400; edited by M. Skutella, 1934, revised by H. Juergens and W. Schaub, 1969; as Confessiones, edited by M. Dubois, 1838, P. Knöll, 1886, and Felice Ramorino, 1909; as Confessions (in Latin), edited by James J. O’Donnell, 3 vols, 1992; books 1–4 edited by Gillian Clark, 1995; as The Confessions, translated by Sir Tobie Matthew, 1624, William Watts, 1631, Edward B. Pusey, 2 vols, 1838, Charles Bigg, 1898, F.J. Sheed, 1943, J.M. Lelen, 1952, Vernon J. Bourke, 1953, R.S. Pine-Coffin, 1961, Rex Warner, 1963, and E.M. Blaiklock, 1983; edited and translated by Henry Chadwick, 1991, and Maria Boulding, 1997 Epistolae; as Le lettere, edited by Luigi Carrozzi, 3 vols, 1969–74; translated as Letters in The Fathers of the Church, edited by Ludwig Schopp et al., 10 vols, 1947–63; as Select Letters (Loeb edition), translated by James Houston Baxter, 1930

Further Reading Brown, Peter, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, London: Faber, and Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967 Chadwick, Henry, Augustine, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1986 Dilthey, Wilhem, Selected Writings, edited, translated, and introduced by H.P. Rickman, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976 Evans, G.R., Augustine on Evil, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982 Gilson, Etienne, The Christian Philosophy of St. Augustine, translated by L.E.M. Lynch, New York: Random House, 1960; London: Gollancz, 1961 Gusdorf, Georges, “Conditions et limites de l’autobiographie” in his Formen der Selbstarstellung, Berlin: Puncker and Humbolt, 1956; in Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980 Hawkins, Anne Hunsaker, Archetypes of Conversion: The Autobiographies of Augustine, Bunyan and Merton, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press, and London: Associated University Presses, 1985 Kirwan, Christopher, Augustine, London and New York: Routledge, 1989 Lionnet, Françoise, Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, SelfPortraiture, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1989 Markus, R.A., entry on Augustine in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Paul Edwards, New York: Macmillan, 1967 Markus, R.A. (editor), Augustine: A Collection of Critical Essays, New York: Anchor, 1972 Martone, John, “Augustine’s Fate”, Southern Review, 23/3 (1987): 597–98 Misch, Georg, A History of Autobiography in Antiquity, translated by E.W. Dickes, 2 vols, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1950 Mourant, John A., entry on “Augustinianism” in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Paul Edwards, New York: Macmillan, 1967 Sorabji, Richard, Time, Creation, and the Continuum: Theories in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, London: Duckworth, and Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1983 Stock, Brian, Augustine the Reader: Meditation, Self-Knowledge, and the Ethics of Interpretation, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1996 Vance, Eugene, “Augustine’s Confessions and the Poetics of the Law”, Modern Language Notes, 93 (1978): 618–34 Weintraub, Karl J., The Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978

Aung San Suu Kyi

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1945–

Burmese political leader and dissident Freedom, human rights, and the restoration of democracy in her native Burma are Aung San Suu Kyi’s principal concerns. Appropriately, this Burmese humanitarian’s first collection of life writing, published in 1991, is titled Freedom from Fear. Daughter of Aung San (as well as his biographer), Burma’s most prominent nationalist leader, Suu grew up with a sense of being closely identified with the destiny of her country. As early as 1972, she writes to her husband, the late English Oxford professor Michael Aris, “I only ask one thing, that should my people need me, you would help me do my duty to them”. Freedom from Fear reflects the aspirations and apprehensions of the Burmese people, always central to Suu’s sense of mission. Structured around a collection of essays, letters, speeches, and interviews, the subject matter of which ranges from biography and politics to literature, this collection resists easy generic classification. The common theme recurring in all her political writings, and this collection is no exception, is the quest for democracy under a tyrannical regime, be it the British Empire or the indigenous Burmese military dictatorship. Divided into two sections by the editor, Aris, the first section “The Inheritance” is primarily engaged with colonial Burma. Suu, as an actively participating presence, is remarkably absent from many of these writings. The essay “My Father” would lead us to anticipate a personalized account of Aung San; instead we are provided with an intellectual, rather than an emotional, understanding of him. Yet, the personal remains yoked to the factual, as the essay “My Country and People” (emphasis added) indicates. Part Two is considerably more eclectic in form, although its subject matter relates exclusively to the violation of human rights in Burma. The first three essays were written for a project that Suu was unable to complete because of her incarceration by the military regime in 1989. Here, occasionally, we are able to see Suu in and through her own writings. For example, in a speech to a mass rally at Shwedagon Pagoda, she defends her role in sustaining democracy in Burma and emphasizes her profound attachment to her country, despite her foreign residence and marriage, thus rejecting the views of detractors who would brandish her foreign links to undermine her. While most of Suu’s other writings are more academic in content, Letters from Burma, published in 1997 and written during her internment, reveal Suu’s intense preoccupation with the restoration of Burmese democracy as well as providing lingering descriptions of the country. In The Voice of Hope (1997), which consists of conversations with the American Burma scholar Alan Clements, she explains in detail why she chose to enter the political fight. She emerges valorous and confident, eager to combat the totalitarian regime head-on. She echoes Freedom from Fear when she says: “Fear is very much a habit. People are conditioned to be frightened”, echoing her ardent belief that it is truth and freedom from fear that ultimately liberates. The Voice of Hope is also much more intensely personal than her other writings, perhaps because the genre of “conversations” allows the interviewer to lead the discussion in whichever direction s/he wants to. Clements often directs the conversation to Suu’s relationship with her mother, her memory of her father, and the manner in which she has raised her children. Here, Suu

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mentions, on her own accord, the pain involved in her decision to return to Burma, leaving her husband and children in England. Since the interviews for The Voice of Hope were conducted 11 months after Suu’s release in 1995, the “mood” of this book is more hopeful than her earlier writings. Suu charts her vision of the future of Burma, claiming that the members of her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), are becoming more and more active, and she is optimistic about the popular support enjoyed by the NLD. Suu concludes with a bright vision for Burma and a clarion call to the rest of the world to help Burma restore Aung San’s dream – the initiation of a popular democracy. It is characteristic that Suu pushes her personal life to the periphery and instead continues to emphasize her role in the troubled political times in Burma. Pallavi Rastogi Biography Born in Rangoon, Burma, 19 June 1945. Her father was Thakin (or Bogyoke) Aung San, leader of Burma’s campaign for independence from Britain; he was assassinated in 1947. Educated at St Francis Convent and the Methodist English High School, Rangoon. Went to live in India with her mother, Khin Kyi, who was Burmese ambassador there, 1960. Attended Lady Shri Ram College and studied politics at Delhi University. Studied philosophy, politics, and economics at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, 1964–67 (BA). Assistant secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, United Nations Secretariat, New York, 1969–71. Research officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bhutan, 1972. Married Dr Michael Aris, a British academic working in the field of Asian studies, 1972: two sons. Visiting scholar, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan, 1985–86. Fellow, Indian Institute for Advanced Studies, Simla, India, 1987. Returned to Burma to nurse her invalid mother, at a time of popular uprising against the failing government, 1988. Led prodemocracy movement and became general secretary of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), 1988. Made extensive campaigning tour of Burma as leader of NLD, 1989. Placed under house arrest in Burma by the military government for attempting to disrupt army activity, July 1989. Prevented from running for election, May 1990. Refused to leave Burma, despite being offered freedom, unless country returned to civilian government and political prisoners released, December 1990. Detained incommunicado under house arrest for five years without charge or trial, 1991. Awarded Nobel Peace Prize, 1991, and established Health and Education Trust in support of the Burmese people with the prize money, 1992. Released from house arrest under pressure from the UN and Amnesty International, 1995. Remained in Burma and continued to campaign for democracy and human rights, despite continuing restrictions on her freedom; refused to leave Burma to visit her dying husband in England for fear of being refused re-admittance to the country. Husband died, 1999.

Selected Writings Aung San (biographical study), 1984; revised as Aung San: A Biographical Portrait, 1991 Freedom from Fear, edited by Michael Aris, 1991, revised 1995 Letters from Burma, 1997 The Voice of Hope: Conversations with Alan Clements, 1997

Further Reading The Words Cry Out: New Writing by Burmese in Exile, Prahran, Victoria: Australia-Burma support group, 1994 Ang, Chin Geok, Aung San Suu Kyi: Towards a New Freedom, New York: Prentice Hall, 1998 Baird-Murray, Maureen, A World Overturned: A Burmese Childhood, 1933–47, London: Constable, 1997; New York: Interlink Books, 1998 Clements, Alan and Leslie Kean, Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit: The

Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity, New York: Aperture, 1994 Khaing, Mi Mi, Burmese Family, Bombay and London: Longmans Green, 1946; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1962 Ling, Bettina, Aung San Suu Kyi: Standing for Democracy in Burma, New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1999 Stewart, Whitney, Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of Burma, Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1997 Victor, Barbara, The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Laureate and Burma’s Prisoner, Boston: Faber, 1998 Win, Kanbawza, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Laureate: A Burmese Perspective, Bangkok: CPDSK Publications, 1992

Aurelius, Marcus

121–180

Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher This Roman emperor has always enjoyed tremendous respect for his outstanding political and military skills, his extensive education and culture, and significant philosophical life writings. He reflected in many ways the best virtues of the ancient Roman world at a time when it was faced with many military, financial, and political crises, and was also experiencing a series of devastating natural catastrophes. During his reign Marcus Aurelius strongly supported the arts, literature, philosophy, and rhetoric, and he himself practised the philosophy of stoicism, which finds extraordinary expression in his autobiographical Meditations. Marcus was considered the last of the five “good emperors” because of his profound concern for the material and spiritual well-being of his people. Under his rule civil law experienced a vast development, since he supported the works of Julian, Gaius, and Papinian, whose writings in turn became the basis for the Digest of Justinian. This represents the basis of modern Western law. Marcus Aurelius was born as Marcus Annius Verus in Rome. His grandfather Annius Verus, a member of the senatorial class, held the office of consul three times. His father, also called Annius Verus, seems to have died when Marcus was still very young. In his youth Marcus had acquired a solid education from his teachers Cornelius Fronto (Latin) and the famous rhetorician and sophist Herodes Atticus (Greek). When he was only 12 years old, he dedicated himself to the study of philosophy and rhetoric, but when he reached the age of 25 years he gained access to Greek literature and philosophy through the writings of the Stoic Aristo of Chios and the teachings of Junius Rusticus. In 137 Marcus was appointed prefect of the Latin festivities at Rome during the absence of the consuls. In accordance with a common practice among Roman rulers, Marcus was, together with Lucius Verus, adopted by the emperor Antoninus Pius in 138; Antoninus Pius had previously been adopted by Hadrian to guarantee the continuity of the line of emperors. In 139 Antoninus appointed Marcus as Caesar. Lucius became coregent between 161 and 169, but after the death of Antoninus Pius Marcus assumed the imperial throne by himself and met with general approval and popularity because of his previously outstanding performance in governmental services. During his reign Marcus had to fight enemies along almost all of the Roman borders, especially along the Danube frontier and in Palestine. While on his last campaign against the Marcomanni and Quadi in the area of modern-day Austria he died in Vindobona

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(Vienna) on 17 March 180. In his personal life the emperor had to witness the many infidelities of his wife, Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus Pius, whom he had married in 145. His son Commodus proved to be a failure as his heir despite an extensive education. Curiously, Marcus, following the laws set up by his predecessors, persecuted the Christians quite harshly, perhaps because of his strong dedication to the pagan gods and his pantheistic beliefs. In his literary self-reflections, composed in the Greek language under the title Ta eis heauton and consisting of 12 books, he briefly outlines his personal development, his schooling, and the influence of his various teachers and relatives. Primarily, however, these life writings contain aphorisms and a detailed outline of the meaning of Stoic philosophy. In addition, the correspondence with his teacher Cornelius Fronto from 139 to 166/67 and political documents from the time of his reign have come down to us. In so far as the emperor rarely found the time during his military campaigns to compose a traditional autobiography, he relied on aphorisms, epigrams, and maxims, such as “let nothing be done rashly, and at random, but all things according to the most exact and perfect rules of art”, or “a man cannot any whither retire better than to his own soul”. By contrast, many Roman emperors before him, such as Augustus, Hadrian, and Tiberius, spent much attention on the very personal and even intimate aspects of their lives when they composed their autobiographies. He made profound statements about morality, ethics, human shortcomings, and ways in which to combat them by means of the new Stoic attitude. He composed his text in Greek because it was the language of intellectuals and fully in his command. The extraordinary wisdom expressed in these Meditations appealed both to his contemporaries and to posterity. Augustine, for instance, recommended to his flock the reading of Marcus’ text as a guide for their own lives. In the first book the author mentions his grandfather, who was a model of generosity and composure, and his father, who was an example of manly virtues and modesty. From his mother, Domitia Lucilla, he learned piety and kindness, whereas his great-grandfather Catillius Severus had ensured that he would be schooled at home. He praises his teachers for their moral and ethical lessons about moderation, frugality, distaste of arrogance, forgiveness, rationality, tolerance, and acceptance of all other people. He also underscored the need to stay away from tyranny, envy, violence, and force. His father demonstrated to him the value of self-control, honour, temperance, friendship, loyalty, open-mindedness, and love of philosophy. Marcus also emphasized the importance of virginity for men as well as women until they marry. Marcus believed in divine providence and the harmony of the universe. According to his convictions true happiness does not exist in the external world, but instead can be found only in the soul. All actions and thought should be guided by the awareness of ever-present death, which must be accepted as part of creation. Excessive search for truth will mislead the individual who is recommended to be content with his or her lot. Only philosophy can guide a person through transitory life, and for Marcus this meant a Stoic attitude in every situation and under every circumstance. The true stoic accepts other people as they are, even with their many faults, and tries to correct their failures in a tolerant fashion. All people are created to work in cooperation with society to improve human living conditions.

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The individual must recognize that he or she is only a small part of nature and will have only a very limited time of life. Albrecht Classen Biography Born Marcus Annius Verus in Rome, 26 April 121ce, into a consular family of Spanish origin. Gained the favour of the emperor Hadrian, who made him a Salian priest at the age of eight, supervised his education, and arranged a marriage. Prefect, Latin festivities in Rome, 137. Adopted (as Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar) by Hadrian’s heir Antoninus Pius, his mother’s brother, when he became emperor in 138. Quaestor, 139; consul with Antoninus Pius, 140, and also in 145 and 161. Married Pius’ daughter, his cousin Annia Galeria Faustina, 145 (died 176): one daughter and one son. Abandoned study of rhetoric and began to study philosophy, c.146–47; influenced by Stoicism. Succeeded Antoninus Pius as emperor, 161. Elevated his fellow consul that year, Lucius Verus, to joint authority with himself. Negotiated with German tribes in Aquileia, 168. Ruled alone after Verus’ death in 169. Fought the Marcomanni and Quadi, two Danube tribes, 170–74. Began to write the Meditations. Visited Syria and Egypt to settle revolts, 175–76. Raised his son Commodus to rank of Augustus, 177. Fought the Marcomanni again, 177–78. Died 17 March 180ce.

Selected Writings Markou Antoninou autokratoros ton eis heauton; as M. Antonini…De seipso seu vita sua liber [I–]XII. nunc primum editi, edited by Wilhelm Xylander, 1559; edited by Joachim Dalfen, 1979, revised 1987; as M. Antoninus imperator ad se ipsum, edited by J.H. Leopold, 1908; as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus the Roman Emperor, His Meditations Concerning Himselfe, translated by Meric Casaubon 1635, revised 1663; as The Emperor Marcus Antoninus: His Conversation with Himself, translated by Jeremy Collier, 1702; as The Commentaries of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus, 1747; as The Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, translated by George Long, 1864, revised 1869; as The Communings with Himself of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Emperor of Rome (Loeb edition), edited and translated by C.R. Haines, 1916, revised 1930; as The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, edited and translated by A.S.L. Farquharson, 1944, Maxwell Staniforth, 1964, G.M.A. Grube, 1983, and Roy Alan Lawes, 1984; as The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, edited by Pierre Hadot, translated by Michael Chase, 1998 The Correspondence of Marcus Cornelius Fronto with Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, edited and translated by C.R. Haines, 2 vols, 1919–20, revised as The Correspondence of Marcus Cornelius Fronto with Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Lucius Verus, Antionius Pius and Various Friends, 2 vols, 1928–29 Letters, edited by L. Pepe, 1957 Fronto: Letters, edited by Michel P.J. van den Hout, 1988 The Meditations and a Selection from the Letters of Marcus and Fronto, translated by A.S.L. Farquharson and R.B. Rutherford, 1989

Further Reading Birley, A.R., Marcus Aurelius: A Biography, revised edition, New Haven: Yale University Press, and London: Batsford, 1987 (original edition, 1966) Farquharson, A.S.L., Marcus Aurelius: His Life and his World, edited by D.A. Rees, Oxford: Oxford University Press, and New York: Salloch, 1951 Herodian of Antioch, Herodian of Antioch’s History of the Roman Empire: From the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, translated by Edward C. Echols, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961 Rist, J.M., “Are You a Stoic? The Case of Marcus Aurelius” in Jewish and Christian Self-Definition, edited by E.P. Sanders, vol. 3, SelfDefinition in the Graeco-Roman World, London: SCM Press, and Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982 Rutherford, R.B., The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: A Study,

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Oxford: Clarendon Press, and New York, Oxford University Press, 1989 Sedgwick, H., Marcus Aurelius: A Biography, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1921; London: Milford, 1922 Watson, Paul Barron, Marcus Aurelius Antonius, New York: Harper, 1884 Theiler, Willy (editor and translator), Kaiser Marc Aurel: Wege zu sich selbst, Zurich: Artemis, 1951

Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Auto/biography The history of Australia is largely a matter of first-person narratives, ranging from the journals of Captain James Cook to the official reports of Arthur Phillip and Watkin Tench of the First Fleet of 1787–88, to explorers’ accounts of expeditions into the interior.Written impersonally according to generic expectations, these narratives at first offered little room for self-presentation, but they were soon joined by others that included the self as well as Australia as an object of interest and discovery. The revolutionary event of coming to Australia, either voluntarily or involuntarily, inspired numerous individuals, who doubtless would never have become autobiographers had they stayed at home, with a compulsion to describe that experience. Extremely mixed in terms of class, ethnic origin, gender, wealth, education, occupation, and literary skill, early colonial autobiographies invariably privilege place over self. Prime motives for writing were the need to explain to relatives and friends the extraordinary differences of Australia from “home” and the desire to maintain relationships severed by distance. Sometimes in the case of convict narrators, the motive was one of selfjustification, protest, or self-rehabilitation in the form of confession. Two narratives in particular have been seminal for historians and writers of the convict period: the Memoirs of James Hardy Vaux (1819) and The Adventures of Martin Cash (1870). Other convicts to record their sufferings, remorse, or sense of outrage are Thomas Cook, John Broxup, S. Cockney, James Connor, William Derricourt, Snowden Dunhill, William Delaforce, Thomas Page, William Gates, and J.F. Mortlock. Two of the most remarkable life stories are Joseph Holt’s Memoirs, republished as A Rum Story (1988), which describes the narrator’s history from hero of the Wicklow rebellion in Ireland to exile in New South Wales, transportation to Norfolk Island, and shipwreck on the Falkland Islands; and Jorgen Jorgenson’s (A Shred of Autobiography 1835 and 1838; republished 1981), which contrasts his two visits to Australia, the first in the early 1800s as a young midshipman and the second as a transported convict. Male autobiographers of this period frequently present themselves in terms of occupation or experience, so that there is a host of personal stories of extraordinary achievement and extraordinary misfortune – by pioneers, naturalists, whalers, seamen, teachers, small settlers, itinerant workers, squatters, military officers, gold diggers, musicians, actors, politicians, ministers of religion, policemen, entrepreneurs, amateur explorers, and adventurers. Extraordinary events are no guarantee of interest, however, and some of the most readable and poignant narratives are the simplest. Education, furthermore, is not always allied with enlightenment, and often the poorly

educated reveal more sympathy and understanding of both convicts and Aborigines and more empathy with the landscape than the conventionally educated. Literary skill also seems to be a more random than predictable quality. Some self-consciously literary or “educated” autobiographies now have a dated air, while others, written by unlikely individuals, are vivid and even gripping. Foster Fyans, captain in the British Army and the author of Memoirs Recorded at Geelong, Victoria, Australia (written in the 1850s, published in 1986) has a gift for witty satire, and George Hamilton’s Experiences of a Colonist Forty Years Ago, and a Journey from Port Phillip to South Australia in 1839 (1879) manages to make even the droving of cattle humorous and lively. Significant male narratives written during the colonial period but often not published until the 20th century include Peter Cunningham’s Two Years in New South Wales (1827), Charles Macalister’s Old Pioneering Days in the Sunny South (1907), George Gordon McCrae’s Recollections of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay in the Early Forties (1909, 1911, and 1912), Newland Simpson’s memoirs (1926), Roger Therry’s Reminiscences of Thirty Years’ Residence in New South Wales (1863), James Bonwick’s An Octogenarian’s Reminiscences (1902), W.A. Brodribb’s Recollections of an Australian Squatter (1883), Charles Cozens’s Adventures of a Guardsman (1848), Edward Curr’s Recollections of Squatting in Victoria, then Called the Port Phillip District, from 1841 to 1851 (1883), Richard Howitt’s Impressions of Australia Felix (1845), and James Backhouse’s A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies (1843). Alexander Harris’s various autobiographical narratives, dense in social detail and presenting rich quarries for historians, are also interesting as examples of Australia’s challenge to the self, which in Harris’s case led to a series of anonymous and pseudonymous ventures into life writing: a semi-autobiographical novel, The Emigrant Family (1849); the more documentarystyle Settlers and Convicts (1847); a series of articles initially titled “Religio Christi” and published in 1858, which are a reworking of the same material and were subsequently published as The Secrets of Alexander Harris (1961); and a more intimate account of his religious conversion, A Converted Atheist’s Testimony to the Truth of Christianity (1848). Other visitors to Australia from Europe also left remarkable accounts of their experiences, including Havelock Ellis in his My Life (1940), Mark Twain in Following the Equator: A Journey around the World (1897), and Anthony Trollope in Australia and New Zealand (1873). Women’s first-person narratives of this period, often preserved in the form of diaries and letters or family journals, generally record deeper levels of self-awareness as a result of their authors’ literary and social confinement to the domestic world. If men were constrained to introduce themselves in terms of occupation, setting themselves within the socio-economic structure of the community, women generally placed themselves within the community of the family, writing as wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers of squatters, missionaries, clergymen, and politicans. Religious experience or physical disability, however, as in Eliza Davies’s An Earnest Life (1881) and Tilly Aston’s Memoirs (1946), sometimes provided an excuse for a more independent approach. Two distinguished women writers of the period also wrote their life stories: Ada Cambridge in Thirty Years in Australia (1903) and The Retrospect (1912), and Rosa

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Praed in My Australian Girlhood (1902) and Australian Life: Black and White (1885). Significant autobiographies by women include Louisa Meredith’s lively and observant Notes and Sketches of New South Wales and My Home in Tasmania (1852), Sarah Musgrave’s The Wayback (1926), Jane Watts’s Family Life in South Australia Fifty-Three Years Ago (1890), Annabella Boswell’s Early Recollections and Gleanings from an Old Journal (1908), and Ellen Clacy’s A Lady’s Visit to the Gold Diggings (1853). The recent interest in women’s diaries and letters from the period suggests that they are often more revealing than publicly conceived memoirs. Annie Baxter Dawbin, for example, the author of a sanitized autobiography, Memories of the Past (1873), also left numerous, more frank and inward diaries that Lucy Frost has drawn on in No Place for a Nervous Lady (1984) and Face in the Glass: The Journal and Life of Annie Baxter Dawbin (1992). Lucy Frost has also edited a critical edition of Dawbin’s Journal from 1858–68 (1998). The discovery of gold and the subsequent gold rush resulted in a greatly increased number of narratives after 1850. Prospecting for gold is itself the subject of many of these narratives, and again gender differences are remarkable. Men often write ostensibly to impart mining information or record the history of rushes, successes, and failures; women to record the social fabric of the goldfields in which their own individual experiences as mothers, daughters, or sisters were interwoven. Reading the gold-rush narratives as a select collection reinforces the impression that those who flocked to the fields came from every walk of life and from a great variety of countries. It also reinforces the historical fact that failure, extreme hardship, and even ruin were more familiar experiences than the discovery of wealth. Two of the most striking narratives in this sub-genre are Emily Skinner’s A Woman on the Goldfields: Recollections of Emily Skinner 1854–1878 (1995) and James Armour’s The Diggings, the Bush, and Melbourne (1864). There are few published biographies in the period although research in recent years has resulted in a host of accounts of major colonial figures. Contemporary accounts include Edwin Hodder’s George Fife Angas: Father and Founder of South Australia (1891), J.F. Hogan’s The Convict King [on Jorgen Jorgenson] (1891), Arthur Patchett Martin’s Life and Letters of the Right Honourable Robert Lowe (1893), John Howlett Ross’s The Laureate of the Centaurs [on Adam Lindsay Gordon] (1888), and John Morgan’s The Life and Adventures of William Buckley (1852). Joy Hooton Further Reading Australian Dictionary of Biography, 14 vols, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, and Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1966–96 Johnston, Grahame (editor), Annals of Australian Literature, Melbourne and New York: Oxford University Press, 1970; 2nd edition, edited by Joy Hooton and Harry Heseltine, 1992 Walsh, Kay and Joy Hooton, Australian Autobiographical Narratives: An Annotated Bibliography, vol 1, To 1850, Canberra: Australian Scholarly Editions Centre, University College, Australian Defence Force Academy, 1993 Walsh, Kay and Joy Hooton, Australian Autobiographical Narratives: An Annotated Bibliography, vol 2, 1850–1900, Canberra: Australian Scholarly Editions Centre, University College, Australian Defence Force Academy and National Library of Australia, 1998

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Australia: 18th- and 19th-Century Diaries and Letters Paper was a precious commodity in colonial Australia. For many years after the first contingent of British soldiers and convicts set foot on the shores of Botany Bay in 1788, it had to be imported. The value of paper, however, lay not only in its distant origin; words on paper alone could communicate across the vast oceans that separated the British colonists from their kin. Letters and journals began flowing back to Britain immediately, and this paper trail continued for as long as people were transported, either involuntarily or voluntarily, across the southern seas. New selves unfold in 18th- and 19th-century Australian letters and diaries, subjectivities forged both through a confrontation with a strange landscape and people and a volatile, protean society offering unexpected possibilities. These colonists and convicts also strove for continuity, and writing was a powerful tool for negotiating selves poised between past and present. The letters of Margaret Catchpole (1762–1819) and Mary Reibey (1777–1855) convey the mundane realities of their convict life, a story not only of hard work but also of struggling to understand the architecture of power and policy. Both women eventually gained respectability, Reibey as a trader, and Catchpole as a farmer, shop owner, and midwife. In their pragmatic use of language – petitioning the colonial authorities, relaying agricultural prices to English friends, and so forth – Catchpole and Reibey disclose selves in tune with the political and commercial ethos of the penal society. William Smith O’Brien (1803–64) and Richard Dillingham (convicted in 1831) represent two extremes of convict experience in the way they could record their lives. Smith O’Brien was an educated and deeply self-aware Irish nationalist British MP convicted of treason in 1848 and transported to Tasmania. Dillingham, an illiterate Bedfordshire rural labourer caught stealing, had his death sentence commuted to Tasmanian exile. Dillingham’s autobiography consists of four brief, awkward, and self-effacing letters, dictated to an amanuensis. These sparse missives sketch nine years of his life from his conviction to gaining freedom. They seem intended less to portray the details of his life than to provide evidence of his continuing survival by the mere act of their arrival. The lengthy, elaborate, and highly ritualistic salutations beginning each letter become explicable in this light. By contrast, Smith O’Brien’s substantial journal, addressed to his wife in Ireland, mingles introspective musings and intimate discussions with weighty cogitations on politics, punishment, and social life – themes already explored in his published works. Kept in solitary confinement for the first two years of his sentence, Smith O’Brien was able to find solace in the mere act of writing. The Australian penal colonies, home to thousands of convicts and troubled by wars with the Aboriginal people, were unlikely to be considered appropriate places for ladies, yet the writings of gentlewomen capture best the difficult process of colonial selfinvention. On the eve of her departure to New South Wales in 1789, Elizabeth Macarthur (1766?–98) wrote to her mother that she was a “warm advocate” of emigration since she held a “reasonable expectation of reaping the most material advantages”. This keen eye for economic advancement was rewarded:

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six years later, and by now a major land-holder, she notes that the colony offers “numerous advantages”. Macarthur’s letters, written over half a century, portray a gentlewoman as competent in business dealings as in the more “feminine” role of raising a family. Elizabeth Fenton, by contrast, found her notions of gentility compromised in convict Tasmania. The wondrous vegetation compensates for her relocation to the southern wilds: she walks for miles with “undiminished interests” along “the banks of the rivers [which] are so endless in rich variety of shrubs”. Fenton admits that this behaviour is not becoming for a lady: if seen she would be “reported insane”. In juxtaposing a lively disrespect for decorousness with proper bourgeois sentiments Fenton’s diary captures the stresses exacted by colonial conditions on codes of behaviour. Women’s letters and diaries are commonly perceived as private documents delineating domestic life. It is certainly true that the writings of the women of Australia’s colonial elite give a vivid picture of the contours of their daily round. While the assumption of a separation of spheres in this period commonly shapes today’s analyses, this abstract dichotomy is not reflected in actuality. Political and personal life, public and private space, cannot be neatly divided for Anne Bourke, daughter of the governor of New South Wales. Late in 1831 she writes in her diary: “you may as well be in the streets as in the drawing room as the verandah is a complete thoroughfare to Papa’s room, and [visitors] generally stray in”. The letters of Fanny Macleay and Eliza Darling, and the diaries of (Lady) Jane Franklin, similarly narrate life stories that challenge Victorian gender ideology. A more familiar female terrain of household and kin, however, is mapped within the diaries of Sarah (d. 1848) and Mary Phoebe Broughton (d. 1867), Annabella Boswell (1826–1916), Georgiana McCrae (1804–90), and Blanche Mitchell (1843– 69), and the letters of Joanna Barr Smith (1835–1919). If certain women of the elite found that the colony allowed them to explore the possibilities of femininity, it is equally true that gender roles became unstable for some men. G.T.W.B. Boyes (1787–1853) was called up for colonial duty in the early 1820s and severed from his young family for nine years. A prolific letter writer, he used his considerable literary arts to maintain conjugal intimacy and familial common ground. No topic was deemed too insignificant to discuss: household rituals, both English and Australian, occupy a prominent place in his letters. The Reverend John Ramsden Wollaston (1791–1856) was past middle age when he emigrated with his family to the Swan River colony in the early 1840s. His observant shipboard journal matured into a self-reflective, highly critical, and engaging commentary on pioneering life. He soon learned that domestic matters were to occupy his time as much as spiritual ones. “Wearied with a heavy wash” began an entry in 1843, and continued “Nothing goes against the grain so much as Washing—I cannot imagine any work more disagreeable & awkward to a Gentleman. They who can have it done for them, and need only to go to their Wardrobe for a clean Shirt, ought to be thankful”. Wollaston’s diary portrays the tortuous process of acclimatizing to colonial conditions. His age and previous status in English society made this all the more troublesome, yet his diary reveals his good-humoured resilience. Many persons of an enterprising spirit were attracted to the Australian colonies in the mid-19th century, often from the middle ranks of society. They were products of a literate culture,

and emigration encouraged their writerly bent. Rachel Henning (1826–1914), Ned Peters (1833–1909), Edward Snell (1820– 80), Sarah Midgley (1831–93), and Richard Skilbeck (1838– 1924), among countless others, found entertainment and improvement in the communion of pen and paper. Annie Baxter Dawbin’s (1816–1905) journals, running to more than 30 volumes, would be exceptional in any nation’s history of life writing. Her writing, begun as a shipboard diary, soon outgrew this tame purpose and became implicated in an erotic economy: she lent her journals to male admirers. Their response to her selfportrait demanded more writing, her journals feeding a sexual circuit. It is misguided, however, to reduce Dawbin’s writing to a representation of female sexuality. Her diaries are enormous in scope and record superlatively a slice of mid-19th-century colonial society. Half a century later, Maisie Archer Smith, born in Australia but brought up in England, returned to the land of her birth on the rebound of an unhappy affair. Her frank, witty letters to her mother, begun on board ship, chart her sexual development from a flirtatious teenager to a young wife. In 1901, when Maisie revisited London to organize her wedding, Australia celebrated Federation and officially became a nation. This momentous event was glossed over in her letters. Like many others of her class, she maintained a dual (but not conflicted) sense of identity: British and Australian. There were others in Australia who did not share this sense of self. White Australian lives, most importantly, were entangled with those of the land’s original black owners. Contact took place inside the colonial home as well as on the more masculine terrain of the frontier. Eliza Marsden wrote in 1796 of the sixyear-old Tristan who was now beginning to “wait at [the] table” that she held every expectation that he would “be a useful member of society”. The voluminous journals of George Augustus Robinson (d. 1844) record his attempts to “protect” Aboriginal people by moving them out of their homelands into supposed safe havens. Later, Chinese, Italians, and Germans arrived in Australia, lured by the prospect of gold or a life free from persecution. These contrapuntal voices were alluded to repeatedly in the writings of Australia’s prominently British stock – though it was not until the 20th century that they would seize the pen and begin scripting their own stories. Anette Bremer Further Reading Archer Smith, Maisie, Maisie: Her Life, Her Loves, Her Letters from 1898 to 1902, edited by Joan Kyffin Willington, Kent Town, South Australia: Wakefield Press, 1992 Barr Smith, Joanna and Robert Barr Smith, Joanna and Robert: The Barr Smiths’ Life in Letters, 1853–1919, edited by Fayette Gosse, Adelaide: Barr Smith Press, 1996 Boswell, Annabella, Journal, edited by Morton Herman, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1965 Boyes, G.T.W.B., The Diaries and Letters of G.T.W.B Boyes, vol. 1, 1820–1832, edited by Peter Chapman, Melbourne and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985 Clarke, Patricia and Dale Spender (editors), Life Lines: Australian Women’s Letters and Diaries, 1788–1840, St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen and Unwin, 1992 Dawbin, Annie Baxter, The Journals of Annie Baxter Dawbin, 1858–1868, edited by Lucy Frost, St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1998 Day, David, Claiming a Continent: A History of Australia, Pymble, New South Wales and London: Angus and Robertson, 1996

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Dillingham, Richard, The Dillingham Convict Letters from the Hulks, Woolwich, the Transport Ship Catherine Stewart Forbes, and from Sandy Bay and Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land, edited by Harley W. Forster, Melbourne: Cypress Books, 1970 Dixon, Robert, “Public and Private Voices: Non-fictional Prose” in The Penguin New Literary History of Australia, edited by Laurie Hergenhan et al., Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin, 1988 Fenton, Elizabeth, The Journal of Mrs Fenton: A Narrative of Her Life in India, the Isle of France (Mauritus), and Tasmania during the Years 1826–1830, London: Edward Arnold, 1901 Fitzpatrick, David (editor), Oceans of Consolation: Personal Accounts of Irish Migration to Australia, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1994; Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press, 1995 Franklin, John and Jane Franklin, Some Private Correspondence of Sir John and Lady Jane Franklin, (Tasmania 1837–1845), edited by George Mackaness, Sydney: [Privately printed], 1947 Grimshaw, Patricia et al., Creating a Nation 1788–1990, Ringwood, Victoria and Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1994 Heney, Helen (editor), Dear Fanny: Women’s Letters to and from New South Wales, 1788–1857, Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales: Australian National University Press, 1985 Henning, Rachel, The Letters of Rachel Henning, new edition, edited by David Adams, with introduction by Dale Spender, Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin, 1988 (first edition, 1963) Jones, Dorothy, “Letter Writing and Journal Scribbling” in A Bright and Fiery Troop: Australian Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century, edited by Debra Adelaide, Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin, 1988 Macarthur, Elizabeth, The Journal and Letters of Elizabeth Macarthur 1789–1798, edited by Joy N. Hughes, Glebe, New South Wales: Historical Houses Trust, 1984 McCrae, Georgina Huntly Gordon, Georgiana’s Journal: Melbourne 1841–1865, 2nd edition, edited by Hugh McCrae, London: Angus and Robertson, 1966 (first edition, 1934) Midgley, Sarah and Richard Skilbeck, The Diaries of Sarah Midgley and Richard Skilbeck: A Story of Australian Settlers 1851–1864, Melbourne: Cassell, 1967 Mitchell, Blanche, Blanche: An Australian Diary, 1858–1861, Sydney: John Ferguson, 1980 O’Brien, William Smith, “To Solitude Consigned”: The Tasmanian Journal of William Smith O’Brien, 1849–1853, edited by Richard Davis, Sydney: Crossing Press, 1995 Onslow Macarthur, Sibella, Some Early Records of the Macarthurs of Camden, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1914 Peters, Ned, A Gold Digger’s Diaries, edited by Les Blake, Newtown, Victoria: Neptune, 1981 Reibey, Mary, Dear Cousin: The Reibey Letters: Twenty-Two Letters of Mary Reibey, Her Children, and Their Descendents, 1792–1901, edited by Nance Irvine, Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1995 Robinson, George Augustus, The Port Phillip Journals of George Augustus Robinson, edited by Ian D. Clark, Melbourne: Monash University, 1988 Snell, Edward, The Life and Adventures of Edward Snell: The Illustrated Diary of an Artist, Engineer and Adventurer in the Australian Colonies, 1849 to 1859, edited by Tom Griffiths, London and Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1988 Wollaston, John Ramsden, The Wollaston Journals, edited by Geoffrey Bolton and Allan Watson, Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press, 1992

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Australia: 20th-Century Life Writing “This autobiography is all about myself for no other purpose do I write it”. This frank statement by the feminist Miles Franklin, introducing her fictional autobiography, My Brilliant Career, published in 1901, the same year as Australian federation, was a dramatic beginning to Australian autobiography of the 20th century. An intentional reverse of the apologetic, indirect approach of previous women life writers, the novel’s feminist protest, rediscovered in the 1970s, was largely ignored by contemporary readers in favour of its “bush nationalism”. The novel was a false dawn, however, for both self-probing autobiography and for feminist writing, even though it was followed only nine years later by another radical autobiographical novel, The Getting of Wisdom (1910), by the distinguished woman writer Henry Handel Richardson. Nationhood, in fact, did not produce a marked change in life writing, autobiographers continuing to follow for several decades the traditions established by their colonial predecessors, including a marked preoccupation with place and the idea of home. In more recent years autobiographies have become increasingly inward-looking so that the emphases are different, but there is still frequently a focus on place as the self’s “home” and a continuing ambivalent awareness of Europe as cultural home. This dominant concern with homeland, in particular with the childhood home, has resulted in the classification of numerous narratives in library catalogues as regional histories. In a large number of autobiographies place is represented as the major stimulus to the writer’s imagination, while the identities of self and place are projected as intimately bound up together. Thus Barbara Hanrahan sensuously explores her gothic Adelaide in The Scent of Eucalyptus (1973); Mary Fullerton laments the passing of the densely forested Gippsland in Bark House Days (1921); Donald Horne is so conscious of the importance of the past place that he describes himself as writing “sociography” in The Education of Young Donald (1967); Vincent Buckley in Cutting Green Hay (1983) revisits his native Victoria; Kathleen Fitzpatrick in Solid Bluestone Foundations (1983) contemplates the Victorian mansion of her grandparents and its influence on her life with a historian’s eye; and Hal Porter, in one of Australia’s most praised autobiographies, The Watcher on the Cast-lron Balcony (1963), documents his youthful Gippsland with resonant detail. Meanwhile in numerous narratives, whether ostensibly fictional or factual, the childhood place is explored with an ambivalent mix of nostalgia and loss, which is not just loss of the original home but also loss of a sense that the security and identity it offered was illusory. This characteristic is shared by David Malouf’s fictional Johnno (1975) and his factual 12 Edmonstone Street (1985), Clive James’s Unreliable Memoirs (1980), Manning Clark’s The Puzzles of Childhood (1990), Porter’s The Watcher on the Cast-Iron Balcony, Dorothy Hewett’s Wild Card (1990), Jane Lindsay’s Portrait of Pa (1973), Joan Colebrook’s A House of Trees (1988), and Alan Marshall’s I Can Jump Puddles (1955). For some writers the past has unpleasant or painful echoes, a prime example being the comedian and satirist Barry Humphries, who explores his nostalgic loathing for suburban Melbourne in More Please (1992). Germaine Greer in Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (1989), Jill Ker Conway in The Road from Coorain (1989), and

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Roger Milliss in Serpent’s Tooth (1984) share this feature in various degrees. Humphries’s autobiography illustrates another feature of the genre in Australia, a preoccupation with the older culture of Europe or, more frequently and specifically, Britain. There are of course numerous immigrant narratives that describe either the personal experience of immigration or the experience at second hand, as the child of immigrant parents. They include Marie Lewitt’s No Snow in December (1983), Magda Bozic’s Gather Your Dreams (1984), Rosa Capiello’s Oh Lucky Country (1984), Mary Rose Liverani’s The Winter Sparrows (1975), Amirah Inglis’s Amirah (1983), Alfredo Strano’s Luck Without Joy (1986), Yasmine Gooneratne’s A Change of Skies (1991), Judah Waten’s Alien Son (1952), and Andrew Riemer’s Inside Outside (1992). Elizabeth Wynhausen in Manly Girls (1989) describes the experience of growing up Jewish in Australia, as does Morris Lurie’s otherwise very different Whole Life (1987). Many narratives revisit the Irish inheritance of their authors: four of the most outstanding are Vincent Buckley’s and Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s, mentioned above, and Thomas Keneally’s Homebush Boy (1995) and Bernard Smith’s The Boy Adeodatus (1984). T.J. Kiernan’s The Irish Exiles in Australia (1954) and P.J. O’Farrell’s Letters from Irish Australia 1825–1929 (1984) document the familiar Irish immigrant experience. Older cultures often remain as continuing yet ambiguous presences in autobiographies of authors whose families have been settled in Australia for several generations. Autobiographers who have recorded the challenges of this negotiation of old and new include Manning Clark, Martin Boyd, Nancy Adams, Maie Casey, David Malouf, Patrick White, Randolph Bedford, Lionel Lindsay, Randolph Stow, and Norman Lindsay. Although the practice of writing from the point of view of professional or career experience has continued in the 20th century, and politicians in particular have been quick to record their experiences, writers and artists dominate the field, especially in narratives of childhood experience. The list of writers who have written of their youthful pasts is a lengthy one and includes, apart from those already cited, such figures as George Turner, Kylie Tennant, George Johnston, Oriel Gray, Xavier Herbert, Geoffrey Dutton, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Christina Stead, Jessica Anderson, Sumner Locke Elliott, Nancy Keesing, Nancy Phelan, Alexandra Hasluck, Elyne Mitchell, Eleanor Spence, Betty Roland, Mollie Skinner, Patsy Adam Smith, and Gavin Souter. A few autobiographies by unknown writers or by individuals whose profession is not that of writer or artist have found a ready reception, such as the narratives by Brian Lewis, Sunday at Kooyong Road (1976) and Our War (1980), but the most outstanding is Albert Facey’s A Fortunate Life (1981). Perceived as a microcosm of the general cultural experience, and describing Facey’s experiences as a combatant at Gallipoli and then as a soldier settler, A Fortunate Life was produced for stage and television, and has been taught in schools and universities, and frequently reprinted. War experience also stimulated numerous other individuals to write, so that every war that has involved Australia, from the Anglo-Boer War to the Vietnam War, has produced first-person accounts in the form of diaries, letters, or autobiographies. Outstanding writers on war include Martin Boyd, David Martin, Lawson Glassop, Kenneth Slessor, Alan Moorehead, David Selby, Patsy Adam Smith, Henry Gullett,

D.E. Charlwood, Russell Braddon, Ray Parkin, Hugh Lunn, and Terry Burstall. The impact of the Holocaust as experienced by the children of Jewish parents has also begun to be explored. Significant narratives on this subject include Andrew Riemer’s Inside Outside and The Habsburg Cafe (1993), Arnold Zable’s Jewels and Ashes (1991), and Martin Baker’s The Fiftieth Gate (1997). Aboriginal autobiographies were late to appear, but since the 1980s they have become the dominant genre in Aboriginal literature as a whole. Sally Morgan’s My Place (1987), written before her work as artist and writer became well known, coincided with a series of autobiographies by black writers that have negotiated a new relationship between black and white people and with the violent, exploitative past of race relations. They include Elsie Roughsey’s An Aboriginal Mother Tells of the Old and the New (1984), Glenyse Ward’s Wandering Girl (1988) and Unna You Fullas (1991), Jack Davis’s A Boy’s Life (1991), Ruby Langford Gibini’s Don’t Take Your Love to Town (1988), and Dick Roughsey’s Moon and Rainbow (1971), as well as several collections of individual testimonies. Biography is an increasingly popular genre, and wellresearched studies of major historical and political personalities have appeared in the last three decades. They include: John Monash (1982) by Geoffrey Serle, The Life of Captain James Cook (1973) by J.D. Beaglehole, John Wren (1976) by Niall Brennan, John Curtin (1977) by Lloyd Ross, Sturt, the Chipped ldol (1979) by Edgar Beale, Elizabeth Macarthur (1980) by Hazel King, Whirlwinds in the Plain (1980) [on Ludwig Leichhardt] by E.M. Webster, J.H. Scullin (1974 ) by John Robertson, H.R. Higgins (1984) by John Rickard, Aliee Henry (1991) by Diane Kirkby, Simpson and the Donkey [on J.S. Kirkpatrick] (1992) by Peter Cochrane, and Rose Scott (1994) by Judith Allen. Australia’s longest-serving prime minister R.G. Menzies has been the subject of two different biographical studies by A.W. Martin (1993) and Judith Brett (1992), while biographies of such recent prime ministers as R.G. [Bob] Hawke and Paul Keating have appeared, the former by Blanche D’Alpuget (1982) and the latter by John Edwards (1996). Writers, visual artists, and performing artists are popular Australian biographical subjects; some of the most significant are: Louisa [on Louisa Lawson] (1987) by Brian Matthews, Christopher Brennan (1980) by Axel Clark, Wild Man of Letters [on P.R. Stephensen] by Craig Munro (1984), Patrick White (1991) by David Marr, Christina Stead (1993) by Hazel Rowley, Melba (1986) by Therese Radic, Vance and Nettie Palmer (1975) by Vivian Smith, George Johnston (1986) by Garry Kinnane, Courage a Grace: Mary Gilmore (1988) by W.H. Wilde, Joy Hester (1983) by Janine Burke, Tom Roberts (1996) by Humphrey McQueen, William Dobell (1969) by James Gleeson, Martin Boyd (1974) by Brenda Niall, Catherine Helen Spence (1985) by Susan Magarey, The Archibald Paradox [on J.F. Archibald] (1983) by Sylvia Lawson, Xavier Herbert (1998) by Frances De Groen, Pioneer Players: The Lives of Louis and Hilda Esson (1995) by Peter Fitzpatrick, Eleanor Dark (1998) by Barbara Brooks, and James Edward Neild: Victorian Virtuoso (1989) by Harold Love. Two major biographies of the writer Henry Handel Richardson have been published, by Dorothy Green (Ulysses Bound, 1973) and by Axel Clark (Henry Handel Richardson, 1990), while Henry Lawson has been the subject of numerous biographical studies,

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the most significant being those by Brian Matthews (The Receding Wave, 1972), C.M.H. Clark (In Search of Henry Lawson, 1978), Xavier Pons (Out of Eden, 1984), and Colin Roderick (Henry Lawson: A Life, 1991). The letters of some writers have been published, including Hugh McCrae’s (1970), edited by R.D. FitzGerald; Norman Lindsay’s, edited by R.G. Howarth and A.W. Barker; Mary Gilmore’s (1980), edited by W.H. Wilde and T. Inglis Moore; Patrick White’s (1994), edited by David Marr; and Vance and Nettie Palmer’s (1977), edited by Vivian Smith. The correspondence between Walter Murdoch and Alfred Deakin was edited by J.A. La Nauze in 1974. The Oxford Book of Australian Letters (1998), edited by Brenda Niall and John Thompson, contains many letters by Australian writers as well as those by explorers, convicts, journalists, politicians, musicians, artists, and other individuals. Published diaries are not numerous. They include the immensely popular War Diaries (1986) of E.E. (“Weary”) Dunlop and the War Diaries (1985) of Kenneth Slessor, edited by Clement Semmler, as well as the more mundane journals of the writer Ethel Turner (Diaries, 1979), edited by Philippa Poole. Katie Holmes has written an interesting account of women’s diary writing, Spaces in Her Day (1995). Joy Hooton Further Reading Australian Dictionary of Biography, 14 vols, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, and Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1966–96 Coe, Richard N., “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Australian: Childhood, Literature and Myth”, Southerly, 41/2 (1981): 126–62 Coe, Richard N., When the Grass Was Taller: Autobiography and the Experience of Childhood, New Haven, Connecticut, and London: Yale University Press, 1984 Colmer, John, Australian Autobiography: The Personal Quest, Melbourne and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989 Colmer, John and Dorothy Colmer (editors) The Penguin Book of Australian Autobiography, Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin, 1987 Hooton, Joy, Stories of Herself When Young: Autobiographies of Childhood by Australian Women, Melbourne, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1990 Hooton, Joy (editor), Australian Lives: An Oxford Anthology, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998 McCooey, David, Artful Histories: Modern Australian Autobiography, Melbourne, Cambridge, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996 Whitlock, Gillian (editor), Autographs: Contemporary Australian Autobiography, St Lucia: Queensland University Press, 1996

Australia: Indigenous Life Writing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have existed in Australia for some 60,000 years. Before the arrival of the British in 1788, the indigenous people lived in 500 distinct groupings with 250 languages. That cultural heritage was shattered in many areas, with colonization through the takeover of lands, introduction of European diseases, acts of extermination, and practices of resettlement, as well as “protection” on mission settlements and reserves and forced policies of assimilation, including the widespread abduction and rape of Aboriginal women. Today the indigenous peoples live a multiplicity of

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lifestyles – from a more traditional existence in self-managed outback communities, to life on the fringe of and in urban communities. The indigenous people were not granted citizenship in Australia until 1967. The Aboriginal life story is a recent phenomenon in Australia. Aboriginal life stories suddenly entered the book market in the 1980s as texts that did not quite fit the genres of formal auto/biography, history, memoir, or fiction. They have become a forum for indigenous people to speak on their own behalf, thus reversing two hundred years of being spoken about, and for, by anthropologists, historians, linguists, missionaries, artists, poets, novelists, and film-makers. Since that time these life stories have performed an educative role for indigenous and non-indigenous readers alike, providing a cumulative challenge to national stereotypes that had previously gained authority through canonical national histories and fictions. Anthropologists and ethnographers collected and published oral narratives from indigenous people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the first known Aboriginal autobiography, My Life Story (1951), was written by a mission-raised writer, musician, and inventor, David Uniapon. In the early days of indigenous publishing, the autobiographies of several prominent Aboriginal Australians appeared, including that of Evonne Goolagong, the internationally famous tennis star (with Bud Collins, Evonne! On the Move, 1973), Charlie Perkins, the first Aboriginal federal parliamentarian (A Bastard Like Me, 1975), and, more recently, the boxer Keith B. Saunders (Learning the Ropes, 1992; Myall Road, 1998). The first account of Aboriginal life published by a major press was the autobiographical novel Wild Cat Falling (1965) by the writer and critic Colin Johnson (who later took the names Mudrooroo Narogin and simply Mudrooroo, and whose claims to an indigenous heritage have been challenged). The novel deals with the brutality of institutionalized violence encountered by the nameless part-Aboriginal protagonist in orphanages, prison, and urban Sydney – a deprived, extreme urban life akin to those taken up in the short stories of Archie Weller (Going Home: Stories, 1986) and the representation of abject fringe-dweller existence detailed in Robert Bropho’s Fringedweller (1980). Ruby Langford Ginibi’s Don’t Take Your Love to Town (1988) and her stories and poems in Real Deadly (1992) provide a woman’s perspective on urban living that speaks of frequent dislocations and the disintegration of traditional lifestyles. Her work exemplifies the struggle against poverty and alcoholism, as well as the tragedy of imprisonment and death in its accounts of the fates of several of her sons. Sally Morgan’s My Place (1987) is the most acclaimed Aboriginal autobiography, having sold upwards of 700,000 copies across the world. A watershed publication, it details the narrator’s quest to recover a suppressed identity. Morgan’s story gives way to three oral narratives that shift the narrational voice and disrupt the linearity of the narrative. They are the stories of her mother Gladys, her grandmother Daisy, and her great-uncle Arthur Corunna. These stories highlight the consequences for several generations of Aborigines subjected to Australian state and federal government’s policies of forcible removal of socalled half-caste children from their families, and their placement in institutional care. Sally Morgan’s text recovers her mother’s story of forced removal and institutional care, as do a number of other texts

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that also tell of children trained for domestic service or for work in the pastoral industry. Told mainly by women, many of whom are highly regarded as elders within their communities, the historical sweep of these texts ranges from early childhood to adult activism. Growing out of oral traditions, shared histories, and collective experience, they confound Western generic definitions of autobiography. Many texts are life stories of self in community that arise as a result of collaboration, co-authorship, and semi-fictionalized reflection. These include Margaret Tucker’s If Everyone Cared (1977), Ella Simon’s Through My Eyes (1978), Mum Shirl: An Autobiography (written by Theresa Clemens and Shirley C. Smith, with the assistance of Roberta Sykes, 1981), Elsie Roughsey’s An Aboriginal Mother Tells of the Old and New (1984), Ida West’s Pride against Prejudice (1984), the Torres Strait Islander, Ellie Gaffney’s Somebody Now: The Autobiography of Ellie Gaffney (1989), Alice Nannup’s When the Pelican Laughed (with Lauren March and Stephen Kinnane, 1992), Evelyn Crawford’s Over My Tracks (1993), and Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence (1996) by Doris Pilkington (Nugi Garimara). The texts emphasize the fortitude and determination of the women who, although divorced from their traditional communities, continue to maintain vital links with their heritage. Many became political activists in the 1970s, and fought for prison, housing, health, employment, and education reforms. Glenyse Ward’s two popular autobiographical narratives, Wandering Girl (1987) and Unna You Fullas (1991), detail, with poignant humour, the clash of cultures, religion, and personalities encountered in early childhood in a Christian mission, followed by domestic service in the home of a prominent West Australian. The Outback life of stockmen and their wives on isolated properties in the 1920s and 1930s is detailed in the autobiographical novels and stories of Herb Wharton, Unbranded (1992), Cattle Camp: Murri Drovers and Their Stories (1994), and Where Ya’ Been, Mate? (1996), and in Bill Dodd’s Broken Dreams (1992). The title of Dodd’s text highlights the athletic youth’s swimming accident at the age of 18 which left him a quadriplegic for life. Yami Lester’s autobiography, Yami (1993), also tells of overcoming disability. An Aboriginal elder who became head of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Council, Yami spent his youth as a stockman in Central Australia and was blinded at Maralinga as a result of British nuclear testing in the Australian desert in the 1950s. The woman’s side of the rural Queensland stockman’s story is told in Marnie Kennedy’s Born a Half-Caste (1985), Doris Pilkington’s novel Caprise: A Stockman’s Daughter (1991), and Mabel Edmund’s No Regrets (1992). Many other texts give voice to the experiences of the children of the Stolen Generation, including the early autobiographical novel of Monica Clare, Karobran: The Story of an Aboriginal Girl (1978), as well as recent life-story narratives such as Ethel Anderson’s Warrigal’s Way (1996), Ruth Fraser’s Shadow Child (1998), Wayne King’s Black Hours (1996), and Ruth Hegarty’s Is that You, Ruthie? (1999). Rita Huggins’s and Jackie Huggins’s dual-voiced text, Auntie Rita (1994), treats cross-generational issues, including differing attitudes to assimilation, by recording a mother–daughter relationship. Widespread interest in the Stolen Generation has been spurred by testimonies published in the report Bringing Them Home: National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families (1997), which conducted interviews with 535 indigenous people throughout Australia and made 54 recommendations, including one to establish a three-year Oral History Project (1998–2000) under the auspices of the National Library of Australia to record the stories of indigenous Australians who were fostered, adopted, removed, or institutionalized by government legislation and policy. A number of Aboriginal texts blend illustrations, verse, short story, oral narrative, interviews, and essays in one volume. Jack Davis’s memoir A Boy’s Life (1991) crosses genre to produce a multi-layered view of rural Western Australia in the 1920s and 1930s. Eileen Morgan, with the help of the historian Terry Fox, presents creation stories, poems, stories, drawings, and a family tree in The Calling of the Spirits (1994). Editing issues attend this text, like many of the aforementioned titles. Its publication came as a result of (mainly) white editors who sometimes became collaborators, taping, recording, or editing the oral or partially written narratives of the principal authors. Several white editors emphasize these ethical or compositional editing issues. One of these is Margaret Somerville, who recorded a series of dialogues with Patsy Cohen and the “five black matriarchs”, collected photographs and written records, and “stitched together” the various disparate elements into the narrative, Ingelba and the Five Black Matriarchs (1990). Several academic writers in the 1980s attempted to reproduce, in true Aboriginal narrative style, the Aboriginal English / Pidgin / Creole modes of speech used by cattle overlanders in the vast stretches of the northwest. These include Bruce Shaw’s My Country of the Pelican Dreaming: The Life of an Australian Aborigine of the Gadjerong, Grant Ngabidj, c.1904–1977, as Told to Bruce Shaw (1981), Banggaiyerri: The Story of Jack Sullivan, as Told to Bruce Shaw (1983), and Paddy Roe’s and Stephen Muecke’s Gularabulu: Stories from the West Kimberley (1983). Recent popular coffee-table anthologies, such as Above Capricorn: Aboriginal Biographies from Northern Australia (edited by Steven Davis, 1994), reproduce translations of oral narratives of traditional speakers, replete with touristic photographs of the people and their lands, attesting to the widespread acceptance of diverse presentational styles within indigenous narratives. These texts, emerging in the last two decades of the 20th century, mark the foundations of a new literature of indigenous Australia. In the late 1990s a number of black Australians published their life stories in which they attempted to recover a lost and possibly Aboriginal identity, only to discover that they were not indigenous by “descent”. These include Gordon Matthews’s An Australian Son (1996) and Roberta Sykes’s Snake Cradle (1997) and Snake Dancing: Autobiography of a Black Woman (1998). They, as well as the novels of Mudrooroo, testify to the difficulties of positioning oneself within an identity politics, especially for non-indigenous writers who have also experienced forms of institutionalization, adoption, prejudice, and racial discrimination within Australia in the 20th century. Kay Schaffer Further Reading Australian Author: Quarterly Journal of the Australian Society of Authors, “Special Issue on Black Writing”, 26/3 (Spring, 1994) Bird, Carmel, The Stolen Children: Their Stories, Sydney: Random House, 1998

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Brewster, Anne and Hugh Webb (editors), Aboriginal Literary Voices, Fremantle, Western Australia: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2000 Brewster, Anne, Reading Aboriginal Women’s Autobiography, Melbourne: Sydney University Press, 1996 Dalziel, Rosamund, “Racist Shame: Aboriginal Autobiographies” in her Shameful Autobiographies: Shame in Contemporary Australian Autobiographies and Culture, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1999 Edwards, Coral and Peter Read (editors), The Lost Children: Thirteen Australians Taken from their Aboriginal Families Tell of the Struggle to Find Their Natural Parents, Sydney and New York: Doubleday, 1989 Hooton, Joy W., Stories of Herself When Young: Autobiographies of Childhood by Australian Women, Melbourne and New York: Oxford University Press, 1990 Narogin, Mudrooroo, The Indigenous Literature of Australia: Milli Milli Wangka, Melbourne: Hyland House, 1997 Narogin, Mudrooroo, Writing from the Fringe: A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature, Melbourne: Hyland House, 1990 Sabbioni, Jennifer, Kay Schaffer and Sidonie Smith (editors), Indigenous Australian Voices: A Reader, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1998 Shoemaker, Adam, Black Words, White Page: Aboriginal Literature 1929–1988, St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1988

Australian Dictionary of Biography The Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) is a compilation of biographical articles on significant and representative people in Australia’s history since European contact with the continent in the 17th century. The first volume came out in 1966; volume 16 is planned for 2002; and a further series is in preparation. The publisher is Melbourne University Press. The foundation general editor was Douglas Pike, whose success was recognized by the Ernest Scott prize in 1969 and the Britannica Australia award in 1971. Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle continued his work and consolidated his achievement. Appointed in 1988, John Ritchie has now become the longest-serving general editor. The ADB is modelled on the British Dictionary of National Biography. Richard Davenport-Hines, in the Times Literary Supplement (1986), commended the “catholic but discriminating approach” of the ADB and “the demotic bias” to some entries. It is essentially a work of collaboration – the 15 volumes to date contain more than 9000 articles written by some 3500 authors. The general editor and a small team operate from (and are funded by) the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra. An editorial board – in 2000 chaired by Professor Jill Roe of Macquarie University, Sydney – has general oversight of the project. Contributors are unpaid volunteers, nominated by working parties in each state, reflecting the country’s federal structure. These committees also draw up lists of recommended entries and suggest word lengths. Commonwealth and armed services working parties have responsibility for articles with wider, national connections. The genesis of the ADB can be traced to the preparatory work of L.F. Fitzhardinge, but the decisive steps in its establishment were taken by the foundation chairman of the editorial board, Sir Keith Hancock, who conceived it as a suitable national and historical enterprise when he returned from Britain to Australia in 1957. The conference of historians that he convened that year resolved to undertake a biographical dictionary. The project reflected the growth of Australian historical consciousness

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during that period and the concurrent flowering of teaching and research in Australian history. In the early 1960s a dispute between the editorial board and the man chosen to be one of the first joint editors, the journalist and historian M.H. Ellis, led to the latter’s resignation in 1962 in a flurry of hostile publicity. The appointment of the academic historian Douglas Pike rescued the project from this impasse, and his exceptional qualities as editor and manager resulted in its ultimate success. Possessing, according to Nairn, a “distaste for adjectives and adverbs” and a “flair for lean prose”, Pike established the scholarly basis and educative purpose of what has become the principal work of historical reference in Australia. His achievement, as Nairn identified, was to put into place an efficient productive system and to harmonize “concise biographical writing, virtually all of it new, with the occasionally conflicting demands of contributors and publishers”. His own, unsigned contributions to the early volumes reflect his egalitarianism and sharp political judgement. John La Nauze and Ken Inglis succeeded Hancock as chairman of the editorial board and contributed to the growing repute of the team. Nairn, who edited volume 6, continued and improved Pike’s administrative structure. He and Serle as joint general editors brought out volumes 7 to 10, the first to deal with the 20th century. The joint appointment was an unusual and successful example of interstate cooperation. The Sydney Catholic (Nairn) and the Melbourne Protestant (Serle) worked well together – Serle mischievously suggested that it “would have been much worse the other way around”. At the Canberra headquarters the two established what Serle described as “an informal, unauthoritarian, collaborative relationship which increased the very high staff morale and pride in the enterprise”. Serle was sole general editor for volume 11. In 1988 Ritchie took over the reins of the ADB, and brought the dedication of a new generation to deal with the tasks of producing entries on men and women who were comparatively recently deceased, of dealing with World War II, and of accommodating the new demands of scholarship of the time. He had to supervise the change from the floruit principle, which governed inclusion in the first 12 volumes, to inclusion based on the date of death, a necessary change but one that has increased the complexity of the scheme. The ADB had always aimed to include a representative sample of the Australian experience and a sprinkling of eccentrics. Now it was more important than ever to ensure that entries reflected the new emphases on women, minorities, and indigenous peoples while continuing to produce the looked-for articles on the leaders and the prominent, still overwhelmingly white and male. Ritchie met these conflicting demands and maintained the high standards of his predecessors. The ADB is a notable ongoing achievement of national definition. Christopher Cunneen Further Reading Davenport-Hines, Richard, “All Sorts and Conditions”, Times Literary Supplement, (14 November 1986): 1263–64 Inglis, K.S., “The Foundation Chairman” in Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 12, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, and Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990 McCalman, Iain, Jodi Parvey and Misty Cook (editors), National Biographies & National Identity: A Critical Approach to Theory and Editorial Practice, Canberra: Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, 1996

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Nairn, Bede, “The Foundation General Editor” in Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 6, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, and Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976 Serle, Geoffrey, “Bede Nairn: His Life and Work” in Bede Nairn and Labor History, edited by Bob Carr et al., Sydney: Pluto Press, 1991 Walsh, Gerald, “Recording ‘the Australian Experience’: Hancock and the Australian Dictionary of Biography” in Keith Hancock: The Legacies of an Historian, edited by D.A. Low, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001

Austria see Germany, Austria, Switzerland Authenticity Like the issue of authority, the matter of authenticity in life writing is of interest primarily with regard to autobiographical genres. (This means not only autobiography proper but also sub-genres, such as conversion narrative, and related genres, such as diary and journal.) In so far as the issues of authority and authenticity are separable, authority is primarily a question of the relation between the text and the extratextual world – veracity – while authenticity is essentially a matter of the relation between the text and its putative source – provenance. Authenticity is a matter of interest because it has to do with what is distinctive about autobiography: it concerns how writing represents or mediates identity. It is perhaps marginal cases – forged, anonymous, pseudonymous, and collaborative autobiography – that best illuminate the nature of autobiographical authenticity. Although an autobiography’s authority may be linked to its authenticity, the two aspects are far from identical. This is perhaps clearest in the case of forged autobiography. Since forgeries will have sufficient commercial value to repay the labour of composition only if attributed to persons of considerable fame, forgers go to some lengths to endow them with authority, or to “get the facts right”. This is largely a matter of producing a text consistent with what is already known of its subject and putative author. To a lesser extent, it is a matter of simulating the “voice” of the putative author. If a forged autobiography, like a biography, is based on reliable sources and thus accurately portrays the course of its subject’s life, it might be quite authoritative. (To cite two fairly recent examples, Clifford Irving’s never-published “autobiography” of reclusive millionaire Howard Hughes and the so-called “Hitler diaries” were exposed as hoaxes only after periods of considerable initial belief, even by supposed experts.) But even if it sounded as though it had been written by its subject, it would entirely lack “authenticity”. Forged autobiography is not actually autobiography at all. The determining factor, however, is not its truth value but its authorship, the process by which it was produced. (As the case of Irving’s “autobiography” of Howard Hughes revealed, even the subject’s denial that he had produced an autobiography may not be sufficient at first to disprove the authenticity of a forged autobiography.) Unlike forged autobiography, anonymous autobiography is not a contradiction in terms. Nor is it a trivial matter. There are circumstances in which it would be important to determine the authority of an anonymous autobiography, such as a testimonio

whose source required protection from political enemies. Its authority would rest not on the veracity of its self-portrayal – which could not be tested – but on the accuracy of its portrayal of the world. It would be possible, then, to assess its authority independent of knowledge of the identity of its author; its authenticity, on the other hand, could not be tested, but only attested to. Its authenticity would matter to its credibility, but it could not be definitively established without removing the cloak of anonymity; it would have to depend on authentication by some intermediary, such as a collaborator or editor. Different problems arise with the autobiographies of virtual anonyms, individuals whose names are known but whose lives have left few records. Even with living autobiographers, authenticity and authority may be difficult to verify because of the paucity of records. These issues are particularly important when, as in the case of testimony, autobiography bears witness to world-historical events, especially controversial or traumatic ones, such as the Holocaust. When questions arise as to the accuracy of self-portrayal – as has been the case with at least one purported Holocaust memoir (Binjamin Wilkomirski’s Bruchstücke, 1995, translated as Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood) – then the distinction between authenticity and authority may collapse. That is, if the story, though entirely selfwritten, proves to be fiction rather than fact, then the book will be properly judged as lacking in authenticity as well as authority because an identity has been fabricated or falsely claimed. Though rare, pseudonymous autobiography reveals the problematic status of both authority and authenticity. Much of the work of Mark Twain – Roughing It (1872) and Old Times on the Mississippi (1876), as well as Mark Twain’s Autobiography (1924) – is cast as autobiography. The authority of pseudonymous autobiography is impossible to establish in so far as it offers an account of the past of a pseudonymous persona, rather than of a historical personage, particularly when it describes a period before the assumption of the pseudonym. (Samuel Clemens had a documented childhood; Mark Twain did not.) Its authenticity is problematic in so far as it issues from a literary mask, rather than a historical person. One could say that pseudonymous autobiography approaches the status of fictional autobiography – or that it merely exposes, by openly acknowledging, the inherent fictiveness of all autobiography. But perhaps the most perplexing texts in terms of authenticity are collaborative autobiographies, because of their virtually oxymoronic nature. If authenticity is a function of the relation between the putative source and the words in the text, then it is obviously problematic in cases of “as-told-to” or otherwise collaborative narratives, whose readers are encouraged to take them as issuing from the titular subject rather than the co-author. (“Ghostwritten” autobiographies – those in which collaboration is not openly acknowledged – exacerbate this problem.) Under any circumstances, collaborative autobiography raises questions that, for example, collaborative fiction does not, for like forged autobiography, collaborative autobiography disrupts the single identity of author cum narrator cum subject that is the constituting feature of the genre. If authenticity were simply a matter of the congruence between the “source” (in the form of the subject’s words) and the final text, it would be relatively easy to assess. Authenticity might be considered to be a function of the faithfulness of the text to its source. But the

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sources are often not available for inspection. When they are not, authenticity becomes a function of successful simulation of a convincing voice. That is, it is at best a rhetorical effect, at worst an illusion. Collaborative autobiography is inherently ventriloquistic. And whether the voice of the narrator is really the voice of the subject may be less important than whether the subject has had any control over the narrative’s final state. When collaborators are from the same cultural and socio-economic background, and the distribution of power between them is fairly even, or when the subjects “outrank” their collaborators, there is less risk of irresponsible fabrication. It is generally accepted that famous politicians, business executives, movie stars, and athletes employ collaborators, whether or not this is openly announced; that is, it is usually assumed that celebrities do not literally write their autobiographies. Though this raises questions of authenticity – the degree to which the vision and voice of the narrative reflect those of its subject, rather than its author – the celebrity’s ability to vet the manuscript suggests that the final product at least conforms to the subject’s self-image. In this sense, control of the text by its subject guarantees a degree of authenticity, though it may not guarantee authority (the subject may have reasons to falsify the record that a biographer would not). The danger of inauthenticity is perhaps greatest when collaboration occurs on or across the borders of class, race, or ethnicity. This typifies the ethnographic scenario, in which a writer from a Western culture initiates a collaboration with a subject from a non-Western culture or marginalized group; in this scenario the writing partner “outranks” the subject. Many of these instances involve collaboration made necessary by the fact that the subject is one of “those who do not write”, in Philippe Lejeune’s phrase. (They may be members of traditional oral cultures or, like many American slaves, they may have been prevented from acquiring literacy, or they may have a disability that prevents them from writing, or even from speaking.) In these instances, the authenticity of the narrative may be questioned because of the difficulty, or even the impossibility, of having the subject review and revise the manuscript. There is another problematic aspect of authenticity in these cases. Like veracity, authenticity may be scrutinized more closely in narratives by the marginalized, who are already disadvantaged as autobiographers. In the case of collaborative narratives, the concern for authenticity is legitimate because of the danger of exploitation. Yet the concern for authenticity may inadvertently serve to hold the exotic subject at a distance, to confine him or her to the role of “other”. Thus, because of the presumed illiteracy of American slaves, the authenticity of a rhetorically sophisticated slave narrative might be considered doubtful. Similarly, like Native American art, Native American autobiographies are at risk of being held to a standard of authenticity not invoked with those produced by members of the dominant culture. To require African American autobiographers to sound “black”, to require women autobiographers to devise or adopt conventionally female forms of discourse, or to require Native American autobiographers to adhere to traditional modes of narration is to impose an unfair and patronizing conception of autobiographical authenticity on them. Indeed, it is to constrain rather than to enhance their autobiographical authority. G. Thomas Couser

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See also Authority; Mock and Parodic Life Writing

Further Reading Adams, Timothy Dow, Telling Lies in Modern American Autobiography, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990 Andrews, William L., To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of AfroAmerican Autobiography, 1760–1865, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986 Couser, G. Thomas, Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989 Couser, G. Thomas, “Making, Taking, and Faking Lives: The Ethics of Collaborative Life Writing”, Style, 32/2 (1998): 334–50 Lejeune, Philippe, “The Autobiography of Those Who Do Not Write” in his On Autobiography, edited by Paul John Eakin, translated by Katherine M. Leary, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989 Olney, James, “‘I Was Born’: Slave Narratives: Their Status as Autobiography and as Literature” in The Slave’s Narrative, edited by Charles T. Davis and Henry Louis Gates, Jr, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985 Sturrock, John, “The New Model Autobiographer”, New Literary History, 9/1 (1977): 51–63 Twain, Mark, Mark Twain’s Autobiography, 2 vols, edited by Albert Bigelow Paine, New York and London: Harper, 1924

Authority The meaning of authority in life writing depends on the particular genre in question. With more outward and objective – i.e. biographical – modes, authority lies largely in matters of reference and veracity. Thus, the authority of biography would depend mainly on the relation between the text and the life of its subject (and the other records of that life by which it is mainly known). Is the narrative an accurate and comprehensive representation of the life? Is it thoroughly researched, using up-todate sources? Biographical authority also has rhetorical and ethical dimensions: is the narrative balanced and fair in its portrayal of its subject? Like biography, autobiography is advertised and marketed, and often consumed, as nonfiction; most lay readers treat autobiography as if it were ontologically different from fictional texts, such as novels. They assume that autobiography is, in effect, a sub-genre of biography – that it records the experience of a historical personality, not an invented “character”. And so the veracity of the narrative is also an aspect of the authority of more inward and subjective – i.e. autobiographical – modes of life writing. At the same time, it is generally accepted that autobiography is not research-based; its narrative authority derives not from research but from personal experience, from memory and subjectivity – that is, from self-identity. (This difference between genres is reflected in the fact that the highest accolade for biography – that it is “definitive” – is simply not applicable to autobiography.) Also, compared to biography, the authority of autobiography depends more greatly on the rhetorical dimension, which is akin to credibility. Does it seem sincere? Does it offer a frank, coherent, and compelling story? But there is an additional, more problematic aspect to the authority of autobiography. As distinct from biography, autobiography is often presented as an authoritative “inside” story,

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with the implication that the author is somehow uniquely present in the text. Thus, many readers implicitly grant autobiography the authority of its author’s privileged viewpoint. Such a view seems naive to most literary autobiographers and to autobiography critics, but it has its academic equivalent, as Avrom Fleishman describes it, in “the literalist or purist position, which maintains that an autobiography is a self-written biography designed and required to impart verifiable information about the historical subject”. According to this view, autobiography can claim the authority of its grounding in a verifiable relationship between the text and an extratextual referent, its author’s life. But the most interesting and significant autobiographical assertions – matters of motive, meaning, and selfinterpretation – are difficult, if not impossible, to assess in that way. As Georges Gusdorf has pointed out, autobiography will always tend toward apologetics. For him, the “truth” of autobiography is less a function of the relation between narrative and life-history than of the intimate link between text and self: “a likeness no longer of things but of the person”. We might call this the expressivist view of the genre. Gusdorf concedes, as most contemporary critics do, that autobiography is inevitably and inherently fictive, but he privileges autobiography over biography because he believes autobiography inevitably and truthfully corresponds to the self that generates it. John Sturrock has carried this line of argument further, arguing that “‘authoritative’ is synonymous with ‘autobiographical’ since whatever an autobiographer writes, however wild or deceitful, cannot but count as testimony”. He seems to mean that, as an emanation of the writer, autobiography is inevitably self-revelatory: although an autobiography’s statements may not accurately represent the historical figure portrayed, they will nonetheless somehow truthfully characterize their author. Sturrock makes a virtue, then, of the necessity of autobiographical falsehood; he resolves the question of the problematic authority of autobiography by defining it out of existence: autobiography is authoritative by nature. He is less interested in validating or invalidating the narrative than in probing the psyche of the autobiographer by assessing the significance of his or her conscious or unconscious distortion of the record. Yet his approach cannot entirely escape the problem of reference; one can know how to take “wild and deceitful” testimony only if one knows that it is such. And it is not always possible to discover the deceit in autobiographical testimony. In any case, even a sophisticated application of the referential approach to autobiography carries the critic only so far because it depends on the availability of documents or records against which to check the autobiographical text. In the case of obscure autobiographers, this can be a particularly vexing problem. With anonymous autobiography, it is insoluble. In the end, the authority of autobiographical texts can be neither reduced to, nor founded solely on, their veracity. The poststructuralist critique of the subject, which holds that “individuals” are not autonomous unique selves but rather products of cultural codes and semiotic systems that they neither create nor control, further complicates the view of autobiography as referential and thus verifiably authoritative. Autobiography is seen not as reflecting (in either sense: imitating or emanating from) a pre-existent, unified, unique self but as creating a provisional and contingent one. Indeed, that self is seen as determined by the constraints of the limited linguistic

resources and narrative tropes available to its “author”. For a language theory that views the self entirely as a linguistic construct, the authority of autobiography is a nebulous matter of textual effects, a function of the play of signs, tropes, and conventions that can at best render only the illusion of the presence of the self. Some texts may have perceptibly more authority than others, but the distinctions among them would be relatively insignificant. The recent controversy over the authority of autobiography is therefore a function, in large part, of two competing theories of language. For the “correspondence theory” of language – with its sense of a one-to-one correspondence among things, our concepts of them, and our words for them – autobiography is fundamentally a historical record of an antecedent set of phenomena; it thus claims to tell some truth about a real person. For the empiricist version of the correspondence theory, the authority of autobiography is largely a matter of veracity, the correlation of its assertions and “the facts”. (The contractual corollary held by “pact theorists” like the early Philippe Lejeune makes this a matter of ethical and virtually legal commitment.) The expressivist variant of the correspondence theory – held by John Sturrock – holds that, as an index of the self, autobiography is automatically authoritative because it is helplessly self-revelatory. Autobiography is inherently partial in more senses than one. As Gusdorf suggests, the most interesting autobiographical assertions may not be verifiable because they represent subjective states available exclusively to the autobiographer. This is not to say that “reality-testing” of autobiography is irrelevant or pointless, but it should begin rather than end investigations into the authority of autobiography. At best, veracity is a negative, legalistic standard, which would ensure only the absence of outright lies, rather than the presence of truth, or significant meaning. In any case, the notion of autobiography as issuing from, determined by, and referring reliably to an integral pre-existing self can no longer be considered self-evident. But if the danger of referential and contractual approaches to autobiography is that they may overinvest in veracity, locating autobiography’s authority primarily in its content, the danger of poststructuralist theories of language is that they may reduce autobiography to formal gestures and figures, cutting it off from the history that it purports to describe and that conditions and constitutes the self (de Man). This denial of the authority of autobiography unwisely ignores or negates its implication in extratextual “reality”. This is particularly important in genres, like memoir or testimony, that purport to witness worldhistorical events. But there is a third paradigm of language, the dialogical theory associated with Mikhail Bakhtin, which offers a more flexible view of the subtle relation between self and language and thus, implicitly, of the authority of autobiography. According to this theory, although linguistic elements may precede and help to construct the self, they do not necessarily or entirely predetermine it. Transpersonal conventions are amenable to personal appropriation and even subversion. According to this paradigm of language, then, autobiography neither refers transparently to the self nor produces it; rather, like all discourse, it is a kind of playground – or battlefield – on which the self struggles to establish presence and to exercise power. Whereas the correspondence theory of language privileges the pre-existent self as

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the textual referent and the poststructuralist model assigns autonomy to the linguistic system, the dialogical model conceives of the autobiographer as engaged in a dynamic struggle for authority. This approach to language better registers the way in which the authority of autobiography is constrained by matters such as gender, race, and ethnicity. Authority is located neither in correspondence to an extratextual reality nor in the self-determining agency of language; rather, it is negotiated in the engagement of contending parties and voices in the world. In sum, authority may be best viewed as culturally negotiated, rather than as inherent in, or necessarily absent from, autobiographical texts. It does not reside exclusively in the correspondence between the text and the facts or the text and the self; rather, it is something to be contested and established by the autobiographer and others – collaborators, editors, critics, biographers, historians, and lay readers. G. Thomas Couser See also Authenticity

Further Reading Adams, Timothy Dow, Telling Lies in Modern American Autobiography, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990 Bakhtin, Mikhail, The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, translated and edited by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981 Couser, G. Thomas, Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989 Couser, G. Thomas, “Authority in Autobiography”, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 10/1 (1995): 34–49 de Man, Paul, “Autobiography as De-facement”, MLN / Modern Language Notes, 94/5 (1979): 919–30 Fleishman, Avrom, Figures of Autobiography: The Language of SelfWriting in Victorian and Modern England, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983 Gusdorf, Georges, “Conditions and Limits of Autobiography” in Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980 Lejeune, Philippe, Le Pacte autobiographique, Paris: Seuil, 1975 Sturrock, John, “The New Model Autobiographer”, New Literary History, 9/1 (1977): 51–63

Autobiographical Essay see Autobiography and the Essay

Autobiography: General Survey Most fundamentally, autobiography is a self-produced, nonfiction text that tells the story of its writer’s life. However, autobiography involves more than simple reportage; at least four additional features define the form. First, autobiography has a psychological and philosophical dimension that requires its writer to balance the deeds of an active public self with the thoughts of a contemplative private one. Second, autobiography requires its author to have an awareness of audience. Because the autobiographer does not simply recount life’s events, but offers the reader a window into thoughts about, motives for, and reactions to the events described, the autobiographer’s

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account differs distinctly from the purely private record of experience found in a diary or journal. Third, autobiography has clear formal conventions. Most typically, these conventions are the epic ones of hero (its subject-author) and journey (toward adulthood, self-awareness, spiritual growth, personal wholeness), but many autobiographies also employ several additional formal devices outlined by Albert E. Stone in his study of the genre: namely, “narration with its characteristics of pace and momentum; metaphors of self through which verbal patterns and bridges are constructed from narrative details; description, reflection, argument, and meditation; and other common literary features, including characterization, dialogue, dramatic scenes, and synecdoche”. Finally, autobiography is a literary form defined less by genre than by didactic intent. As Jill Ker Conway notes in her accessible and intelligent study of autobiography When Memory Speaks (1998): “Every autobiographer wants to persuade others to learn from her or his life. Most aim to convince their readers to take up some important cause, follow a new spiritual path, be aware of particular hazards, develop a new moral sense”. While autobiographers choose many different and overlapping forms in which to tell their stories – conversion narrative, immigrant story, adventure tale, poem, Bildungsroman – most have traditionally offered their stories as exempla, and most readers have traditionally accepted these stories as useful, reliable, and true accounts of the writer’s experience. In the modern era, however, this implicit contract between autobiographer and reader – as well as the philosophical and formal dimensions of the genre – has been challenged and changed by increasing scepticism about both the possibility of a cohesive self and the ability either to know or to tell the “truth” about such a self. While the word “autobiography” did not enter the English language until 1797 (see Marcus), the genre itself has a much longer history. Writers of classical antiquity – lyric poets such as Pindar and Sappho as well as historians such as Herodotus – recorded pieces of their own lived experience, and by the 4th century ce Augustine had produced the first full-length example of the genre in his Confessions (c.397–400). Augustine’s text is without doubt a classic of the genre; nonetheless, there are marked differences between the Confessions and the autobiographical texts that proliferated in Enlightenment Europe. While Augustine tells a personal story (his youthful indiscretions, his conversion in the garden at Milan, his subsequent attempts to lead an exemplary Christian life), he ultimately presents himself less as an irreproducible individual than as a model servant of God. Only with the emergence of more secular rationalism – a classic early example of which is Michel de Montaigne’s Essais (1595) – do autobiographers begin to focus on themselves as individuals. In his seminal study The Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography, Karl Weintraub argues that this change from exemplum to singular individual marks the defining moment in the history of autobiography. If, as Montaigne writes, “nothing certain can be established about one thing by another”, then the closest one can come to certainty is to look inward, to study oneself. Thus, Weintraub suggests, the scepticism of Montaigne and his contemporaries transforms autobiography so that the genre begins to detail human uniqueness and the individual’s struggle to “actualize the one mode of being which only [the authorsubject] can be”.

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But to say that early autobiography presents the self as exemplum and later autobiography presents the self as individual is to oversimplify, not least because even such recent autobiographers as Maxine Hong Kingston (Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts, 1976) and Richard Rodriguez (Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, 1981) have exemplary or didactic designs. Perhaps a fairer way to assess the evolution of autobiography would be to say that the genre has shown a unique capacity for registering changing cultural conceptions of the self. Modern notions of individualism had relatively little purchase in Augustine’s 4thcentury Roman world, for instance, but considerably more in Montaigne’s 16th-century France. But “the individual” was hardly a static concept in post-Enlightenment Europe, and autobiographers described and defined themselves by emphasizing life details that accorded with – or self-consciously challenged – current cultural values. Thus the 17th-century English Puritan John Bunyan focuses on “the vanity and inward wretchedness of my wicked heart” in his account (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, 1666); the 18th-century British philosophical historian Edward Gibbon insists on his story’s “unblushing truth, the first virtue of more serious history” (Memoirs, 1796); the 19th-century German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reflects his era’s increasingly complicated notion of selfhood in his claim that all have “a double part to play in the world, a real and an ideal one” (Dichtung und Wahrheit, 1811; Poetry and Truth); the 19th-century Argentinean writer Domingo Faustino Sarmiento makes the personal political by declaring that he writes his account because he, like all Argentines, has “a need to call attention” to himself (Recuerdos de Provincia, 1850; Provincial Memories); and the Irish poet William Butler Yeats foregrounds modernist fragmentation and alienation when he concedes his inability to produce an account that will impose a truthful order on the chaos of life: “It must be that I have changed many things without my knowledge” (Autobiographies, 1955). Autobiographers have not only adapted the content of their stories to accord with cultural ideals; their forms and structures have evolved as well. Whether one sees autobiography as a genre in its own right or a mode that multiple genres (novel, essay, poem, short story) may employ, autobiography claims its own literary tradition. In “The Dark Continent of Literature: Autobiography” (1968), Stephen Shapiro neatly articulates one foundational principle of autobiography as a literary form: “Resonant context must be provided for the reader if experience is to be re-created, integrated into the fabric of art”. This context consists largely of an autobiographer’s formal and structural choices, and William Spengemann, in his oft-cited study The Forms of Autobiography: Episodes in the History of a Literary Genre, shows how autobiographers from the Renaissance to the present have continually recalibrated the form. Spengemann identifies three main phases in autobiography’s formal evolution. First are the chronologically structured narratives – what he calls “historical autobiography” – of medieval and early modern autobiographers. Among these texts we might number Dante’s La vita nuova (composed 1292–94; The New Life), Teresa of Avila’s Libro de la vida (1588; The Book of Her Life), and John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding (1666). These narratives, which neatly trace the order of a life’s events, indicate an emerging sense of the self as a developmental entity – in

most cases, as a being who develops into a spiritual wholeness. The second phase of autobiography’s evolution, according to Spengemann, comes with the Romantic-era “philosophical autobiography” typified by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Confessions (1782–89), Thomas De Quincey in his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1822), and William Wordsworth in The Prelude (1850). These texts not only emphasize the prevailing interest in epistemology and individual mental process, but incorporate those interests into their very structure. In The Prelude, for instance, Wordsworth uses his “spots of time” trope to govern much of the poem’s structure. Autobiography evolves into its final formal phase, Spengemann suggests, with the mode he calls “poetic autobiography”, in which writers subordinate issues of truth to matters of “poetic self-expression, and poetic self-invention”. If we accept Spengemann’s definition, we might well call much 20th-century autobiography “poetic autobiography”. In the 20th century, the line between autobiographer and novelist has become increasingly blurred. Such blurring is not an exclusively modern phenomenon, of course. Early novelists often cast their works as autobiography (see, for instance, Daniel Defoe’s The Life and Strange and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719), Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (1774; The Sorrows of Young Werther), or even Charlotte Brontë’s pseudonymously published Jane Eyre: An Autobiography (1847)). And even as early as Montaigne, autobiographers show occasional signs that they grasp the difficulties of telling a purely factual story. But until and for much of the 19th century, most autobiographers nonetheless saw “truth” as both their aim and their result: witness Gibbon’s disclaimer above; Rousseau’s insistence that his Confessions “display to my kind a portrait in every way true to nature”; the British philosopher John Stuart Mill’s dutiful record of the facts and circumstances of his early life, education, and intellectual development in the Autobiography of 1873; or the British cardinal John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua of 1864, an autobiography expressly written to contest the charge that Newman did not properly value truth. But after the turn of the 20th century, modernist scepticism about the possibility of an integrated self posed new challenges for the genre. Would-be autobiographers, newly cognizant of the discontinuity of lived experience, the difficulty of presenting a unified and complete picture of a life still in progress, and the slipperiness of “truth”, understood the point that Francis Hart makes in his ground-breaking essay “Notes for an Anatomy of Modern Autobiography” (1970): namely, that “the paradox of continuity in discontinuity is itself a problem to be experimented with, and it is a problem both of truth and of form”. Consequently, 20th-century autobiographers have mounted a wide range of formal experiments. Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son (1907), a book based on Gosse’s own childhood and relationship with his father, heralded the emergence of one important (and long-lived) 20th-century experiment: the autobiographical novel. Gosse’s contemporaries quickly adopted the form and cast themselves as third-person protagonists, as evidenced by the Irish novelist James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1914–15), La conscienza di Zeno (1923; Confessions of Zeno) by Joyce’s Italian friend and counterpart Italo Svevo, and the Frenchman Marcel Proust’s A la recherche du temps

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perdu (1913–27; Remembrance of Things Past). The American writer Henry Adams uses the technique to detail his Harvard career in the autobiographical novel The Education of Henry Adams (private edition, 1907; public edition, 1918), and explains that the third-person device allows him to present himself in the role “of model, to become a manikin [sic] on which the toilet of education is to be draped in order to show the fit or misfit of the clothes”. A second important 20th-century experiment has been the multiple autobiography. Ian Fletcher describes the form as a single writer producing several autobiographies, making different “approaches to the past made at distinct times in differing modes”. Yeats furnishes one early instance of this in his Autobiographies (1955), and the contemporary African American writer Maya Angelou has cast and recast her life story in both narrative forms (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969; Gather Together in My Name, 1974; Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, 1976) and lyric poetry (see her collection of 1975, Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well, or the 1978 volume And Still I Rise). Even those 20th-century autobiographers who write in less explicitly experimental forms exhibit a marked self-consciousness. For instance, the Bolshevik revolutionary Leon Trotskii tellingly subtitles his 1930 autobiography My Life (Russian, Moia Zhizn’) as An Attempt at an Autobiography, and recognizes in his text the impossibility of providing the unvarnished facts of his political and personal life: “Describing, I also characterize and evaluate.” Amidst all of this experimentation, one feature of autobiography has remained relatively constant: namely, its status as a largely Western genre. With a few notable exceptions, such as the Japanese writer Murasaki Shikibu’s (973–after 1005) early autobiographical diary-novel Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) and her Nikki (Diary) and Kash? (Poetic Memoirs), the Chinese author Shen Fu’s Fu Sheng liu ji (1878; Six Records of a Floating Life), and the modern Indian classics by Gandhi (The Story of My Experiments with Truth, 1927–29) and Jawaharlal Nehru (An Autobiography, 1936), other traditions have eschewed autobiography’s persistent and detailed focus on the individual. Even within modern Western culture, some groups have challenged the notion of autobiography as a thoroughly individualist form. Perhaps the clearest example of this is the work of Native American autobiographers so well documented by Arnold Krupat. Krupat notes that the ideas of both “self” and “alphabetical writing” implicit in the term “autobiography” are foreign to Native American culture. Consequently, Native American autobiographies are typically mediated productions – an oral account dictated to and transcribed by a (usually white) editor / translator (see, for example, Black Elk Speaks, 1932). The black American writers of slave narratives have provided a second such challenge. Their autobiographical form subordinates an account of unique individual experiences to a set of rigidly fixed conventions that almost invariably include a former slave’s reports of uncertain parentage, mistreatment by a cruel master or mistress, barriers to education and literacy, failed escapes, and finally a successful escape followed by the construction of a new identity and reflections on the institution of slavery (see, for example, Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave of 1845, or Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself of 1861). James Olney explains that the writer of a slave

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narrative has compelling political reasons for producing such formulaic accounts: “To give a true picture of slavery as it really is, he must maintain that he exercises a clear-glass, neutral memory that is neither creative nor faulty – indeed, if it were creative it would be eo ipso faulty, for “creative” would be understood by skeptical readers as a synonym for “lying”. But Valerie Smith persuasively suggests that slave narratives, despite their standardized content, nonetheless empower their individual writers: The processes of plot construction, characterization, and designation of beginnings and endings – in short the process of authorship – provide the narrators with a measure of authority unknown to them in either real or fictional life. Ultimately, autobiography stands as one of the most democratic forms of writing in Western culture. As literature, autobiography draws from and appears in multiple genres; a single autobiographical text may employ formal strategies from drama, poetry, essay, and fiction. As a field for humanist enquiry, autobiography affords a richness unparalleled by any other single form of writing. Famous and obscure, rich and poor, male and female, whites and persons of colour – all have used the form to reflect on what it means to be human, to live in society, to be educated, to find a vocation, to develop principles and live accordingly. As such, while autobiography raises practical and theoretical questions about memory, identity, and “truth”, the form also dramatizes and perpetuates the universal human struggle to live an examined and meaningful life. Bonnie J. Gunzenhauser Further Reading Adams, Henry, The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1918; London: Constable, 1919 (private edition, 1807) Angelou, Maya, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, New York: Bantam Books, 1969 Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, as told to John G. Niehardt, New York: Morrow, 1932 Conway, Jill Ker, When Memory Speaks: Reflections on Autobiography, New York: Knopf, 1998 Eakin, Paul John, Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992 Fletcher, Ian, “Rhythm and Pattern in Autobiographies” in An Honoured Guest: New Essays on W.B. Yeats, edited by Denis Donoghue and J.R. Mulryne, London: Arnold, 1965; New York: St Martin’s Press, 1966 Hart, Francis R., “Notes for an Anatomy of Modern Autobiography”, New Literary History, 1/3 (1970): 485–511 Kingston, Maxine Hong, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts, New York: Knopf, 1976; London: Allen Lane, 1977 Krupat, Arnold (editor), Native American Autobiography: An Anthology, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994 Marcus, Laura, Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1994 Molloy, Sylvia, At Face Value: Autobiographical Writing in Spanish America, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991 Olney, James, Metaphors of Self: The Meaning of Autobiography, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1972

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Olney, James, “‘I Was Born’: Slave Narratives, Their Status as Autobiography and as Literature” in The Slave’s Narrative, edited by Charles T. Davis and Henry Louis Gates, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985 Shapiro, Stephen A., “The Dark Continent of Literature: Autobiography”, Comparative Literature Studies, 5/3 (1968): 421–54 Sheringham, Michael, French Autobiography: Devices and Desires, Rousseau to Perec, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993 Smith, Valerie C., Self-Discovery and Authority in Afro-American Narrative, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987 Spengemann, William C., The Forms of Autobiography: Episodes in the History of a Literary Genre, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1980 Stone, Albert E., “Modern American Autobiography: Texts and Transactions” in American Autobiography: Retrospect and Prospect, edited by Paul John Eakin, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 Trotskii, Leon, My Life: An Attempt at Autobiography, New York: Scribner, 1930 Weintraub, Karl J., The Value of the Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978

Autobiography and Biography: Their Relationship Although the English term “autobiography” seems to be less than 200 years old, both biographical and autobiographical forms are ancient, and both spring from the same ultimate source, the wish to avoid oblivion. In this sense, both are older than the written word, for oral tradition preserves the memory of kings and heroes in early cultures. When writing developed, monuments could be used (as, for instance, by Persian and Roman rulers) to record for posterity their boasts. A new stage was reached when criticism and comparison were introduced, as, in the Western cultures, by Plutarch in the first century ce. Especially after he was translated into French and English in the latter part of the 16th century, Plutarch became perhaps the most influential of all biographers. In recent years the interdependence of autobiography and biography has once again become a focus of debate (as sometimes expressed in the term “auto/biography”; see Stanley). But the contrast between the two forms is still evident. Ultimately, it rests on the inescapable difference between subject and object. And this is reflected in a difference of sources. The first source of biography was oral tradition, possibly based on the impressions of eye-witnesses. As cultures became more literate, this was supplemented, and often overtaken, by documents, especially letters. Someone like Cicero (first century bce), whose letters were preserved in abundance, remains more vivid to later generations than a recent individual whose surviving letters are scanty. The primary material of autobiography is memory; even when autobiographers bring copious documents to their task, the reader will be aware of the author’s memory of the letter he or she wrote or received, and of his or her power of exclusion and choice. The autobiographer need not mention anything of which he or she is ashamed, or which conflicts with his or her literary plan; the biographer may be intent on revealing things that his or her subject might have wished suppressed, or traits of character that were hidden to the subject. A case of the latter is

Samuel Johnson, who thought himself a polite man, though the reader of Boswell’s famous Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) will be unlikely to agree. Further, the autobiographer is living; the subject of biography is often dead. H.G. Wells, for instance, wrote his autobiography in the euphoria of a prosperous life, delighted in the number of his mistresses and the fame of his books, but a biographer would have to reckon with the despair in which he died. But, while most autobiographers have lived the greater part of their life before they set out to write their stories, the contrast is, generally, much sharper than that. Most biographers pass lightly over early years. For instance, in the stout two-volume life of Mandell Creighton, Bishop of London (1843–1901), written by his wife, the reader reaches the subject’s 21st birthday by page 17. By then he had lived more than a third of his life. In many autobiographies, on the other hand, childhood and youth form the most important parts. Thus, the reader, if unguarded, may imagine that the subject of biography was formed by his of her career in the world, whereas the autobiographer was made by nursery dreams; but the contrast is not one of life, but of literary form. Old age (usually) and death (certainly) are omitted from autobiographies. But in biographies, the death scene may be the most important of all, and sometimes posthumous reputation is an important aspect as well. The Christian conviction that the moment of death is of supreme importance had, naturally, its influence on many of the lives of the saints. But the influence goes far beyond this. “Last words” are felt to be of peculiar interest even by biographers who do not believe in the Resurrection of Christ. Sometimes the intended literary climax fails to affect through banality or falsification. When, for instance, Lionel Trotter writing in 1901 of Major Hodson, a hero of British Imperial India, tells us that his subject’s last words were either “Oh, my wife” or “Oh, my mother”, we cannot feel confident that either phrase was not the biographer’s pious invention. (If a man cannot articulate the word “wife”, so as not to sound different from “mother”, then he is too far gone to utter either intelligibly!) Such details only illustrate the difference between the characteristic question authors are asking. The autobiographer typically asks “what made me what I now find myself to be?” The biographer usually asks “what was this person’s nature, and wherein lies the abiding importance of this life?” Generally, the reader of a biography can be compared to a spectator examining a portrait or viewing a performer on stage. The sympathetic reader of autobiography is summoned to empathy, and may remember moments more vividly than facts. Anyone who has not looked at Augustine’s Confessions for years is almost sure to remember the child in the garden, calling “Tolle, lege”, or Monica’s rejection of her son’s concern about her burial, while only close students will be able to give an account of neo-Platonic doctrines or the chronology of Augustine’s travels. Indeed, an autobiography that lacks memorable “spots of time” (in Romantic terminology) is liable to leave an impression of aridity. Of course, many biographers have had personal knowledge of their subjects. It is possible, then, for the two forms to merge in short passages. J.A. Froude’s moving account of his last conversation with the aged Thomas Carlyle, in which the latter complained that he was called “great”, but that nobody believed

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his teaching, could equally have been a passage in the author’s autobiography, had he written one. Many, though not all, autobiographies are vitiated by a wish to seem more stainless than the facts warrant; in biography we have to reckon with discipleship, in some cases, and hostility in others. Complete impartiality is an ideal seldom attained. Before beginning to write, the biographer will usually have formed a general view of his or her subject’s character. A crucial aspect, for which critical readers will be on the alert, therefore, will be those actions (which occur in most lives) that may plausibly be called “out of character”. A bad biographer may omit them or wilfully misinterpret them to fit a prearranged pattern. Good biographers will be sure to note their importance, but may have several ways of dealing with them. They may adjust their scheme to incorporate the unexpected; they may confess themselves puzzled; they may have a plan flexible enough to allow for the inconsistencies of human nature. In any case, those moments when the smoothness of literary composition confronts the rough texture of life often reveal the best evidence of a biographer’s quality. Selection and exclusion are necessary tools of both trades. Sometimes exclusion springs from a defined intention, as with John Henry Newman, who, writing of his religious opinions in his Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864), chose not to speak of his devotional feelings. In Praeterita (1886–89), John Ruskin indicated his reason for omitting mention of his wife by saying that he was writing only of what gave him pleasure. But he would undoubtedly have been at a loss to explain why so many summaries of Swiss history should have helped the reader to understand him. Sometimes, exclusion seems to spring from an unadmitted wish to suppress a painful memory. Then the writer might be puzzled or embarrassed to have his or her omission pointed out. Did John Stuart Mill really know why, in writing extensively about his childhood, he never mentioned his mother? In biography, the principle of exclusion may relate to public events, or to a concept of “decency”. Monypenny and Buckle’s six-volume life of Benjamin Disraeli does not mention his debts or his sexual history before marriage, perhaps employing both principles. Occasions that determine the timing of composition and publication are various. In biography, the subject’s death provides an obvious motive to begin work, but biographies of people long dead may still have an immediate motivation. Thus, Carlyle wrote on Oliver Cromwell partly as a counterblast to religious and political tendencies in the 1840s. In autobiography, the commonest reason to begin – at least before the emergence of mass-media celebrity autobiography – is that age is drawing on and most of a life’s work completed. Politicians, when dismissed or defeated at the polls, often begin work at once. Again there are exceptions: Beverley Nichols earned notoriety by writing his own life (1926) when he was twenty-five. Despite the fact that autobiographers control the version of the life they produce, not all wish to justify themselves. It is true they may have various motives for confessing to base or stupid actions. Augustine wished to show the mercy of God to a sinner, Benvenuto Cellini (perhaps) to boast of his cynicism, JeanJacques Rousseau to suggest that the reader, if honest, would recollect equally discreditable episodes in his or her own life. But it is not necessarily true that the autobiographer proves an egoist by publishing at all. Roy Pascal’s words seem to be wise

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in this context: “It is misleading to talk of the self-love of autobiographers; most of us love ourselves too dearly to be autobiographers.” A.O.J. Cockshut Further Reading Clifford, James L. (editor), Biography as an Art: Selected Criticism, 1560–1960, New York: Oxford University Press, 1962 Hart, Francis R., “Boswell and the Romantics”, English Literary History, 27 (1962): 44–65 Kendall, P.M., The Art of Biography, New York: Norton, 1965 Marcus, Laura, Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1994 Maurois, André, Aspects of Biography, translated by Sydney Castle Roberts, London: Cambridge University Press, and New York: Appleton, 1929 Pascal, Roy, Design and Truth in Autobiography, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, and London: Routledge, 1960 Stanley, Liz, The Auto/biographical I: The Theory and Practice of Feminist Auto/biography, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1992 Stephen, Leslie, “National Biography” in his Studies of a Biographer, vol. 1, London: Duckworth, and New York: Putnam, 1898 Stauffer, Donald A., The Art of Biography in Eighteenth-Century England, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, and London: Oxford University Press, 1941 Stewart, J.I.M., “Biography” in The Craft of Letters in England: A Symposium, edited by J. Lehmann, London: Cresset Press, 1956; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957 Thayer, William R., The Art of Biography, New York: Scribner, 1920

Autobiography and the Essay The autobiographical essay may be viewed either as a kind of essay recounting some part of the writer’s own life or as a short autobiography having the character of an essay. Both approaches disclose the formal tensions shaping autobiographical essays: their participation in two genres – autobiography and essay – that, although traditionally distinguished, are here so joined as to foreground the historical instability and dynamism of each. Although autobiographical essays are to be found occasionally among the works of earlier writers, their proliferation is largely a 20th-century phenomenon. The term itself appears only at mid-century, despite the much earlier establishment of its components, “essay” (about 1600) and “autobiography” (about 1800). Earlier writers sometimes use the term “autobiographical sketch” for short self narratives that lack the ruminative texture of essays (e.g. Sir Thomas Bodley’s “Life”, 1609), as well as for essay-length texts that, from a contemporary standpoint, look like genuine autobiographical essays (e.g. Abraham Cowley’s “Of Myself”, 1668). Only in recent years has the autobiographical essay begun to assume theoretical status as an essay “type” which, though often incorporating features of other types (e.g. the travel essay, the moral essay, the critical essay), is marked by its focus on retrospection and remembrance (Good, 1988). As modern practices, both autobiography and the essay have their roots in the European Renaissance and enact that cultural epoch’s reconception of the individual life. Autobiography may be understood as a confluence of traditions whose characteristic

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modes are narrative: allegory, hagiography, and history, specifically biography. The essay, whose matrix is meditative and epistolary, has formal affinities with the thematizing schemata of commonplace books. If both autobiography and the essay are, broadly speaking, genres of self-representation, it is the culturally and historically variable impetus to recount the writer’s own life that informs autobiography, and it is the projection of the writer’s point of view – the reflective and often reflexive gaze provisionally shaping observation and experience – that directs the essay. The autobiographical essay, then, may be viewed as a practice at the intersection of autobiography and essay, a movement between the narratively self-centred imperatives of the former and the worldly discursiveness of the latter. Alfred Kazin’s much-cited delineation in The Open Form: Essays for Our Time (1961) of the essay’s domain – “not the self, but the self thinking” – brings into sharp relief the problematic hybrid character of the autobiographical essay’s simultaneous concern with “the self” and “the self thinking”. The essay as autobiographical space attempts to accommodate and to bring into artful relation autobiography’s traditional search for a significant personal past and the essay’s more or less self-conscious immersion in the pleasures and aporias of writing as such. Certain well-known autobiographical essays assume their very form through the negotiative processes entailed in this accommodation. Thus Montaigne’s “De l’exercitation” (1588; “Of Practice”) embeds a self-revising piecemeal account of an accident in an expanding self-meditation; Walter Benjamin’s Berliner Chronik (1970; A Berlin Chronicle) configures the life of childhood as personal and cultural topography; Virginia Woolf’s “A Sketch of the Past” (written 1939–40) juxtaposes then and now in an ever-shifting and evolving retrospective framework; Katherine Anne Porter’s “St. Augustine and the Bullfight” (1955) interweaves a continually deferred autobiographical anecdote with digressive speculation about the autobiographical act itself; Yukio Mishima’s Taiyo to tetsu (1968; Sun and Steel ) joins reminiscence and confession to literary and social commentary in a discourse that calls itself “confidential criticism”. More typically, the task of recounting the writer’s life in the span of an essay, within that genre’s conventions of fragmentariness and provisionality, is achieved through various narrative foreshortenings and dispersals. Thus, autobiographical essays may scale down the amplitude of a life by narrowing the retrospective gaze to a single significant experience, as in Washington Irving’s “The Voyage” (1819), William Hazlitt’s “My First Acquaintance with Poets” (1823), G.K. Chesterton’s “A Piece of Chalk” (1905), George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” (1936), W.E.B. Du Bois’s “The Guilt of the Cane” (1948), and Graham Greene’s “The Revolver in the Corner Cupboard” (1951); or by focusing on a formative stage of the writer’s life, and the places and people associated with it, as in Thomas De Quincey’s “The English Mailcoach” (1849), T.H. Huxley’s “Autobiography” (1889), W.B. Yeats’s Reveries over Childhood and Youth (1915), Eudora Welty’s “A Sweet Devouring” (1957), Wallace Stegner’s “The Town Dump” (1959), Nadine Gordimer’s “A Bolter and the Invincible Summer” (1963), and Shiva Naipaul’s “Beyond the Dragon’s Mouth” (1984). Most commonly, autobiographical essays tend to limit scope by pondering some aspect or crux of the writer’s creative, social, or spiritual existence, e.g. Jonathan Edwards’s “Personal Narrative” (1765), David Hume’s “My Own Life”

(originally published as The Life of David Hume written by Himself, 1777), Zora Neale Hurston’s “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” (1928), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Crack-Up” (1936), Elizabeth Bowen’s “Out of a Book” (1950), Margaret Laurence’s “Where the World Began” (1971), and Alice Walker’s “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self” (1983). This approach has had particular appeal for distinguished writers in languages other than English, as exemplified by Lev Tolstoi’s “Ispoved’” (written 1779; “A Confession”), Ernest Renan’s “St. Renan” (1883), Franz Kafka’s “Brief an den Vater” (written 1919; “Letter to His Father”), Thomas Mann’s “Okkulte Erlebnisse” (1924; “An Experience in the Occult”), Albert Camus’s “La Mort dans l’âme” (1937; “Death in the Soul”), Jerzy Stempowski’s “Ksiegozbiór przemypników” (1948; “The Smugglers’ Library”), Christa Wolf’s “Blickwechsel” (1970; “Changing Viewpoint”), and José Donoso’s Historia personal del “boom” (1971; The Boom in Spanish American Literature: A Personal History). In all such instances it may be said that, even as autobiography urges its quest for the self as life story upon the essay, so, in turn, the essay conducts that quest on a scale suitable to its own rhetorical nature. Nowhere is this generic transaction more intricately sustained than in the autobiographical book composed as a series of separately titled, and sometimes independently published, pieces, e.g. Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory (1951; 1966), Sara Suleri’s Meatless Days (1989), and Tobias Wolff’s In Pharaoh’s Army (1994); a notable early example is Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire (1782; Reveries of a Solitary Walker). While chapters that make up such books work as essays, their internal resonances, thematic coalescences, and cumulative effects create the amplitude, if not the continuity, of autobiography. Beyond all such patently autobiographical essays lies a large body of texts which, while drawing upon autobiographical material, subordinate narrative to wide-ranging speculation. Most of Montaigne’s Essais (1580, 1588) belong here, as do the “Meditations” of John Donne’s Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624), and, among later writers in English, William Hazlitt’s miscellaneous essays, much of Washington Irving’s Sketchbook (1819), William Makepeace Thackeray’s Roundabout Papers (1863), and countless 20th-century essays traditionally labelled “familiar” or “informal”. Indeed, self-narrative may recede to the vanishing point in such works that are, nonetheless, deeply self-revelatory and / or passionately apologetic (e.g. Henry David Thoreau’s “Life without Principle”, 1863; Robert Louis Stevenson’s “An Apology for Idlers”, 1876; or E.M. Forster’s “What I Believe”, 1939). The strongly personal character of such essays suggests deep affinities with autobiography as a mode of self-location; at the same time, it raises difficult, if highly productive, questions about the relationship between the autobiographical essay and what throughout this century (at least as far back as Virginia Woolf’s 1905 piece, “The Decay of Essay Writing”) has been termed “the personal essay”. From one standpoint, the emergence and modern flowering of the autobiographical essay appears as a specialization of this broader “type” in which the writer’s perspective and sensibility (what writers such as Woolf called “personality”) move into the foreground. On this account, the autobiographical essay represents the most focused historical enactment of the antisystematic and anti-institutional tendencies that have marked

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the essay since its beginnings. Thus, in the context of 20thcentury preoccupations, at all levels of cultural experience, with diversity and difference, the old Renaissance questions of knowledge and authority express themselves in the autobiographical essay as negotiations of the historically and discursively situated self – the body that writes. But what if, like many writers and readers, past and present, we regard the “personal” as characterizing not a certain range of essays but the essay genre as a whole? To appreciate the persistence of this view one need only observe how widespread in the critical and pedagogic literature has been the sometimes deliberate, sometimes inadvertent, conflation of the terms “personal essay” and “essay”, no doubt because of the normative sway of Montaigne’s eminently “personal” – some would say “autobiographical” – Essais over the genre’s dispersed and multifarious practices. The theoretical implications of this terminological slippage for both traditions, autobiography and essay, are considerable. Scholars such as Hugo Friedrich (Montaigne, 1949) and Michel Beaujour (The Poetics of the Literary SelfPortrait, 1980) read Montaigne’s influential work not as autobiography but as self-writing of a kind that Beaujour terms “autoportrait” (a genre that might claim such postmodern texts as roland BARTHES par roland barthes, 1975). Suppose, however, that the autobiographical mark of Montaigne’s essays is their recounting not of the writer’s “life”, as a past of the recollected, but of the autobiographical act per se, as selfinscriptive process; the autobiographical essay, in this view, opens the door to a kind of meta-story. Thus the status we assign to Montaigne’s Essais positions our conception of both autobiography and the essay as discourses of the “personal” and frames our theoretical accounts of such salient notions as “narrative” and “self”. In its academically transgressive guise as “autobiographical” or “personal” or “narrative” criticism, the contemporary autobiographical essay engages these and other issues, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, and demonstrates yet again the protean energies of the two genres in which it participates. Lydia Fakundiny Further Reading Anderson, Chris (editor), Literary Nonfiction: Theory, Criticism, Pedagogy, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989 Butrym, Alexander J. (editor), Essays on the Essay: Redefining the Genre, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989 DeObaldia, Claire, The Essayistic Spirit: Literature, Modern Criticism, and the Essay, Oxford: Clarendon Press, and New York: Oxford University Press, 1995 Fakundiny, Lydia (editor), The Art of the Essay, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991 (anthology) Freedman, Diane et al. (editors), The Intimate Critique: Autobiographical Literary Criticism, Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1993 Good, Graham, The Observing Self: Rediscovering the Essay, London and New York: Routledge, 1988 Good, Graham, “Identity and Form in the Modern Autobiographical Essay”, Prose Studies, 15/1 (1992): 99–117 Peterson, Linda, “Gender and the Autobiographical Essay: Research, Perspectives, Pedagogical Practices”, College Composition and Communication, 42 (May 1991): 171–93 Sayre, Robert F. (editor), American Lives: An Anthology of Autobiographical Writings, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994 “Terms of Identity: Essays on the Theoretical Terminology of LifeWriting”, special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 10/1 (1995)

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Autobiography and Fiction see Autofiction; The Bildungsroman; The I-Novel

Autobiography and Poetry Many think of poetry as directly autobiographical. This readerly expectation is particularly true of lyrical poetry, which is so often in the first person and typically deals with subjective states and personal predicaments. Thus when we read the fragments of Sappho’s verse or the erotic poems of Catullus, when we read Shakespeare’s sonnets or T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, we may feel as if we are reading direct accounts of their lived experience. However, such an assumption is dangerous because poets, unless they spell out alternative intentions, have always worked to create a convincing artifact for the imagination. They may well take personal incidents or personal feelings as a starting point but will change and develop these as the poem takes on its distinctive form. Indeed, while Shakespeare’s or John Donne’s love-sonnets, for example, have often been read as autobiographical, we can infer almost nothing about the poets’ own personal relationships from these writings. At most, one could argue that they aim to create a telling illusion of autobiography and of self-expression. In considering the subject of autobiography in poetry, therefore, this essay makes reference only to those poems that are consciously presented to the reader or listener as autobiography – that is to say where the “I” of the poem is seen to relate unambiguously to the actual “I” of the writer. One of the first major verse autobiographies in Western culture, in this strict sense, is Dante’s La vita nuova (The New Life). This was written around 1292–94, some four years after the death of Dante’s great love Beatrice, when the poet was about 30 years of age. The work, consisting of a series of sonnets and canzoni with a prose commentary, was written not in Latin, but in his Tuscan vernacular, and formed a public epistle to his older fellow poet and friend, Cavalcanti. The narrative of the book concerns the inner and linear progression of Dante’s understanding of erotic love. The volume is best envisaged as an autobiographical apologia where the poet, taking his own experience and showing how it was given definition in his own poetry, challenges the tradition of tragic love and troubadour rhetoric. Through personal testimony, drawing on his remembered experience – of events, of speculations, of dreams, of fantasies and visions – Dante is saying to Cavalcanti: “This, my friend, on the pulse of my own experience, is what true love signifies.” Strangely, this important piece of poetic and theological apologia, mixing prose and poetry into a single argument, created no tradition of autobiographical exegesis among later poets. Perhaps the most ambitious autobiography using poetry exclusively as its medium is Wordsworth’s The Prelude with its significant subtitle Growth of a Poet’s Mind. It was written during the years 1798–1805 and, with multiple revisions to the first version, was first published in 1850, shortly after Wordsworth’s death. This long autobiographical poem could not be more unlike Dante’s La vita nuova except that, like so much autobiographical poetry, it was written for a close friend.

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(Dante’s book addressed the poet Cavalcanti; Wordsworth’s addressed the poet Coleridge.) The Prelude is concerned to demonstrate a progressive movement from one level of consciousness to another, from the intense engagement of childhood to the reflective understanding of maturity as the older self remembers its former spontaneous experience. The Prelude contains some of the greatest poetry written by Wordsworth in its narration of his development as a poet. Without doubt, the most memorable autobiographical passages relate to his vivid memories as a child – for example, stealing the eggs of a raven, taking a small boat out onto the lake, skating in the winter on ice. These are some of the most linguistically embodied autobiographical passages of poetic re-creation in the English language. However, the poem is intended to be a monumental ars poetica, a personal plotting of the relationship between God, nature, humanity, and the poet, as well as a celebration of the lyrical power of memory; in this latter aspect it has much in common with Augustine’s Confessions (written 397–400ce) and Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu (1913–27). For all its defects (it is tendentious, there is too much self-regard, and there is a profound failure of poetic verve in the later sections of the book) Wordsworth’s poem – both in its original 1805 edition and in its much-reworked 1850 version – stands as a unique landmark in the history of autobiography. In the 19th century the American poet Walt Whitman attempted Wordsworth’s sublime aim to write an epic autobiographical poem in verse. In 1855 Whitman published Leaves of Grass, which he continued to revise and re-publish during the course of his life, the first part of which was later to be titled Song of Myself. The poem, in contrast to the regular iambic pentameter used by Wordsworth, was composed in sprawling free verse, its cadences deeply influenced by the King James version of the Bible. There is, though, an enormous gap between the two autobiographical projects; where in Wordsworth the “I” of the poem refers to the individual author moving through life from childhood, to youth, to adulthood in the span of the prototypical autobiographical narrative, in Whitman the “I” refers to the author in a much more expansive, cosmic role. (The first edition of Leaves of Grass has an engraving of him – bearded, casual, a hand on his hip, a man of the people.) The “I” in Whitman is presented as a god-like celebrant of the immediate moment and of the mystical meanings that lie vibrating within it. And the book has for its immediate audience not an intimate friend, but the emerging people of the new democracy of the United States. It is an extraordinary literary experiment in what might be best termed cosmic autobiography. It could be compared to the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “The Wreck of the Deutschland” (written in 1875) in which, in another remarkably innovative poem, the author places his own life in a similarly vast perspective. There have been many other significant autobiographical poems and sequences of poems – poems, that is to say, where the author denotes a clear referential connection between the drama of the work and the drama of his or her own life. Any list would have to include the following: Basil Bunting’s Briggflatts (1966), F.T. Prince’s Memoirs in Oxford (1970), many of the poems in Seamus Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist (1966), Douglas Dunn’s Elegies (1985), Tony Harrison’s poems of class struggle and identity in From the School of Eloquence and Other Poems (1978), Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals (1980), Jackie Kay’s

The Adoption Papers (1991), Thom Gunn’s The Man with Night Sweats (1992; in the acknowledgements the autobiographical element is declared and the names of some of those who died are listed), and Ted Hughes’s Birthday Letters (1998). No account of poetry and autobiography would be complete without mention of what has come to be known as “confessional” poetry. It has been claimed that confessional poetry began in America on the evening of 18 November 1953. On that evening, at a concert, the poet W.D. Snodgrass scribbled the opening lines of the autobiographical sequence that was to be published as Heart’s Needle in 1959. The book, openly portraying the break-up of his own marriage, was to exert a strong influence. Even more seminal were the poems, published in the same year, by Robert Lowell under the title Life Studies. These poems mercilessly exposed the author’s background and his own severe psychological breakdown. The volumes by Snodgrass and Lowell together created a revolution in poetry. What was espoused was nothing less than the most direct writing from inner trauma, states of stress, and extreme dislocation. A series of acclaimed confessional volumes quickly followed: Anne Sexton’s To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), John Berryman’s 77 Dream Songs (1964; as The Dream Songs, 1969), and Sylvia Plath’s Ariel (1965). Much contemporary poetry still occupies the febrile space opened up by these confessional poets. From the 1970s onwards, politically motivated poets, particularly feminist and black writers such as Sharon Olds and Alicia Ostriker, have drawn on the confessional model to suggest the more public and social articulations of trauma as the wellspring of poetry. The polemical concerns as well as the aesthetic complexity of such writing remind us that we must be on our guard against reading such confessional poetry as straight autobiography. We are only entitled to make that connection when the author explicitly invites us to connect the words on the page with the actual lived experience of the author. For if all poetry is seen as autobiography, then the category forfeits its power of differentiated meaning. Peter Abbs Further Reading Selected Poetry: Berryman, John, 77 Dream Songs, London: Faber, 1964; as The Dream Songs, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1969 Blain, Virginia, Caroline Bowles Southey: The Making of a Woman Poet, Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 1998 (includes text of Southey’s autobiographical poem The Birthday, 1836) Bunting, Basil, Briggflatts, London: Fulcrum Press, 1966 Dante, Alighieri, La vita nuova, translated by Barbara Reynolds, London and Baltimore: Penguin, 1969 Dunn, Douglas, Elegies, London and Boston: Faber, 1985 Gunn, Thom, The Man with Night Sweats, London: Faber, and New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1992 Harrison, Tony, Selected Poems, London: Penguin, and New York: Viking Press, 1984 Heaney, Seamus, Death of a Naturalist, London: Faber, and New York: Oxford University Press, 1966 Hopkins, Gerard Manley, Poems and Prose, introduced by W.H. Gardner, London: Penguin, 1958; Baltimore: Penguin, 1963 Hughes, Ted, Birthday Letters, London: Faber, and New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998 Lowell, Robert, Life Studies, London: Faber, and New York: Farrar Straus Cudahy, 1959 Plath, Sylvia, Ariel, London: Faber, and New York: Perennial Library, 1965

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Prince, F.T., Memoirs in Oxford, London: Fulcrum Press, 1970 Sexton, Anne, Selected Poems of Anne Sexton, edited by Diane Wood Middlebrook and Diana Hume George, London: Virago Press, 1991 Snodgrass, W.D., Heart’s Needle, New York: Knopf, 1959; Hessle, Yorkshire: Marvell Press, 1960 Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass: The First (1855) Edition, edited by Malcolm Cowley, New York: Viking Press, 1959; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986 Wordsworth, William, The Prelude: A Parallel Text, edited by J.C. Maxwell, London: Penguin, 1971; revised edition, London: Penguin, and New York: Viking Press, 1972

Analysis: Abbs, Peter, The Polemics of Imagination: Selected Essays on Art, Culture and Society, London: Skoob, 1996 Abrams, M.H., The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition, London: Oxford University Press, 1953; New York: Norton, 1958 Abrams, M.H., Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature, London: Oxford University Press, and New York: Norton, 1971 Arac, Jonathan, Critical Genealogies: Historical Situations for Postmodern Literary Studies, New York: Columbia University Press, 1978, pp. 57–81 Egan, Susanna, Patterns of Experience in Autobiography, Chapel Hill: Univeristy of North Carolina Press, 1984 Jay, Peter, Being in the Text: Self Representation from Wordsworth to Roland Barthes, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1984 Olney, James (editor), Metaphors of Self: The Meaning of Autobiography, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1972 Olney, James (editor), Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980 Ostriker, Alicia Suskin, Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America, London: Women’s Press, 1986

Autoethnography Autoethnography is a term employed in recent postcolonial, multicultural, anthropological, and folkloric theorizing for hybrid texts that combine autobiographical and ethnographic writing practices. It situates the writer in, and through, a social milieu, or ethnos, that is irreducibly tied to the subject it constructs. Autoethnography is practised by subjects who are “unauthorized” in the autobiographical tradition, who implicitly interrogate its norms. Autoethnographic writers understand identity as collective or transindividual, located at a complex “contact zone” between metropolitan and indigenous sites, and as a métissage that braids together multiple, disparate discourses. Conceptually, they challenge the account of autobiography as a Western master narrative that was proposed by Georges Gusdorf, who asserted that “it is obvious that autobiography is not possible in a cultural landscape where consciousness of self does not, properly speaking, exist”. And, if non-Europeans write an autobiography, “those men [sic] will thereby have been annexed by a sort of intellectual colonizing to a mentality that was not their own”. Autoethnography situates self-presentation through the representation of the subject’s historically mis- or unremembered group; it reads the individual through a “synecdochic model” as a part of a collectivity, often one whose membership has been transmitted orally over generations (see Krupat). In “The Autobiography of Those Who Do Not Write”,

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Philippe Lejeune explores a version of this as “auto-ethnology” in memoirs of the French workers’ movement. The writer of such texts interiorizes a collective history “split between speech and writing”, thereby playing two roles, as worker and as author, either of which may predominate. Lejeune characterizes this as a situation in which the subject “is his own informer … whose plan in writing is to construct his identity”. Reinscribing the investigator–informant relationship in this interior process, Lejeune suggests that autoethnology may shore up the collective memory of a reading public or contribute to its willed amnesia through an “ethnological gap”. Autoethnography has a double history as critical theory, in anthropology and the social sciences since the 1980s, and as textual practice in writing and the visual arts throughout the 20th century in texts usually called autobiographical. Within anthropology the terms of debate have been differently inflected than in literary study. The postmodernist critique of anthropological method and its object of study was waged by Clifford Geertz, James Clifford, George Marcus, Michael Taussig, Michael M.J. Fischer, and others in the 1980s. Such central concepts as participant observation, the investigator–informant relationship, and fieldwork itself were deconstructed in this reinterpretation of the ethnographic project. In summarizing these debates, the anthropologist Deborah Reed Danahay has proposed a model of autoethnography as “a form of self-narrative that places the self within a social context … [It is] both a method and a text” performed by either an anthropologist doing “home” or “native” ethnography, a non-ethnographer, or an autobiographer situating a personal story in the story of the social context of its occurrence. She locates autoethnography at the boundary of three genres: “native anthropology”, in which informants write studies of their own groups; the “ethnic autobiography” of those in ethnic minority groups; and “autobiographical ethnography”, the ethnographic writing of anthropologists leavened with their personal experience. A boundary-crossing practice, autoethnography rewrites the self and the social through each other. While anthropologists place the ethnographic exchange between investigator and informant at the centre of autoethnography, theorists of autobiography have emphasized processes of writing and the formation of subjectivity. In autobiography studies, autoethnography emerged as a theoretical term in the analyses of the critics Françoise Lionnet and Mary Louise Pratt in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Both critics analysed a range of colonial and postcolonial first-person narratives situated at multiple cultural boundaries between metropolitan and local languages, oral and written modes of storytelling, individual and collective modes of self-presentation, and national and indigenous identities. Lionnet notes Fernando Ortiz’s use of autoethnography to explore the assimilation of Afro-Cuban culture into Hispanic culture, emphasizing the dialectical movement that writers make between cultures as they create a braiding of disparate discourses that does not privilege one over the other. The terms of subjectivity become pluralistic and transnational, oscillating between voicing and writing autobiography, as in the “anarchic” style of Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) or the francophone narratives of Maryse Condé. Pratt proposes a concept of autoethnography. She describes autoethnographic acts as “instances in which colonized subjects

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undertake to represent themselves in ways that engage with the colonizer’s own terms”. As counter-narratives that engage and interrogate Western discourses of truth and identity, autoethnographies occur at a “contact zone” that is geographic, linguistic, and cultural. The testimonio produced by Rigoberta Menchú with Burgos-Debray and other collaborators exemplifies for Pratt the complex processes of this transcription, circulation, and reception of autoethnography. Menchú presents herself ethnographically as a member of a community held together by ritual practices and traditional beliefs, but also as a self-conscious “I” able to parody ethnographic conventions; she is both a politicized representative of her community and an individual narrating a tragic personal story of suppressed desire in service to it. Many other literary critics in the 1990s have theorized autoethnography. Alice Deck characterized the autobiographies of Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road) and the South African writer Noni Jabavu, in Drawn in Colour (1960) and The Ochre People (1963), as autoethnographic. In such texts “the traditional historical frame of autobiography is minimized or jettisoned; … instead the continuous present typical of ethnography and travel writing … coincides with the ‘narrator as eyewitness’ posture”. Deck emphasizes the bicultural identities and multiple subject positions that Hurston and Jabavu stake out and their projects of comparing the ethnic community of origin with the white community of education to display the humanity of the indigenous community to an international audience. Other studies of autoethnography construct a bridge between literary and ethnographic theorizing. Kamala Visweswaran proposes the concept of “hyphenated ethnography” to describe how autobiographers negotiate “the terms between shifting alliances” as they alternate between “speaking for” and “speaking from” groups of national or cultural identity. Caren Kaplan builds on Visweswaran’s reading of autoethnography in interpreting it as an “outlaw genre” of the master narrative of autobiography that “requires radical revisions of notions of individual authorship and authenticity” in “models of multiracial, multinational, multiethnic, and polysexual struggle”. Anne Goldman understands autoethnography as a hybrid genre produced by the “pressures ethnography exerts upon [the] desire … to speak autobiographically” in the writings of workingclass, ethnic-minority American women as they develop innovative texts that interweave social engagement and personal history. Autoethnographers such as Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, Cleofas Jaramillo, and Fabiola Cabeza de Baca in their cookbooks and Rose Pesotta in her labour-organizing narrative inscribe personal stories within everyday forms to both use and critique the ethnographic scripts that had historically effaced them. The Chippewa writer Gerald Vizenor has developed a mode of autoethnography in his mixed-blood writing of memory that intends to “loosen the seams in the shrouds of identities”. His trickster figure is “a transitive contradancer between communal tribal cultures … and urban pretensions that counter conservative traditions”. Vizenor’s autocriticism recrosses boundaries between dominant and indigenous practices of telling and remembering to reactivate and give voice to cultural memory even as he critiques any simple insider–outsider distinction. Two prime autoethnographic texts in the United States are the aforementioned Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) and Richard

Wright’s Black Boy (1945; the second part, American Hunger, was first published in 1977). Although Wright was critical of Hurston’s use of folk ethnography to represent African Americans collectively, both located their narrative “I” at an intersection of raced histories and practices, pointing at the mutual construction of otherness in social and self-formation. Both take the demeaning epithets used to characterize them – “boy”, “lady’s maid” – as a category of social identity to be redefined. Hurston, who trained as an anthropologist under Franz Boas at Columbia University, began her narrative of family and her African American town of Eatonville, Florida, with a collection of sayings, songs, and stories that, to paraphrase her, put the tongue in her mouth. Her narrating “I” is inextricable from the group she studies; she is both informant and ethnographer in the conversations, brawls, and rituals she records. Although Wright emphasizes his difference from others as an isolated protagonist in rural Mississippi and urban Chicago, he also inscribes his subject within the terms of race, class, region, and ideology. The boy narrator, distancing himself from his hostile family, neighbours, and the whites for whom he works, constructs an oppositional subjectivity to navigate the colour line. Hurston and Wright re-read growing up in the rural South as a dialogic process, which threatened yet also motivated their identityformation as accomplished writers. Many life stories of indigenous people, such as Native Americans, are also situated at such racial or cultural contact zones, though, as Arnold Krupat suggests, only “autobiographies by Indians” are autoethnographic. Life stories by bicultural American writers such as Zitkala Sa, William Apes, Sarah Winnemucca, N. Scott Momaday, and Leslie Marmon Silko frame a personal self within the terms of a collective, communal identity. By contrast, “Indian autobiographies”, such as Black Elk Speaks (1932), are told by indigenous people to someone from outside who elicits the story, often in conventional anthropological categories and with a third party, the translator, as ethnographic works (see Krupat). Canadian and Australian indigenous works may be framed in similar terms. As Hertha D. Sweet Wong has argued, such identities are irreducibly communal, even when spoken in a single voice. But the narratives of multicultural American subjects telling of cultural encounters are not necessarily autoethnographic. Many immigrant narratives, for example, are ethnic autobiographies celebrating an individual’s discovery of, accession to, and place within the new nation, as Betty Bergland has shown. Norma Cantú’s Canícula or Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory (1981) in different ways constitute such communities. Autoethnography, by contrast, questions the postulation of a coherent community from the perspective of a narrator whose identities are multiple, differently constructed, and incompatible. For example, Cherríe Moraga’s Loving in the War Years (1983) presents her affiliations – with Los Angeles Chicanas, lesbian feminists, the mixed-ancestry family in which she identifies as a woman and disidentifies as a daughter – as heterogeneous and contested, not complementary. Transculturating these shifting identifications, she resists each particular one. Much African life writing of the first postcolonial generation is also autoethnographic. In it, writers use the terms of metropolitan subjectivity and nation to contest those of local and ethnic affiliation, complicated by questions of language, syntax,

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writing, publication, and reception. In Senegal, for example, Nafissatou Diallo’s A Dakar Childhood (in French as De Tilène au plateau, 1975) is an insider–outsider narrative written in French, the colonial language, but embedded in local Dakar festivals, Wolof proverbs, and Islamic rituals and strictures. Ken Bugul’s The Abandoned Baobab (in French, 1984) suggests the impossibility of assimilated identity by representing the differential structures of temporality she experienced in late colonialism: from the ahistorical flow of life in the village to the progressive clock time of Brussels to the associational flood of memories of a lost mother and mother country. A South African autobiographical narrative such as J.M. Coetzee’s Boyhood (1997) presents autoethnography as a negotiation of clashing political and linguistic communities. The narrator critiques his young self’s uneasy assumption of dominance as Afrikaans in his identification with English educational values, fascination with Soviet politics, attraction to Catholicism, and eroticization of the “coloured” children with whom he is prohibited from playing. But the adult narrator reads the apartheid South African state of 1948 as less a nation than an occupying force. Similarly, the Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga, in Nervous Conditions (1988), exploring contradictory identificatory possibilities under colonialism, recasts her life story as a novel to indicate the collective nature of struggles of gender, race, class, and land politics. Discussions of autoethnography might include the case study, in which an individual takes her- or himself as exemplary and makes a life narrative emblematic of the untold story of a larger social group. Carolyn Steedman in Landscape for a Good Woman (1986) rewrites the materialist histories of the working class that dominated 20th-century British sociology but erased the meanings of the lives of women and children. In Head above Water (1986) Buchi Emecheta studies herself as an immigrant single mother in council flats in London rewriting the narrative of depressed, female-headed African families. As a case worker she narrates her success in resolving her own “case”. Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted (1993) pursues another kind of case study, assembling a diverse cast of characters in the “parallel universe” of a mental hospital. Documenting the stages of her hospitalization with official forms, she is authorized to speak both for, and on behalf of, those unable to tell their stories of marginalization. Life writing may also use ethnographic categories strategically to embed personal trauma in a socio-historical context. In Shame (1998) Annie Ernaux situates her childhood memory of a primal scene, her father’s attempt to kill her mother, within an extended ethnographic recollection of contexts of her childhood: I have … to explore the laws, rites, beliefs and references that defined the circles in which I was caught up – school, family, small-town life … [and] expose the different languages that made up my personality … I shall process [those images] like documents … I shall carry out an ethnological study of myself. Autoethnography becomes a means of recasting her narrative against a psychoanalytic reading of personal trauma, an aidemémoire. The West African filmmaker and critic Manthia Diawara, in

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In Search of Africa (1998), extends the use of autoethnography, combining the discourses of the Sartrean “situation”, criticism of African American memoirists, and a personal narrative of return to Africa in search of a childhood friend. In his autoethnographic film Rouch in Reverse (1995), he uses “reverse anthropology”, the study by subjects of ethnographic investigation of their former investigators, to interview the ethnographer Jean Rouch. Both an observer of and participant in African identity politics, Diawara makes the logic of his autoethnography clear: “I wanted to pass through Rouch in order to render visible new African voices and images: the ones that defy stereotype and primitivism”. The use of autoethnography in visual life histories has been increasingly recognized. Frida Kahlo’s painting My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (1936) embeds her infant selfportrait in her mixed European-Tehuana family’s genealogy, as Diego Rivera’s murals monumentally situate the present in Mexico’s indigenous past generations. Faith Ringgold’s multimedia quilts layer paint, fabric, and writing to narrate her own origins, through the coming of Africans to American shores, as both enslavement and rebirth. Carmen Lomas Garza uses paintings of her family engaged in preparing Tejano food to show how her own identity is embedded in their social traditions. The narration of these lives in a multigenerational, transnational context reinterprets Gusdorf’s individual “consciousness of self” as one irreducibly inscribed in communal practices and affiliations. Assessing the impact of these disparate autoethnographic texts throughout the 20th century on theorizing autobiography is a project for productive future research. Julia Watson See also Africa: Oral Life Stories; Anthropology and Life Writing; Ethnicity, Race, and Life Writing; Ethnography; Oral History; Orality; Personal Narrative

Further Reading Bergland, Betty, “Postmodernism and the Autobiographical Subject: Reconstructing the ‘Other’” in Autobiography & Postmodernism, edited by Kathleen Ashley, Leigh Gilmore and Gerald Peters, Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1994 Bugul, Ken, The Abandoned Baobab: The Autobiography of a Senegalese Woman, translated by Marjolijn de Jager, Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill, 1992 (French edition, 1984) Coetzee, J.M., Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life, London: Secker and Warburg, and New York: Viking Press, 1997 Dangarembga, Tsitsi, Nervous Conditions, London: Women’s Press, 1988; Seattle: Seal Press, 1989 Deck, Alice, “Autoethnography: Zora Neale Hurston, Noni Jabavu, and Cross-Disciplinary Discourse”, Black American Literary Forum, 24/2 (1990): 237–56 Diallo, Nafissatou, A Dakar Childhood, translated by Dorothy Blair, London: Longman, 1982 (French edition 1975) Diawara, Manthia, In Search of Africa, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1998 Emecheta, Buchi, Head above Water, London: Ogwugwo Afo, 1986; Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1994 Ernaux, Annie, Shame, translated by Tanya Leslie, New York: Seven Stories Press, 1998 (French edition 1997) Goldman, Anne E., Take My Word: Autobiographical Innovations of Ethnic American Working Women, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996 Gusdorf, Georges, “Conditions and Limits of Autobiography” in Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980

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Hurston, Zora Neale, Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1942 Kaplan, Caren, “Resisting Autobiography: Outlaw Genres and Transnational Feminist Subjects” in De/Colonizing the Subject: The Politics of Gender in Women’s Autobiography, edited by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992 Kaysen, Susanna, Girl, Interrupted, New York: Random House, 1993 Krupat, Arnold, “Native American Autobiography and the Synecdochic Self” in American Autobiography: Retrospect and Prospect, edited by Paul John Eakin, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 Lejeune, Philippe, “The Autobiography of Those Who Do Not Write” in his On Autobiography, edited by Paul John Eakin, translated by Katherine Leary, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989 Lionnet, Françoise, Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, SelfPortraiture, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1989 Lionnet, Françoise, Postcolonial Representations: Women, Literature, Identity, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1995 Moraga, Cherríe, Loving in the War Years, Boston: South End Press, 1983 Pratt, Mary Louise, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, London and New York: Routledge, 1992 Pratt, Mary Louise, “Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú: Autoethnography and the Recoding of Citizenship” in Teaching and Testimony: Rigoberta Menchú and the American Classroom, edited by Allen Carey-Webb and Stephen Berg, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995 Reed-Danahay, Deborah, introduction to Auto/ethnography: Rewriting the Self and the Social, edited by Reed-Danahay, Oxford and New York: Berg, 1997 Steedman, Carolyn, Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives, London: Virago Press, and New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1986 Visweswaran, Kamala, Fictions of Feminist Ethnography, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994 Vizenor, Gerald, “Crows Written on the Poplars: Autocritical Autobiographies” in I Tell You Now: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers, edited by Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987 Warren, Kay B., “Narrating Cultural Resurgence: Genre and SelfRepresentation for Pan-Mayan Writers” in Auto/ethnography: Rewriting the Self and the Social, edited by Deborah Reed-Danahay, Oxford and New York: Berg, 1997 Wong, Hertha D. Sweet, “First-Person Plural: Subjectivity and Community in Native American Women’s Autobiography” in Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader, edited by Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998 Wright, Richard, Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth, New York: Harper, 1945

Autofiction Sometimes considered to cover the spectrum of autobiographical fiction, the French term autofiction more properly describes one of the forms taken by autobiographical writing at a time of severely diminished faith in the power of memory and language to access definitive truths about the past or the self. The notion of autofiction first emerged explicitly in France in the mid-1970s as part of a revival of autobiography at the level of both practice and theory. A new constellation took shape with the publication of Roland Barthes’s roland BARTHES par roland barthes (1975; Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes), Georges Perec’s W ou le souvenir d’enfance (1975; W or The Memory of Childhood), Patrick Modiano’s Livret de famille [1977; Family Record], and Serge Doubrovsky’s Fils [1977; Son / Sons /

Threads]. The key feature shared by these works is probably best characterized as their promotion of act-value at the expense of truth-value within the set of parameters considered effective in determining autobiography’s generic force. For the purveyor of traditional truth-value, the ideal autobiography is a transparent medium, a window on the past. The parameters of actvalue, on the other hand, stress that autobiography is “a personal performance” (see Bruss). On this understanding, the window turns into both a mirror and a scene of writing. The further one pushes the cause of act-value, the less important the view – or at least the clarity of the view – beyond the window. Thus the ebbing of confidence in truth-value, and the corresponding growth of investment in act-value, lead to a situation in which fiction is no longer automatically regarded as the other or outside of autobiography; indeed, it is no longer automatically regarded as the other or the outside of truth. Such is the general context in which the notion of autofiction makes its appearance. Since first being coined as a term by the French writer and critic Serge Doubrovsky in 1977, the notion of autofiction has undergone a process of generalization to a point where, despite pockets of resistance defended by the proponents of pure truthvalue, the idea that fiction and autobiography inevitably overlap has become a kind of norm shared – both within and beyond the French domain – by a significant number of writers, readers, and critics. The same strong sense of overlap applies equally to the new practices of biographical writing that have emerged over the last two decades of the 20th century, practices that have come to be characterized in France, in an obvious echo of Doubrovsky’s term, as biofictions. The term autofiction first appeared in the text of the backcover blurb of Doubrovsky’s Fils, where the author described his book as “a fiction, made from strictly real events and facts; if you like, an autofiction, for having entrusted the language of an adventure to the adventure of language, beyond any wisdom or syntax of the novel, whether traditional or new”. The reality of the real is denied in its formal realization. Language itself becomes the main event. Here Doubrovsky identifies autofiction as a subversion of the referentialist paradigm sustaining conventional auto/biographical discourse. That language can and should refer depends on the idea that there is a reasonably solid referent out there, or back there in the past, to which language can correspond: a life, a life story; a self, a self story. Doubrovsky moved on in later works to attribute fictional status to the referent itself. As he put it in Un Amour de soi [1982; A Love of Self]: “I barely exist, I am a fictional being. I am writing my own autofiction.” Doubrovsky has subsequently declared that the statement “I am a fictional being” expresses an “existential truth”, that it bears a value of “ontological” – as opposed to linguistic or merely ludic – subversion. As such, he echoes the now famous injunction with which Roland Barthes opened his self-portrait of 1975: “All this must be considered as spoken by a character in a novel.” Together, Doubrovsky and Barthes give priority in their own writing to the idea that the post-Freudian view of the subject as a destabilized agency invites new approaches to autobiographical performance, practices in which something like “fiction” would not be automatically disqualified or furtively concealed. A second factor explaining the generalization of the notion of autofiction is the broad understanding of fiction as the act, or

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the result of an act, of making (as opposed to making up). Remobilized by our contemporary sense of the heterogeneity of language and world, this broad sense of the word fiction is more and more understood to be commensurate with all acts of textualization or narrativization, regardless of generic or modal distinctions and notwithstanding authorial intent. This broad sense of fictionality as a condition attendant on any act of putting-into-words helps to explain why writers such as Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Sarraute, Jean Rouaud, Eugène Savitzkaya, and, in English, Seamus Deane, have been happy to let certain of their works be described or discussed as novels – this despite the evidently nonfictional force of the works in question, and the absence of any markers or strategies within them seriously undercutting that force. The factors outlined point to the idea that the contemporary generalization of the notion of autofiction has taken the form of an increasingly constructive paradigm. In other words, the incidence of fiction in the context of autobiography is no longer regarded as primarily subversive of that context. As we have become more and more accustomed to commuting between fiction and reality, so we have come to look for something more than just an ironic play-off between the two. Increasingly, what contemporary writing gives us is a sense of the necessity of the conjectural and conditional within the auto/biographical enterprise. As demonstrated in late 20th-century autobiographical writings in French – by the likes of Jorge Semprún, Jacques Roubaud, Béatrice de Jurquet, and Chantal Chawaf – loss, forgetting, and trauma have so disturbed the modern subject’s claim to experience that, increasingly, the only chance to retrieve or bear witness to past events appears to lie in the indirectness, or as William Maxwell would call it, the “unsupportedness”, of fiction. Johnnie Gratton See also The I-Novel

Further Reading Bruss, Elizabeth, “Eye for I: Making and Unmaking Autobiography in Film”, in Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical, edited by James Olney, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980 Doubrovsky, Serge, Jacques Lecarme and Philippe Lejeune (editors), Autofictions & Cie, Nanterre: Université de Paris X, 1993 Eakin, Paul John, Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of SelfInvention, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985 Lecarme, Jacques, and Éliane Lecarme-Tabone, chapter on “Autofictions” in their L’Autobiographie, Paris: Armand Colin, 1997

Avila, Theresa of see Teresa of Avila, Saint Avvakum

1620–1682

Russian archpriest and autobiographer The archpriest Avvakum is not only a central figure in the religious disputes of 17th-century Russia, but also the founder of a genuinely Russian autobiographical tradition. These two

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aspects of his significance are closely intertwined. The Church reforms introduced by the patriarch Nikon (1605–81) led, in 1667, to a schism between the official Russian Orthodox clergy and the adherents to the old traditions. It would seem that the alterations were insignificant: Nikon brought the Russian Orthodox rite closer to the Byzantine by redefining such particulars as making the sign of the cross, singing, and bending during the service. Yet Nikon’s reforms met with fierce resistance from a part of the Russian population who considered that they were the work of the Antichrist. Avvakum was the ideological leader of this traditionalist party, which came to be known as the Old Believers. The official repressions against Avvakum were severe: in 1653 he was banished, together with his family, to Siberia for ten years; shortly after his return to Moscow a second exile in Mezen in the Arkhangelsk region was inflicted on him; lastly, in 1667, a church council sentenced him to imprisonment in the northernmost region of European Russia, in Pustozersk, where in 1682 he was burnt at the stake as a heretic. Avvakum wrote his autobiography while serving his sentence in Pustozersk. He conceived of it as a political epistle with the foremost aim of supporting the Old Believers’ position after the schism of 1667. This pragmatic scope determines the form of the whole text. Avvakum’s Zhitie (Life Written by Himself) is by no means a Bildungsroman. The author does not bother to describe his childhood, the formation of his personality, or his problematic existence as a dissident. He rather conceives of his own existence from the position of a religious leader whose legitimation is beyond any doubt. Two separate styles can be discerned in his autobiography: episodes from his personal life are presented in colloquial, sometimes even vulgar Russian, whereas significant events that mirror Divine Providence are worded in church Slavonic and biblical quotations. The subsequent versions of Avvakum’s text between 1669 and 1675 intensify the tendency towards self-fashioning in the manner of a saint and display an increasing use of biblical expressions. Avvakum perceives his life in terms of present martyrdom and future redemption. Accordingly, he chooses as his predecessors Job, Lazarus, and, ultimately, Christ. Avvakum resorts in his Life to hagiographical devices: many episodes are shaped after textual models from the Bible or legends. At the end of the text, the cumulative account of the various miracles and healings worked by Avvakum sums up his saintly aspirations. One should not reproach Avvakum, however, for the bending of reality. He did not intend to provide a true rendering of his life. Most of the peculiarities of his autobiography can be explained if it is interpreted as a kind of textual icon. In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Christians believe that icons are not made by human hands. The artist is not the creator of the icon, but a “translator” of the holy original. An icon is in no way meant to represent reality; it rather opens a window into eternity. The usual laws of perspective do not apply within the iconic depiction; icons have an “inverted perspective”. Strictly speaking, an icon cannot be looked at; rather, it looks at the viewer. This is also the reason why icons do not have a frame, which could delineate a semiotic borderline between art and reality. Icons translate a higher reality into human life. Avvakum’s text has a very similar hermeneutic basis. He does not conceive of himself as the author of his Life. His biography is already written by God; he only “translates” this original text into a book. The Life is not a closed text, but open in two directions: towards the heavenly

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author and towards a very concrete reader, Avvakum’s fellow inmate Epifanii. Avvakum’s autobiography functions as the medium of exchange between God and his faithful. Therefore his impressive self-awareness should not be misinterpreted as the birth of modern individuality. The contrary holds true: Avvakum aims at a typological identity with Christ, and his autobiography is not the document of a unique life, but of God’s miraculous presence in this world which finds its conclusive evidence in the archpriest’s Life. It is precisely this quality that empowers Avvakum’s autobiography to be a political pamphlet proving the truth of the Old Believer’s fight against the Nikonian reforms. The text circulated in handwritten copies in their religious community and was published only in 1861. The Life was highly esteemed among Russian writers in the 19th century: Ivan Turgenev considered Avvakum’s writings as a source of the purest Moskovian language; Lev Tolstoi used to read Avvakum’s life aloud in the circle of his family; Nikolai Leskov modelled the protagonist of his novel Soboriane (The Cathedral Folk) on him. Ulrich Schmid Biography Born in Grigorov, Russia, 25 November 1620. Married Anastasia Markovna, 1638. Became deacon, Nizhnii-Novgorod, 1642; ordained priest in Lopatishchii, 1644. First visited Moscow and met Stefan Vonifatiev, a reforming priest in the tsar’s circle, 1647 or 1648. Archpriest in Iur’evets-Povol’zhskii; headed for Moscow at the invitation of the tsar, 1652. Led the resistance to patriarch Nikon’s reforms of the Russian Orthodox liturgy, 1652–53. Was arrested, 21 August 1653; spent his first period of exile with his family in Tobolsk, then exiled to Enisseisk in the region of the River Lena in Iakutsk, summer 1655. Joined Pashkov’s expedition in Dauriia with his family. Began three years of wandering: travelled from Enisseisk to Bratskii Ostrog, then moved through the Baikal region to Lake Irgen and to Lake Ingoda. Departed from the Nerchinsk Settlement, 1662. Returned to Moscow, 1664; wrote first supplication to the tsar. Stripped of his rank and condemned by Church Council in Uspenskii Cathedral, 13 May 1666 (his family were sent away from Moscow to Mezen in the

Arkhangelsk for 18 months while he was investigated). Interrogated for the last time before being exiled to Pustozersk, August 1666. Sent to Pafnut’ev Monastery until 30 April 1667. Wrote fifth supplication to the tsar, 1669. Final exile in Pustozersk, 1672/73. Completed the Zhitie [Life], 1675. Burned at the stake in Pustozersk after 14 years of incarceration, 1682.

Selected Writings Zhitie protopopa Avvakuma, im samim napisannoe, i drugie ego sochineniia, written c.1667–75, published 1861; edited by N.K. Gudzii, 1935; as Zhitie protopopa Avvakuma, edited by V.E. Gusev, 1960; as Zhizneopisaniia Avvakuma i Epifaniia, edited by A.N. Robinson, 1963; as Zhitie protopopa Avvakuma, 1982; as The Life of the Archpriest Avvakum by Himself, translated by Jane Harrison and Hope Mirrlees, 1924; as “The Life of Archpriest Avvakum by Himself”, translated by Serge A. Zenkovsky in his Medieval Russia’s Epics, Chronicles, and Tales, 1963, revised 1974; as Archpriest Avvakum: The Life Written by Himself, edited and translated by Kenneth N. Brostrom, 1979 Pustozerskii sbornik: Avtografy sochinenii Avvakuma i Epifaniia, edited by N.S. Demkova, N.F. Droblenkova, and L.I. Sazonova, 1975

Further Reading Bortnes, Jostein, Visions of Glory: Studies in Early Russian Hagiography, translated by Jostein Bortnes and Paul L. Nielsen, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press International, 1987; Oslo: Solum, 1988 Hunt, Patricia, “The Autobiography of the Archpriest Avvakum: The Outer Limits of the Narrative Icon” (dissertation), Stanford, California: Stanford University, 1979 Likhachev, Dmitri, “Smech kak mirovozzrenie” in Smekh v drevnei Rus, edited by Likhachev, A.M. Panchenko and N.V. Ponyrko, Leningrad: Nauka, 1984 Robinson, Andrei, “Ispoved’-propoved’ (o khudozhestvennosti Zhitiia Avvakuma)” in Istoriko-filologicheskie issledovaniia: Sbornik statei k 75–letiiu akademika N.I. Konrada, edited by M.B. Khrapchenko, Moskva: Nauka, 1967 Schmid, Ulrich, Ichentwürfe: Russische Autobiographien zwischen Avvakum und Gercen, Zurich: Pano, 2000 Vinogradov, Viktor, “O zadachach stilistiki: Nabliudeniia nad stilem Zhitiia protopopa Avvakuma” in Russkaia rech. Sbornik statei, edited by Lev Shcherba, Petrograd: Izd. Foneticheskogo prakticheskogo instituta iazykov, 1923

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Tijani, an Algerian who died in Morocco in 1815, founded the Tijanyia brotherhood which was to greatly influence Malian culture. Throughout his memoirs, Hampâté Bâ refers to Umar Tall, Grand Master of the Tijanyia brotherhood, as a holy man whose descendants are presented as possessing innate merit. The memorialist thus gives proud reminders of his maternal grandfather’s association, and that of his spiritual guide Tierno Bokar’s parentage, with Umar Tall. Himself established as affiliated to the Tijanya, Hampâté Bâ can even accept as history, and without apparent acrimony, that Umar Tall’s nephew ordered the execution of 40 men from two Fulani families from the Macina Empire, including the Bâ family. In a postcolonial attempt to counteract European assumptions that colonies were cultural deserts, the narrator carefully points to the complementarity of Islam and local tradition, referring to rules of civility and respect for the elders. On the other hand, from the favourable representation of Umar Tall to the disapproval of French interference in religious debates, Hampâté Bâ gives a strong sense of worlds apart, colonizer and colonized having little understanding of how the other functions. Hampâté Bâ’s unspoken mandate, as a “hostage” pupil of a French school, was to gain the means to act as a go-between. Although he seemed to defuse the administrators’ clashes with villagers with more success than he did the religious conflicts, he held on to the Muslim concept of compassion in interpersonal relations. The narrator projects himself as an intermediary between the many ethnic groups of the Niger region, the Islamic leaders, and the French commandants de cercle. Thus, he reminisces about his art of winning over rebellious returned soldiers or tirailleurs (French colonial troops) and even intractable commanders such as “Boule d’épines” (Thornball) by resorting to theatrical negotiations. Yet, in spite of his desire to resolve conflicts with the French, Hampâté Bâ unequivocally indicts French colonization, disapproving of the alliance between religion and the regime. Even before surveying the three periods of France’s systematic exploitation of African people, his narrative condemns colonial ideology, for example, in the French authorities’ failure to contain famine in 1914. In considering the successes and failures of his life, Hampâté Bâ reflects on the “law of the pendulum”, with a reference to the weaver’s loom, which symbolizes the ephemerality and movement of life. The most notable example described of a life come full circle is that of the flamboyant Ben Daoud Mademba Sy. The former dandy of the 1920s, son of a postman appointed

1901–1991

West African historian, ethnographer, and autobiographer Although involved in professional writing all his life, Amadou Hampâté Bâ was at a loss when his family asked him to write his real life story. Like an African griot (storyteller), he preferred to talk about other people rather than himself, a stance that could only be reinforced by the disinterest in self of a devout Muslim. Similar to an initiation narrative, Hampâté Bâ’s two autobiographical volumes contain many teachings. Readers have made much of the historical and ethnographic descriptions of an African society at the crossroads of tradition, Islam, and colonization. The definition of genre – whether memoirs or autobiography – the homage to tradition, and the construction of self are other focuses of interest and debate for readers and critics. The first chapters of Amkoullel, l’enfant peul (1991) read more like a tribute to the author’s parents and acquaintances than a Rousseau-like admission of petty misdemeanours. Images of traditional life, reminiscent of Camara Laye’s L’Enfant noir (1953; African Child), alternate with accounts of historical massacres. Yet, whether cruel or happy, the events unfold in an aura of acceptance that is all the more plausible because the narrator is a declared Muslim, a believer who finds fortitude in submitting to Allah’s will. Furthermore, as Hampâté Bâ writes retrospectively about being the Fulani child nicknamed “son of Koullel” (after Koullel, his favourite griot ), he praises his ancestry as though he was his own family griot. The second volume, Oui, mon commandant! (1994), retraces the early training and marriage of a public servant under French rule from 1922 to 1933 in Haute-Volta (Burkina Faso since 1983) and thus helps the reader identify the narrator more obviously as Hampâté Bâ. Hampâté Bâ searched for foundational heroes not only in his milieu but also in Malian history. References to the founder of the 13th-century Malian Empire, Sunjata, are not infrequent, but the mythical model of Amadou’s (Amkoullel’s) world is the legendary Tukulor leader of jihads, El Hadj Umar Sedu Tall (1797–1864). Hampâté Bâ goes back to the 1860s to retrace his family origins amid the rivalry between the Macina Fulanis, who had already adopted Islam, and the Tukulor Muslim warriors. African Islam developed brotherhoods honouring the Prophet Muhammad’s disciples or notable followers whose role was to be mediators between believers and Allah. Cheikh Ahmed 89

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king by the French, was prosecuted as a Gaullist by the Vichy administration and disinherited. A pattern of wealth and poverty, success and debasement slowly emerges as an underlying condition of life, which reinforces the necessity of pursuing aims other than social glory. More volumes of the autobiography are predicted, as well as a considerable corpus of poetry written in Fulani, from Hampâté Bâ’s large legacy of unpublished texts. Thus, belying the African proverb inevitably associated with Hampâté Bâ’s name – “whenever an old man dies, it is as though a library were burning down” – since the writer’s death in 1991, far from having burned down, a library is filling up with his posthumously published books.

d’un interprète africain, Paris: Union Générale d’Editions, 1972; as The Fortunes of Wangrin, translated by Aina Pavollini Taylor, Ibadan: New Horn, 1987; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999 Ricard, Alain, “La Réappropriation de la signature brèves: réflections sur l’oeuvre d’Amadou Hampâté Bâ”, Nouvelles de Sud, 6 (1986–87): 203–06 Sow, Alpha Ibrahim, Inventaire du fonds Amadou Hampâté Bâ, Paris: Klincksick, 1970 Soyinka, Wole, Aké: The Years of Childhood, London: Collings, 1981; New York: Vintage, 1983 Teko-Agbo, Ambroise, “Nature et sensibilité écologique et vision du monde dans Amkoullel, l’enfant peul de Amadou Hampâté Bâ”, Etudes Francophones, 11 / 1 (1996): 21–37

Blandine Stefanson Biography Born in Bandiagara, Mopti Region, southern Mali (then the French colony of Soudan Français), 1901. Grew up in Bandiagara, Bougouni, Bamako, and other towns in central or southern Mali. Attended French primary and middle schools for six years: 1912–21, repeating a year, 1918–19, because of a break in his education; also attended Qur’anic schools in Bougouni and Bandiagara for a while; passed exam for the elite Ecole Normale at Gorée, near Dakar, Senegal, 1921, but did not enter school on account of objections from his mother. Worked as a clerk in Ouagadougou, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). Studied the Qur’an under Tierno Bokar and became one of his disciples. Married twice as a young man; several children died in infancy. Cabinet secretary in Upper Volta government. Left the French administrative service, and became researcher for the French ethnological service, Institut Français d’Afrique Noire (IFAN), 1942: worked in Guinea, Sudan, and Senegal, and began publishing his ethnological studies and other works. Malian ambassador for Mali to the Ivory Coast. Member of the Executive Council of UNESCO, where he worked to preserve traditional African cultures. Leader of the Black African Tidjanist Congregation. Helped to preserve the oral traditions of the Fulbe, Bambara, and Fulani peoples. Published L’Empire peul du Macina 1818–1853 [The History of the Peul Empire of Macina], 1955. Also published Bambara folk tales and a volume of poetry, with G. Dieterlein, Koumen: texte initiatique des pasteurs peul [Sacred Initiation Texts of the Fulani Shepherds], 1961. Later in life married Hélène Heckmann, who edited some of his works and became his literary executrix. Died 15 May 1991.

Selected Writings (with Marcel Cardaire) Tierno Bokar: le sage de Bandiagara (biographical study), 1957; as Vie et enseignement de Tierno Bokar, 1980 Amkoullel, l’enfant peul: mémoires, 1991 Oui mon commandant! Mémoires, 1994 Sur les traces d’Amkoullel, l’enfant peul, 1998 (selection with photographs)

Further Reading Aggarwal, Kusum, Amadou Hampâté Bâ et l’africanisme: de la recherche anthropologique à l’exercice de la fonction auctoriale, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1999 Austen, Ralph A., “From a Colonial to a Postcolonial African Voice: Amkoullel, l’enfant peul”, Research in African Literature, 31 / 3 (2000): 1–17 Devey, Muriel, Hampâté Bâ: l’homme de la tradition, Senegal: Livre Sud, 1993 Hale, Thomas A., Griots and Griottes: Masters of Words and Music, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998 Hampâté Bâ, Amadou, Aspects de la civilisation africaine, Paris: Présence Africaine, 1972 Hampâté Bâ, Amadou, L’Empire peul de Macina, 1818–1853, Bamako: IFAN, 1955 Hampâté Bâ, Amadou, L’Etrange Destin de Wangrin, ou, les roueries

Barnet, Miguel

1940–

Cuban writer and testimonialist Miguel Barnet is one of Latin America’s leading exponents of the testimonio form, and although he has written several, it is the first, Biografía de un cimarrón (1966; The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave) that has become a classic of this kind of writing. According to Barnet, the testimonio is related to both the documentary novel as practised by those such as Truman Capote in his In Cold Blood (1964), and also to sociological studies such as those by Oscar Lewis that are based on interviews with the subjects of the study. The testimonial form has become controversial over the years, particularly in terms of what may or may not distinguish it properly from related forms such as autobiography or memoirs. Testimonio has aroused heated debate because of its close association with the political left in Latin America. Thus in Cuba it was given an official stamp of approval in 1970 when the prestigious cultural centre, Casa de las Américas, established an annual prize for this genre. In addition, a major purpose of the testimonio in developing countries, in particular, is to record the experiences of the illiterate, so creating a space in historical discourse in which the voices of the unprivileged can be heard. Barnet trained as an ethnographer, but his approach to testimonio is only partly scientific. He is also a poet and a writer of fiction, and so he acknowledges the use of poetic licence in his testimonial works. Unlike Oscar Lewis’s studies, Barnet’s testimonios do not consist of transcribed tapes; the Cuban writer “improves” on the original through the use of imagination and by omitting the tedious sections of interviews, such as needless repetititions. In Cuba, slavery was not abolished until the mid-1880s, making it possible for Barnet in 1963 to interview Esteban Montejo, who had been born a slave, subsequently becoming a runaway and living alone in the wild for some years. When Barnet met Montejo, the latter was 103 years old and living in an old people’s home. He was, however, lucid and his long-term memory was, apparently, still functioning well. Yet there are all sorts of reasons why this – and other – testimonies are no more historically valid than other forms of life writing. In this specific case, a degree of muddle emerges in the way that the Spanish title uses the term “biography” while the English version has “autobiography” instead.

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In the context of reliability, the question of mediation must be addressed since Barnet is there as editor and, of course, in a politically delicate climate, he has his own agenda. In the early 1960s he had been associated with the publishers El Puente and a group of writers of the same name. They fell foul of the authorities, and the publishing house was closed down in 1965. Thus Barnet may have deemed it prudent to write in an officially sanctioned form, something that applied at the time to all forms of writing on slavery and also to films and television programmes on the subject. Barnet’s account is limited to Montejo’s youth and so ends with Cuba’s second War of Independence (1895–98). William Luis, who writes shrewdly about this text in his study Literary Bondage (1990), speculates on the question of historical gaps and asks the following question about the absence of information about Cuban life since the Revolution of 1959: “Did Montejo, as in other parts of the narration, demystify and problematize the present conditions of the black because as he believed ‘the truth cannot be silenced’?” Luis pursues this point by asking if life for blacks since the Revolution was no more than a continuation of the past. For both the interviewer and the interviewee, a certain political reality is being imposed by the Revolution. Luis also notes that although the three parts into which the testimonio is divided appear in chronological order, the events narrated are cyclical because little changes for the blacks. This is painfully true in contemporary Cuba since few black Cubans chose exile, and so it is the white part of the population that receives regular sums of hard currency from relatives abroad, something which keeps black Cubans at the bottom of the socioeconomic heap and accounts for many of them turning to crime for a living. All these points mean that Biografía de un cimarrón should be read as a verisimilar rather than as an accurate historical account. However, the work provides vivid insights into a child’s experience of slavery and into how a young man manages on his own in the wild, living in the closest possible proximity to nature. The other testimonial works by Barnet are Canción de Rachel (1969; Rachel’s Song: A Novel), Gallego [1981; the Galician], and La vida real [1986; Real Life]. These are also accounts of marginalized types such as the Galician immigrant to Cuba and the emigrant to the United States in the 1950s (whose story, however, is not one of success). Verity Smith Biography Born in Havana, Cuba, 28 January 1940, into a middle-class family. Educated at American schools in Havana. Student at the School of Advertising at the start of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Studied ethnology, 1960–61, then taught folklore at the School of Art Instructors, 1961–66. Gained research experience at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore of the Academy of Science. Second volume of poems, Isla de güijes [Goblin Island], published by El Puente, 1964. Unable to publish for some time during the “grey years” of the Cuban Revolution in the 1970s. Career picked up again in the 1980s. Placed in charge of foreign affairs at UNEAC (Union of Artists and Writers) in the mid-1980s. Spent nine months in the United States researching his testimonial novel La vida real [1986; Real Life], funded by a Guggenheim award. Received the National Prize for Literature, 1994. Member of National Assembly. Some of his works have been adapted for the screen and operatic stage.

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Selected Writings Biografía de un cimarrón, 1966; as Cimarrón: historia de un esclavo, 1998; as The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave, edited by Miguel Barnet, translated by Jocasta Innes, 1966, revised (with new translation by W. Nick Hill), 1994; with introduction and bibliographical essay by Alistair Hennessy, 1993 Canción de Rachel, 1969; as Rachel’s Song: A Novel, translated by W. Nick Hill, 1991 Gallego, 1981 La vida real, 1986

Further Reading Barnet, Miguel, La fuente viva, Havana: Letras Cubanas, 1983 (contains essays on his testimonial writings) González Echevarría, Roberto, The Voice of the Masters: Writing and Authority in Modern Latin American Literature, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985 Luis, William, Literary Bondage: Slavery in Cuban Narrative, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990

Barnum, P.T.

1810–1891

American entrepreneur, circus owner, and autobiographer Phineas Taylor Barnum published three separate editions of his autobiography – in 1855, 1869, and 1889. It holds the distinction of being the single most-read book (besides the Bible) in 19th-century America. Promotion rather than content made Barnum’s autobiography a success. Barnum paid Redfield of New York to publish The Life of P.T. Barnum by Himself, the first edition. Barnum sold the volume at his American Museum. Burr and Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts published the 1869 edition, which Barnum entitled Struggles and Triumphs, or, Forty Years’ Recollections of P.T. Barnum. Burr sold the book by door-to-door subscription. Often including free circus tickets, Barnum later sold copies at his circuses. The 1889 edition expanded the 1869 title with the addition of the phrase … Including His Golden Rules for Money-Making. Despite its fame, 20th-century studies of history and literature in America largely ignore Barnum’s book. Barnum dedicated the first edition to the “Universal Yankee Nation”. He dedicated later editions to his wife and family. In the book he often sermonized on the acquisition of wealth, and he liberally supported his position with biblical quotations. He also emphasized family values and the importance of entertainment suitable for the Christian family. Struggles and Triumphs (1869) begins with Barnum’s genealogy, birth, and early youth in Connecticut. He describes his early experiences as a trader and a store clerk. He explains how experiences in his youth, including Sunday school attendance, prepared him for the life of business he would later enter. He relates the way in which he established himself as the foremost showman in 1835 by exhibiting Joice Heth, purportedly George Washington’s 161-year-old nurse. In 1842 Barnum opened his American Museum in New York. Through Yankee ingenuity, a blend of the Puritan work ethic and a highly developed self-promotional streak, Barnum created an audience for his museum of shows, eventually making the American Museum the most popular museum in America. Here he presented shows, lectures, and theatrical and musical

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performances, exhibiting a mermaid (the Feejee Mermaid), midgets (Charles Stratton, Lavinia Warren, and Colonel Nutt), “freaks”, exotic animals (woolly horses, whales, and elephants), Native Americans, and Chinese. He toured with his entourage of exhibits to Europe, even securing an audience with Queen Victoria. Barnum’s autobiography served as a major component in his effort to promote himself and his business. On the dedication page to the 1855 edition, Barnum gives thanks to “the American Museum, where the public first smiled upon me, and where henceforth my personal exertions will be devoted to its entertainment”. Barnum and the American Museum became synonymous. Barnum’s career prospered and expanded, incorporating other circuses, developing the three-ring, and even a four-ring, circus. His fame reached such proportions that he continues today to be synonymous with the circus form in America. Ringling Brothers’ Barnum and Bailey Circuses still tour America at the beginning of the 21st century. In 1889 Al Bailey took the Barnum and Bailey Circus to England. During this 1889–1890 “Greatest Show on Earth” Tour, P.T. Barnum exhibited himself twice daily. But Barnum arguably had already begun this process with his autobiography. The autobiography depersonalizes and publicizes in a manner reminiscent of the objectification and exhibitionism he applied to his circus employees and animals. Like his autobiography, the American Museum, and the people and animals he displayed as objects of entertainment, Barnum made himself the spectacle he ultimately became. Larry D. Griffin Biography Phineas Taylor Barnum. Born in Bethel, Connecticut, United States, 5 July 1810. Put in charge of his father’s general store at an early age. Discovered that the family was bankrupt at his father’s death when he was aged 15. Obtained another job running a store, then moved to Brooklyn to work in a better one. Returned home to Bethel and set up his own business at his grandfather’s home. Eloped with Charity Hallett, 1829: four daughters (one died in infancy). Purchased Joice Heth, a black woman, believing that she was 161 years old and had been George Washington’s nurse, 1835. Launched a successful publicity campaign, at which Heth sang songs and told her story, but was exposed as a hoax at her death. Acquired a dilapidated museum in New York where he exhibited freaks, which became known as Barnum’s American Museum, 1841. Discovered a five-year-old midget, Charles Stratton, whom he taught to perform stunts under the name of General Tom Thumb, 1842. Toured Europe with him, to great acclaim. Signed contract with the Swedish singer Jenny Lind and made a successful tour of the US with her in 1850. Made a high-risk investment in the Jerome Clock Company, 1855; contemplated suicide after the company went bankrupt. Turned his lecture notes into a bestselling pamphlet, The Art of Money Getting (1882). Created “The Greatest Show on Earth” featuring Jumbo the Elephant, purchased from London Zoo, 1871: the show was an instant success. Wife died, 1873. Married Nancy Fish, an Englishwoman 40 years his junior, 1874. Went into partnership with his chief competitor, James Anthony Bailey, to found the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus, 1881. Died in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 7 April 1891.

Selected Writings The Life of P.T. Barnum by Himself, 1855; also as The Autobiography of P.T. Barnum: Clerk, Merchant, Editor, and Showman, 1855; revised as Struggles and Triumphs, or, Forty Years’ Recollections of P.T. Barnum, 1869, and frequently updated; abridged version edited by Carl Bode, 1981; revised as Struggles and Triumphs: Sixty Years’

Recollections of P.T. Barnum Including His Golden Rules for Money-Making, 1889; as Struggles and Triumphs, or, The Life of P.T. Barnum, edited by George S. Bryan, 2 vols, 1927; as Struggles and Triumphs of P.T. Barnum, edited by John G. O’Leary, 1967; abridged as Barnum’s Own Story, edited by Waldo R. Browne, 1927 Selected Letters of P.T. Barnum, edited by A.H. Saxon, 1983

Further Reading Harris, Neil, Humbug: The Art of P.T. Barnum, Boston: Little Brown, 1973 Root, Harvey, The Unknown Barnum, New York: Harper, 1927 Saxon, A.H., P.T. Barnum: The Legend and the Man, New York: Columbia University Press, 1989

Barrios de Chungara, Domitila

1937–

Bolivian social activist and testimonialist Domitila Barrios de Chungara’s narrative of her participation in the Bolivian mine workers’ action during the tumultuous decades from the early 1950s to the 1970s, Let Me Speak! Testimony of Domitila, a Woman of the Bolivian Mines, is one of the founding examples of the genre that has come to be known as testimonio (see Gugelberger). Recounted to the Brazilian journalist Moema Viezzer, and first published in Spanish in Mexico as “Si me permiten hablar ...” (1977; Let Me Speak!), it tells both the story of Chungara herself and the tale of her participation in the organization of the women of the mining community of Siglo XX in protest against the corporate management of the mine and the exploitation of its workers – the fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers of the women. The narrative is divided into two principal parts: the first – and shorter – section is an account of “Her People”, the details of their lives and livelihoods, from the company’s ever-increasing control of their community to the inadequate housing, education, and decreasing subsistence standards for all, and concluding with the appeal that “we be well directed in the struggle of the working class and that each one carry out what is assigned him or her in the best possible manner”. In the second major section, “Her Life”, Chungara describes to her interviewer just what she herself came to do to help to “carry out” that struggle, from her birth in Siglo XX in 1937 to a mother from the city of Oruro and a native Indian father, who had been involved in political activities even before his marriage. Because her own limited schooling had been such an “alienating education”, Chungara advocates throughout her recollections a more responsive interaction between educators and their interlocutors, an abiding concern that is reflected in the redactive process of her testimonio. At the end of her school years, Chungara took a job in the town’s company grocery store. That was in 1953, a year after the “people’s revolution” in Bolivia. With her subsequent marriage, she remained a part of the mining community and in 1961 observed the organization of the Housewives’ Committee. As she says, “seeing all the struggles the people were involved in, they [the mine workers’ wives] couldn’t stay on the sidelines”, and in 1963 Chungara herself “began to participate”. That participation led her into violent confrontations with the company and its governmental sponsors, as well as onto public podiums at mass rallies, in defence of

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the mine workers’ radio station, and eventually to political prison. Chungara was pregnant when taken into her second period of incarceration, and her baby boy died shortly after she gave birth in detention. In 1975 the United Nations Decade of Women was launched and Chungara attended its first conference in Mexico City, as a representative of a non-governmental organization, and was thus assigned not to the “Conference” itself, but to the unofficial “Tribunal”. Her experience in Mexico City, where she discovered that “for us [Latin American women] the first and main task isn’t to fight against our compañeros, but with them to change the system we live in for another”, recurred halfway through the UN’s Decade of Women, at the succeeding conference in Copenhagen in 1980. Aquí también, Domitila! [1985; Here Too, Domitila] is the title of her reminiscences from that occasion, which details her renewed interactions with women on a conflicted international stage. The UN Decade of Women concluded in 1985 at the Nairobi conference, but the issues raised and the controversies generated by Domitila Barrios de Chungara when she demanded “let me speak!” – or in the less imperative Spanish titulation, “si me permiten hablar ...” – were continued through another decade of UN conferences, from Rio de Janeiro in 1992, which addressed questions of the environment, to Vienna on human rights (1993), to Cairo, in 1994, where debates over population and development occupied the participants, to Beijing’s conference on women (1995), and again in Istanbul in 1996, when it was habitat that provided the agenda. “Si me permiten hablar …” remains a clarion call both to a renewed international conference culture and to the literary-political genre of testimonio. Barbara Harlow Biography Born in Siglo XX-Llallagua, Potosi, Quijarro province, Bolivia, 7 May 1937. Her father, a tailor, was a Bolivian Indian who had been active in trade union and revolutionary political activism, her mother came from the nearby city of Oruro. Unable to attend school regularly, because of the family’s extreme poverty. Cared for her four younger sisters after her mother’s death when she was 10 or 11, but still managed to attend local school, finishing in 1953. Found work in a grocery store in neighbouring village of Pulacayo. Ran away from home as a result of cruel treatment by stepmother after her father’s remarriage; given shelter by her future mother-in-law. Married Rene, a civilian policeman, 1957: seven children. Moved back to Siglo XX, where her husband worked as a tin miner. Attended Jehovah’s Witness meetings. Experienced severe financial difficulties, especially after her sisters came to live with her, and the family was evicted from their home. Joined the Housewives’ Committee of Siglo XX, an organization of tin miners’ wives working against exploitation of the miners by the Bolivian government, 1963. Led the Committee’s activities during the military occupation of the mines under the government of General Barrientos and the massacre of San Juan, June 1967. Detained and imprisoned by the military regime on several occasions for her political activities on behalf of the tin miners of Siglo XX and neighbouring mines; during one period of imprisonment gave birth to a boy who died. Invited by the United Nations to attend the International Women’s Year congress in Mexico, 1970; spoke at the congress tribunal and drew international attention to the plight of the Bolivian tin miners and their families. Initiated major miners’ strike in Catavi, resulting in some concessions by the Bolivian government, 1976; gave birth during the strike. Published autobiographical testimony of her life, “Si me permiten hablar...” (Let Me Speak!), 1977. Attended the United Nations’ International Women’s conference in Copenhagen, 1980. Published her observations of that occasion in Aquí también, Domitila!.

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Selected Writings (with Moema Viezzer) “Si me permiten hablar ...”: testimonio de Domitila, una mujer de las minas de Bolivia, 1977; as Let Me Speak! Testimony of Domitila, a Woman of the Bolivian Mines, translated by Victoria Ortiz, 1978 (with David Acebey) Aquí también, Domitila!, 1985

Further Reading Gugelberger, Georg M. (editor), The Real Thing: Testimonial Discourse and Latin America, Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1996 United Nations Conferences website at www.un.org

Barthes, Roland

1915–1980

French critic and autobiographer When it appeared in 1975 (the same year as Philippe Lejeune’s seminal study Le Pacte autobiographique), roland BARTHES par roland barthes caused a furore. For many it seemed unthinkable that, seven years after notoriously proclaiming the “death of the author”, the arch-structuralist and exponent of the “pleasure of the text” should be offering an account of his life. But a cursory look at the volume (in a series usually devoted to critical monographs) revealed a host of features, including an initial statement that the text should be read as the product of a fictional character (or characters), which suggested that Barthes’s aim might have been to contest the very possibility of life writing. More perceptively, the critic Lejeune was quick to recognize that in its remarkable formal inventiveness, as well as in its challenge to received notions about the self, Barthes’s text represented a major contribution to the evolution of autobiographical form. Like such earlier French radical innovators as Michel Leiris and Jean-Paul Sartre, Barthes had invented a new alternative to chronological narrative in autobiography; and, as had been the case with these precursors, his strategies and devices were closely linked to new ideas about the self. roland BARTHES par roland barthes begins with a sequence of photographs, mostly of the author himself at various stages, bearing captions that point to certain themes, including the self and its images, the body, family structures, and the posture of the intellectual. This is followed by a set of over 200 titled fragments whose order is dictated by the initial letter of a key word. Within the fragments (which vary in length from a few lines to a page) Barthes frequently switches between the first- and thirdperson pronoun, a procedure that is partly linked to the central concept of the “imaginary”, elaborated in several fragments. This term is adapted from the psychoanalytical theory of Jacques Lacan, where it stems from the famous “mirror stage” in which identity is allegedly formed in a process of alienation when the infant learns to associate its “self” with an external image. When he asserts that roland BARTHES par roland barthes is the book of his “imaginary”, Barthes does not mean that it is fictionalized, or indeed fictional in the sense of necessarily imagined. What he means is that the identity it delineates derives from images corresponding to the ways he thinks others see him, or the different ways he visualizes himself. By abolishing overall coherence, perspective, and fixity of point of view, the formal ingredients of Barthes’s text serve not to abolish the notion of the individual self but to enact a theatricalized

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subjectivity made up of multiple currents and constituents. Barthes emphasizes that in his autobiography (or self-portrait, as some critics prefer to call it) he actively questions his own ideas, and there are fragments relating to all the main phases of his intellectual career. As one might expect, given Barthes’s close association with structuralism and semiology, the relations among language, power, and ideology feature prominently in his autobiography. But Barthes’s venture into life writing reflects a new orientation in his thought, away from avant-garde theory towards more literary or aesthetic concerns, and towards a new kind of interest in subjective experience. Yet Barthes is emphatic that the “return of the subject”, which is central to his autobiographical enterprise, does not amount to a simple return to the “old stable ego”, in D.H. Lawrence’s phrase. The devices of roland BARTHES par roland barthes – the proliferation of fragments, pronouns, voices, images, discourses – do not portray a self so much as stake out the terrain of subjective experience, a shifting, mobile realm marked by infinite gradations and degrees. In this view, the human subject is constituted in a never-ending process whose changing parameters include desire, sexuality, the body, death, memory, and utopia. Following roland BARTHES par roland barthes, the two books Barthes completed before his early death in 1980 can be seen as further, if more oblique, explorations in a similar direction. Fragments d’un discours amoureux (1977; A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments) is a brilliantly inventive re-creation of the subjective “voices” of the lover. More directly autobiographical, La Chambre claire (1980; Camera Lucida) is a meditation on photography, which is also a poignant threnody on the death of the author’s mother. Barthes also wrote interestingly on biography (in Sade, Fourier, Loyola, 1971) and on diaries (in the essay “Deliberation”). His major contribution to life writing is to have shown that, far from being incompatible with contemporary poststructuralist concerns, it could develop new and intellectually challenging possibilities. Michael Sheringham

gained international recognition for his development of semiology and structuralism with the textual analyses Essais critiques (1964; Critical Essays), S / Z (1970), and other works. Chair of literary semiology, Collège de France, Paris, 1976–80. Co-founder, Théâtre Populaire, 1953, and Arguments, 1956. Contributed to various periodicals, including Communications, La Quinzaine Littéraire, Les Lettres Nouvelles, and Tel Quel. Appointed Chevalier des Palmes Académiques. Divided his time between Paris and his mother’s home near Bayonne. Died in Paris as the result of a street accident, 26 March 1980 (some sources give 25 March).

Selected Writings Sade, Fourier, Loyola, 1971; as Sade, Fourier, Loyola, 1976 roland BARTHES par roland barthes, 1975; as Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, translated by Richard Howard, 1977 Fragments d’un discours amoureux, 1977; as A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, translated by Richard Howard, 1978 La Chambre claire: note sur la photographie, 1980; as Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, translated by Richard Howard, 1981 Incidents, 1987; as Incidents, translated by Richard Howard, 1992

Further Reading Barthes, Roland, Sade, Fourier, Loyola, Paris: Seuil, 1971; Sade, Fourier, Loyola, translated by Richard Miller, New York: Hill and Wang, 1976; London: Jonathan Cape, 1977 Barthes, Roland, “Deliberation” in The Rustle of Language, translated by Richard Howard, Oxford: Blackwell, and New York: Hill and Wang, 1986 Beaujour, Michel, Poetics of the Literary Self-Portrait, New York: New York University Press, 1991 Eakin, Paul John, Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992 Gratton, Johnnie, “Roland Barthes par Roland Barthes: Autobiography and the Notion of Expression”, Romance Studies, 8 (1986): 57–65 Jay, Paul, Being in the Text: Self-Representation from Wordsworth to Roland Barthes, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1984 Knight, Diana, Barthes and Utopia: Space, Travel, Writing, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997 Lejeune, Philippe, “Le Roland Barthes sans peine” in Moi aussi, Paris: Seuil, 1986 Sheringham, Michael, French Autobiography: Devices and Desires, Rousseau to Perec, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993

Biography Roland Gérard Barthes. Born in Cherbourg, Normandy, France, 12 November 1915. His father, a naval officer, was killed in 1916. Brought up by his mother in the Protestant home of his grandparents in Bayonne. Moved to Paris with his mother, now trained as a bookbinder, 1924. Educated in Paris at the Lycée Montaigne, 1924–30, and Lycée Louis-le-Grand, 1930–34 (baccalauréat). Spent a year in the Pyrenees recovering from pulmonary tuberculosis, which had prevented him from proceeding to the Ecole Normale Supérieure, 1934–35. Studied French, Latin, and Greek at the Sorbonne, Paris, from 1936 (licence in classical letters 1939, diplôme in Greek tragedy 1941, licence in grammar and philology 1943). Visited Greece, 1938. Taught at lycées in Biarritz and Bayonne, 1939–40, and at the Lycée Voltaire and Lycée Carnot, Paris, 1940–41. Forced to abandon teaching through a resurgence of tuberculosis. Spent the war years in sanatoria, in Isère and elsewhere, 1942–46. Convalesced in Paris, 1946–47. Taught at the French Institute, Bucharest, 1948–49; University of Alexandria, Egypt, 1949–50. Returned to France and taught at the Direction Générale des Affaires Culturelles, Paris, 1950–52. Teaching fellow in lexicology, 1952–54, and research fellow in sociology, 1955–59, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique [CNRS]. Became immediately established as a leading literary critic in France with Le Degré zéro de l’écriture (1953; Writing Degree Zero) and Michelet par lui-même (1954; Michelet). Also wrote an important work on popular culture (Mythologies, 1957). Chair, 1960–62, and director of studies, 1960–76, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris; also taught at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1967–68. Became widely known in France with Sur Racine (1963; On Racine), and

Bashkirtseff, Marie

1860–1884

Russian painter and diarist The Ukrainian-born Marie Bashkirtseff lived in Europe from 1870, eventually settling in Paris when she embarked on her artistic career. There are today examples of her paintings in various European museums, most of them in the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Today Bashkirtseff is remembered largely as the author of posthumously published diaries, Le Journal de Marie Bashkirtseff (1887; The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff), which articulated the tensions between social expectations of women and the practical difficulties of public life as a professional artist, and of letters to Guy de Maupassant. Bashkirtseff used pseudonyms to overcome class and gender boundaries. She spoke seven languages, including Latin and Greek, which were self-taught. She took her education very seriously and, while training as an artist at the Académie Julien, persuaded her family to move to Paris. In spite of some success in her own life – she was something of a cause célèbre – Bashkirtseff’s Journal reveals the frustrations of a young female artist

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with aspirations, lacking a male artist’s ability to combine his career with freedom in life’s sexual and social spheres. Bashkirtseff’s mother was the censor and editor of her daughter’s diaries, and tried to make the Journal conventional and palatable to a general readership. The French feminist scholar Colette Cosnier, in her recent study of the Journal, discusses omissions in the first edition such as indecencies, slang, and powerful criticism of women’s lack of social rights and restrictions. (Her pseudonymous contributions to the feminist periodical La Citoyenne testify to her views on the latter.) The Journal is a psychological study of a 19th-century woman who spoke for many talented and similarly trapped women. It portrays a female persona as fragmented and constrained. In some passages Bashkirtseff dramatically describes the split between public and private life, revealing the practices prohibiting free access for women to public areas of work and knowledge; for many young women, fleeing the family required either marriage or fame. In this respect Bashkirtseff’s work echoes Karolina Pavlova’s novella A Double Life (1848), about the young female poet Cecilia who marries to suppress her inner desire of becoming a poet. Some Russian critics (for example Count D. Mirsky, Ferdinand Bac, and Nikolai Gumilev) viewed Bashkirtseff’s stylistic indulgence in describing her ambitions and selfconfidence as a perfect example of female narcissism. Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex (1953) refers to Bashkirtseff as a woman who promoted the cult of herself. Although Bashkirtseff revealed a disjointed personality, her doubts were linked as much to her poor health, financial troubles, and scandals as to sexual stereotyping in society. In the Journal her artistic persona prevails at the expense of the young woman coming to terms with her class conventions and her sexuality. It appears that Bashkirtseff’s main goal was a career as a professional artist, which could be a path to freedom from the social stereotypes of femininity. She drew in order to fulfil her desires and to progress in life by dint of her talent. The Journal also includes travel impressions in which Bashkirtseff often used descriptions of space symbolically, rather than producing topographical accounts of her life in France and visits to Italy, Spain, and Russia. Bashkirtseff’s selfrepresentation is, however, ambivalent. She presents herself as a provincial and immigrant autobiographer producing contradictory discourses that simultaneously inscribe and resist Catholic ideology. On visiting the Vatican, Bashkirtseff and her family stressed that they were from Little Russia, not St Petersburg; in the face of the pope’s blessing (“your country is Heaven”), their link with Russia was terminated. Doubting the pope’s efficacy, Bashkirtseff prayed that “the pope’s blessing should prove a real blessing”. In one of her discourses on religion she states that “the Church has carried to the savages the name of God and civilisation. Without offence to God, I think that they could have been civilised without Catholicism”. Throughout the whole journal Bashkirtseff offers a highly individualized vision of her God, opposed to the Catholic Mass. In contrast to much of Europe she had seen, Bashkirtseff found Spain uncorrupted, spiritually pure, fresh, untouched, and wild. Although she found travelling with her family on an artistic tour oppressive, comparing it to “waltzing with one’s aunt”, her travels as an artist allowed her access to public places not normally seen by women of her class. Thus, a visit

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to a prison in Granada made a tremendous impression on her, and instilled a desire to draw the portraits of convicts she encountered. Bashkirtseff’s Journal, which brought her posthumous fame in the West, also made a profound impact on Russian writers of the silver-age period, including Valery Briusov, Zinaida Hippius, Maria Krestovskaya, Anastasiia Verbitskaya, Elena Guro, and especially Marina Tsvetaeva. The last dedicated her first collection of poetry to her. The Journal was republished in Russia in 1991, just over one century after its first Russian edition. It remains to be seen whether it will once again become an important part of Russian literary culture. Alexandra Smith Biography Born Marya Konstantinovna Bashkirtseva in Havrontsi, Poltava (Pultowa) province, Ukraine, 23 November 1860 (some sources give 1858), into a minor aristocratic family. Brought up by her mother and aunt after her parents separated. Spent early years travelling in Germany, Italy, and France; educated privately. Lived in Nice, southern France, from c.1870. Began her diary, in French, 1873. Settled in Paris, 1877. Initially intended to seek a musical career but instead went to study art at the Académie Julien in Paris under Tony Robert-Fleury and Jules Bastien-Lepage. First exhibited at the Paris Salon, 1880. Visited Spain, 1881. Contributed articles to the feminist journal La Citoyenne under the pseudonym Pauline Orell. Member of the Union des Femmes Peintres et Sculpteurs, Paris. Contracted tuberculosis. Died in Paris, 31 October 1884.

Selected Writings Le Journal de Marie Bashkirtseff, edited by A. Theuriet, 2 vols, 1887; as The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, translated by Mathilde Blind, 1985; as I Am the Most Interesting Book of All: The Diary of Marie Bashkirtseff, translated by Phyllis Howard Kernberger and Katherine Kernberger, 1997 Les Lettres de Marie Bashkirtseff, edited by François Coppée, 1891; as Letters of Marie Bashkirtseff, translated by Mary Jo Serrano, 1891 I Kiss Your Hands: The Letters of Guy de Maupassant and Marie Bashkirtseff, 1954

Further Reading Cosnier, Colette, Marie Bashkirtseff: un portrait sans retouches, Paris: Pierre Horay, 1985 Garb, Tamar, Sisters of the Brush: Women’s Artistic Culture in Late Nineteenth-Century Paris, New Haven, Connecticut, and London: Yale University Press, 1994 Gladstone, W.E., “About the Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff”, Nineteenth Century, 26 (1889): 602–07 Parker, Rozsika and Griselda Pollock, Introduction in The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, translated by Mathilde Blind, London: Virago, 1985 Rogala, Marianne, “The Quest for Marie Bashkirtseff: An Extraordinary Journal”, Quadrant (Victoria, New South Wales), (January–February 1987): 88–90 Rosenthal, Charlotte, “The Silver Age: A High Point for Women” in Women and Society in Russia and the Soviet Union, edited by Linda Edmondson, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992 Witzling, Mara R. (editor), Voicing Our Visions: Writings by Women Artists, New York: Universe, 1991; London: Women’s Press, 1992

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Bashπ

1644–1694

Japanese poet and travel diarist Bashπ lived in 17th-century Japan at time when the Tokugawa shoguns had instituted a policy of national isolationism. Rather than inhibiting cultural growth, this isolationism provided Japan with perhaps its greatest phase of cultural advancement, which included an increase in both literacy and the availability of printed books. Bashπ was not only soon recognized as responsible for transforming the haiku from a light pastime to serious art form, he was one of the first professional Japanese poets to benefit from a large reading public. This made him something of a celebrity in his own lifetime. After being born the son of a minor samurai, Bashπ entered an apprenticeship as a cadet for a local shogun. He developed a friendship with the shogun’s son, and they both devoted themselves to studying popular poetry under Kitamura Kirgin. When his friend died in 1666, Bashπ was bereft of the political connections necessary for his advancement in the samurai. For that reason Bashπ left for Edo (Tokyo), where he established himself as a professional poet. In less than ten years he was famous as a writer of renku or haikai no renga linked verses, a common form of poetry at the time that began with a haiku. His pen name (Bashπ = banana) derives from a banana tree planted by his students in front of his hut, which he wrote about: Banana tree in autumn winds, a night passed hearing raindrops in a basin. In his travel memoirs, Bashπ described nature in both poetry and prose. Thus, his variation on the tradition of linked poetry was to link his haiku with prose description and narration. In 1689, Bashπ began a 15,000-mile journey that resulted in the last of his five travel memoirs, Oku no hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), perhaps his most famous work. At the beginning he wrote in prose: “Transitory though I know this world to be, I shed tears when I came to parting of the ways, overwhelmed by the prospect of a long journey ahead.” This he followed immediately with the haiku: Departing springtime: birds lament and fishes too have tears in their eyes. When he visited the Buddhist shrine, Komoyji, Bashπ wrote in prose: “We visited it by invitation and worshipped at the Ascetic’s Hall.” Then he followed with the haiku: Toward summer mountains we set off after prayers before the master’s clogs. Of travelling through rice fields, Bashπ wrote in prose: “Thus we went on into Kaga Province.” He followed with the haiku: Scent of ripening ears: to the right as I push through, surf crashing onto rocks.

In this fashion, The Narrow Road to the Deep North moves between its poetry and prose. As a writer of nature poems, Bashπ found in travelling through the natural world the proper inspiration for such poetry. For Bashπ, life was a Buddhist spiritual quest, which, for the professional poet like himself, required movement through space either for spiritual enlightenment or for the spread of doctrine as a necessary religious exercise. Through journeying and writing about those journeys, Bashπ practised his faith of Buddhism while simultaneously writing his life story. For Bashπ in The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the spiritual quest of the Buddhist, the professional quest of the poet, and the physical movement of the traveller represented the perfect melding of vocation, avocation, and spiritual association. Thus, The Narrow Road to the Deep North was not only the recounting of the physical route through Japan; it was also the spiritual path of the soul. While the prose and the poetry in The Narrow Road to the Deep North demonstrates the eight-fold path of Buddhism, Bashπ devoted himself more to nature generally than he does to Buddhism specifically in his life writing. Nearly three centuries after Bashπ died, by which time he had become deified by the Shinto Buddhists, the diary of his travelling companion Soro was published. Soro’s writing presented a much more human and less saintly portrait of the great Bashπ than Bashπ did of himself in his most famous travel journal. Larry D. Griffin Biography Born Matsuo Munefusa in or near Ueno, in Iga Province, Japan, 1644. His father was a low-ranking samurai (member of the military class). Entered the service of a local samurai of higher rank. Became an attendant to his son, Yoshitada, and studied poetry with him. Led an unsettled life after Yoshitada’s death in 1666, roaming the Kyoto area. Moved to Edo (now Tokyo), 1672. Eventually established himself as a teacher of poetry and began to study Zen Buddhism. Withdrew to a recluse’s hut near Edo, 1680. Took his literary name from a banana (bashπ) tree growing there, which he admired for its lack of practical utility – in Japan it produces no fruit and its leaves give no shade. Published an anthology of verse with his disciples, Minadhigun [Empty Chestnuts], 1683. Travelled around Japan, 1684–85, 1687, 1688, and 1689, and described his travels in verse and prose in journals and diaries. Collections of his works appeared from 1684, notably the famous Oku no hosomichi (1702; The Narrow Road to the Deep North). Died early autumn 1694.

Selected Writings Oku no hosomichi, 1702; as The Narrow Road to the Deep North, translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa with Other Travel Sketches, 1966; also translated by Earl Miner in Japanese Poetic Diaries, 1969; translated by Dorothy Britton as The Narrow Road to the Deep North, 1974, and A Haiku Journey: Basho’s Narrow Road to a Far Province, 1980; as Narrow Road to the Interior, translated by Sam Hamill, 1991; as The Narrow Road to Oku, translated by Donald Keene, 1996; as Basho’s Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages, translated by Hiroaki Sato, 1996; selections translated by Keene in Anthology of Japanese Literature, 1955; selections as Back Roads to Far Towns, translated by Cid Corman and Kamaike Susumu, 1968 Bashπ shokanshu (correspondence), edited by Shinpu Katsumine, 1934 “Basho’s Journey to Sarashina”, translated by Donald Keene in Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, December 1957; as “Sarashina Travelogue” translated by Sam Hamill in The Essential Basho, 1999 “Basho’s Journey of 1684”, translated by Donald Keene in Asia Major, December 1959

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Zensh› (complete works), edited by Komiya Toyotaka, 10 vols, 1959– 69 The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches, translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa, 1966 Bashπ shokanshu (correspondence), edited by Yasuo Hagiwara, 1976 Traveler My Name, translated by Lucien Stryk, 1984 Bashπ no tegami (correspondence), edited by Tomotsugu Muramatsu, 1985 Matsuo Bashπ shu (diaries), edited by Noichi Imoto et al., 2 vols, 1995–97 The Essential Basho, translated by Sam Hamill, 1999 (contains “Narrow Road to the Interior”, “Travelogue of Weather-Beaten Bones”, “The Knapsack Notebook”, “Sarashina Travelogue”, and selected haiku)

Further Reading Barnhill, David L., “Bashπ as Bat: Wayfaring and Antistructure in the Journals of Matsuo Bashπ”, Journal of Asian Studies, 49/2 (1990): 274 ff. Makota Ueda, Matsuo Bashπ, New York: Twayne, 1970 Makota Ueda, Bashπ and His Interpreters, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1991

Beauvoir, Simone de

1908–1986

French philosopher, novelist, essayist, and autobiographer Simone de Beauvoir is undoubtedly best known for her 1949 feminist work Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex) wherein she outlines her (then radical) social-constructionist idea that “on naît pas femme on le devient” (“one is not born a woman, one becomes one”). An existentialist philosopher, she spent much of her time before the 1960s working with her life partner, Jean-Paul Sartre, on his philosophical texts and her own novels. The latter works, while fictional, contain elements of autobiographical detail: Beauvoir hints that Françoise of her first novel, L’Invitée (1943; She Came to Stay), as well as the main characters in her prize-winning Les Mandarins (1954; The Mandarins), reflect elements of her own life and personality. Although she wrote that she had always been quite introspective, it was not until 1958 that she published the first of eight volumes of autobiographical text whose nearly 4000 pages cover her life in sometimes minute detail. Her autobiographical work is thus vast, but, some might say, vastly under-studied. The first volume, Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée (1958; Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter), recounts the story of her childhood growing up as an intellectual with her strict Catholic mother and carefree father in a family with financial worries. Beauvoir shares her memories of her own comingof-age with her childhood friend, Zaza Mabille (pseudonym of Elisabeth Lacoin) and her first meetings with Sartre and other Sorbonne students who would later become France’s political leaders and social activists. The text ends with Zaza’s untimely death at an early age. Patterson notes that Beauvoir, “convinced by her observation of members of her own family and especially by the tragedy of Zaza Lacoin’s premature death that conformity to social convention can be quite literally fatal to the vitality and development of a mature and autonomous young woman … strove throughout her life to distance herself from the bourgeois milieu in which she had been raised and to highlight the foibles and follies for her readers”.

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La Force de l’âge (1960; The Prime of Life) is an exploration of Beauvoir’s relationships with various student friends, notably her women friends Olga Kosakievicz, Nathalie Sorokine, and Bianca Lamblin (née Bienenfeld), all of whom were almost certainly lovers shared by both Beauvoir and Sartre. The “Other”, an important element in existential philosophy, becomes a leitmotif here as Beauvoir describes her feelings of insecurity, jealousy, anger, and finally necessity in the “family” relationship established between the “writing couple” and numerous of their students. Other titles in her personal writings include L’Amérique au jour le jour (1948; America Day by Day), which is a travel journal of sorts, with observations from a five-month tour of the United States, including comments on various of America’s social problems and on her relationship with her lover Nelson Algren. La Force des choses (1963; Force of Circumstance), is a récit of Beauvoir’s life from the period of the liberation of Paris (1945) until 5 July 1962, the date of the Algerian celebration of independence from France. Une mort très douce (1964; A Very Easy Death) is a heart-wrenching account of Beauvoir’s mother, Françoise de Beauvoir’s, not so easy death and a coming-toterms with Simone’s problematic relationship with her mother. La Vieillesse (Old Age), published in 1970, deals with the challenges faced by the elderly in society and, to a disappointingly lesser extent, Beauvoir’s substantial and often-present fears about growing old herself. Tout compte fait (1972; All Said and Done), with its less chronological structure than some of her other works, is a thematic exploration of the ideas most important to Beauvoir, and La Cérémonie des adieux (1981; Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre) (followed by interviews between Beauvoir and Sartre), is a chronicle of Sartre’s very difficult last ten years of life. Beauvoir’s reputation as a feminist philosopher does not allow one to avoid reading her as a female writing from within a masculinist value system. In such a framework, as Leah Hewitt comments, “her work vacillates between a position of solidarity with other women … and a position of competitiveness with them”. Beauvoir’s writings have produced a wide range of responses from critics: every aspect of her work – from narrative structure to transitions between sentences, from public ideologies to the most intimate private acts – has been alternately praised and criticized. Terry Keefe notices a certain “detachment” in Beauvoir’s memoirs, and comments that she writes of “her interest in the world, rather than herself, or rather, in the world, with herself as an object in it”. Readers will certainly enjoy Beauvoir’s exploration of the world, and many, particularly women, will be able to relate to aspects of her cathartic descriptions of herself as “object” within the world we all inhabit. Kimberly K. Carter-Cram Biography Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie de Beauvoir. Born in Paris, 9 January 1908, into a family of aristocratic descent. Her father went bankrupt soon after her birth. Educated at the Institut Normal Catholique Adeline Désir, Paris, 1913–25 (baccalauréat). Studied literature and philosophy at the Institut Sainte-Marie, Neuilly-sur-Seine, and mathematics at the Institut Catholique, Paris, 1925–26. Studied philosophy and literature in Paris at the Sorbonne, 1926–28, and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, 1928–29 (agrégation in philosophy). Began a lifelong relationship with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, 1929.

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Taught at lycées in Paris, then at the Lycée Montgrand, Marseilles, 1931–33; Lycée Jeanne d’Arc, Rouen, 1933–38; Lycée Molière, Paris, from 1938; and later also at the Lycée Camille-Sée, Paris, until 1943. Published her first novel L’Invitée (She Came to Stay), 1943. Founding editor, with Sartre, of the journal Les Temps Modernes, 1945. Received critical acclaim with the publication of Le Sang des autres (1945; The Blood of Others). Lectured in the United States and began a four-year relationship with the American novelist Nelson Algren, 1947. Published her most famous work, Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex), an examination of the plight of women, 1949. Lived with the writer and film-maker Claude Lanzmann, 1952–58. Won the Prix Goncourt for her novel Les Mandarins (1954; The Mandarins). Became increasingly committed to political activism from the late 1950s. Actively involved in the women’s movement in the 1970s. Cofounder and president of the feminist group Choisir, 1972; president, Ligue des Droits des Femmes, 1974. Died in Paris, 14 April 1986.

Selected Writings L’Amérique au jour le jour (travel writings), 1948; as America Day by Day, translated by Carol Cosman, 1999 Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée, 1958; as Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, translated by James Kirkup, 1959 La Force de l’âge (autobiography), 1960; as The Prime of Life, translated by Peter Green, 1962 La Force des choses (autobiography), 1963; as Force of Circumstance, translated by Richard Howard, 1965 Une mort très douce (biography), 1964; as A Very Easy Death, translated by Patrick O’Brian, 1965 La Vieillesse (semi-autobiographical study), 1970; as Old Age, translated by Patrick O’Brian, 1972 Tout compte fait (intellectual autobiography), 1972; as All Said and Done, translated by Patrick O’Brian, 1974 (with Jean-Paul Sartre) La Cérémonie des adieux: suivi de entretiens avec Jean-Paul Sartre: août–septembre 1974, 1981; as Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre, translated by Patrick O’Brian, 1984 Journal de guerre: septembre 1939–janvier 1941, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, 1990 Lettres à Sartre, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, 1990; as Letters to Sartre, translated and edited by Quintin Hoare, 1991 Lettres à Nelson Algren: un amour transatlantique, 1947–1964, edited and translated by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, 1997

Further Reading Bair, Deirdre, Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography, New York: Summit, and London: Jonathan Cape, 1990 Bieber, Konrad, Simone de Beauvoir, Boston: Twayne, 1979 Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, London and New York: Routledge, 1990 Celeux, Anne-Marie, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir: Une expérience commune, deux écritures, Paris: Librairie Nizet, 1986 Cottrell, Robert D., Simone de Beauvoir, New York: Frederick Ungar, 1975 Descubes, Madeleine, Connaître Simone de Beauvoir, Paris: Editions Resma, 1974 Duchen, Claire, Feminism in France: From May ’68 to Mitterrand, Boston and London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986 Evans, Martha Noel, Masks of Tradition: Women and the Politics of Writing in Twentieth-Century France, New York: Cornell University Press, 1987 Evans, Mary, Simone de Beauvoir: A Feminist Mandarin, London and New York: Tavistock, 1985 Fitch, Brian T., “‘Le dévoilement de la conscience’ de l’autre: L’invitée de Simone de Beauvoir” in his Le Sentiment d’étrangeté chez Malraux, Sartre, Camus et S. de Beauvoir, Paris: Minard, 1964 Gilmore, Leigh, Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Women’s SelfRepresentation, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1994 Gusdorf, Georges, Auto-bio-graphie, Paris: Editions Odile Jacob, 1991 Hatcher, Donald L., Understanding The Second Sex, New York: Peter Lang, 1984 Heilbrun, Carolyn G., Writing a Woman’s Life, New York: Norton, 1988 Hewitt, Leah, Autobiographical Tightropes: Simone de Beauvoir,

Nathalie Sarraute, Marguerite Duras, Monique Wittig and Maryse Condé, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990 Holveck, Eleanore, “Simone de Beauvoir: Autobiography as Philosophy”, Simone de Beauvoir Studies, 8 (1991): 103–10 Keefe, Terry, Simone de Beauvoir: A Study of Her Writings, London: Harrap, 1983; without subtitle New York: St Martin’s Press, 1998 LeDoeuff, Michèle, “Simone de Beauvoir and Existentialism”, Feminist Studies, 6 / 2 (1980): 277–90 LeDoeuff, Michèle, Hipparchia’s Choice: An Essay Concerning Women, Philosophy, etc., translated by Trista Selous, Oxford and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1991 Marks, Elaine (editor), Critical Essays on Simone de Beauvoir, Boston: G.K. Hall, 1987 Moi, Toril, Feminist Theory and Simone de Beauvoir, Oxford and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1990 Moi, Toril, Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman, Oxford and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1994 Nahas, Hélène, La Femme dans la littérature existentielle, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1957 Patterson, Yolanda Astarita, “Simone de Beauvoir” in French Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Source Book, edited by Eva Martin Sartori and Dorothy Wynne Zimmerman, New York: Greenwood Press, 1991 Sheringham, Michael, French Autobiography: Devices and Desires, Rousseau to Perec, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993 Simone de Beauvoir Studies, 1983– Suleiman, Susan Rubin, “Simone de Beauvoir and the Writing Self”, L’Esprit Créateur, 29 / 4 (1989): 42–51 Whitmarsh, Anne, Simone de Beauvoir and the Limits of Commitment, New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981

Behan, Brendan

1923–1964

Irish playwright and autobiographer While Brendan Behan’s literary reputation rests on his dramatic works, The Quare Fellow (produced 1954, published 1956) and The Hostage (1958), both of which were substantial international successes, the bulk of his writing consists of various forms of autobiography. This body of work includes the travelogues Brendan Behan’s Island (1962) and Brendan Behan’s New York (1964), and the newspaper sketches of Behan’s Dublin collected in Hold Your Hour and Have Another (1963). Each of these volumes is a record of Behan’s impressions and opinions, and each is noteworthy for the sound of Behan’s voice as well as for the ease with which others’ voices are reproduced. The use of a tape-recorder in the production of the travelogues is obviously indispensable to their oral quality, and the same may be said of Behan’s final autobiographical work, the posthumously published Confessions of an Irish Rebel (1965), which concludes the story of his career as a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) begun in Borstal Boy. Among Behan’s autobiographical writings, however, Borstal Boy (1958) holds pride of place, due not only to its inaugural status in the canon of Behan’s prose but also to its artistic interest, as well as to the novelty and freshness of its cultural observations and its narrator’s experimental personae. This experimentation is a revealing anticipation of the extremely troublesome issues of persona and personality that recur with increasingly debilitating effect in Behan’s later autobiographical writings and, much more notoriously, in his career as a famous personality. In addition, Borstal Boy may be viewed as an assemblage of inflections, misgivings, and insecurities about the

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traditional bases of Irish identity, particularly those provided by republican nationalism and Roman Catholicism. This perspective underlines how the book both avails itself of some of the tropes embodied in the stereotypical stage Irishman and rehearses the more multiple, complex, and contradictory form of Irishness that has come to the forefront of Irish writing since Behan’s death. The title of Borstal Boy refers to the author’s youthful sojourn in a borstal – an institution for young offenders – in Suffolk in eastern England. Most of the text is devoted to Behan’s time in this institution, but a long opening sequence deals with his arrest in Liverpool for possession of explosives and to his pre-trial incarceration in that city’s Walton prison. At the time of his arrest in 1939, Behan was on active service as a member of the IRA, then engaged in a bombing campaign in England. He was aged 16, and received a three-year sentence. Behan’s stay in Walton was brief, but its extensive coverage in Borstal Boy serves a number of purposes, most of them concerning questions of persona, though some are subtly connected with issues in autobiographical narrative structure and, in particular, the problematical nature of time and its relation to memory within that structure. The opening section’s general effect is to offset through a sequence of deceptively artless set pieces such threats to the autonomy and validity of selfhood and individuality as the trauma of confinement; the severe, brutal, and racist nature of the penal regime; the rigid class structure imposed on prisoners; and the experience of foreignness and of existential duress. Vital ingredients of these set pieces are the fugitive acts of tenderness, concern, and overall solidarity among prisoners. Through these a claim to a non-prison and pre-prison life is established, and in seizing on them, Behan the writer as well as Behan the prisoner outwits the rigid and repetitive nature of prison life. In addition, his varied and resilient picture of imprisonment portrays how he counteracts the identity thrust upon him by the authorities’ rough-and-ready understanding of the offences with which he has been charged. As an Irish terrorist, he is perceived to be socially and morally different to his fellow-inmates. Behan’s reactions to that perception immunize him to a certain extent from the degrading and abusive treatment he receives and also act as a stimulus to evaluate the forces that formed his pre-prison identity. This process of evaluation is the main thread to the story of how Behan served his borstal sentence. Gradually a composite self evolves, one that retains an awareness both of its Irish antecedents and its present English conditions and avails itself of both as immediate circumstances warrant. This self, whose emergence is fostered by his borstal’s tolerant and humane regime, is a frank acknowledgement of the improvisational, provisional, and even deliberately duplicitous strategies required to make the most of every given prison moment. The ultimate effect amounts to an assertion that the shades of the borstal that surrounded the growing Brendan Behan existed largely in order to be dispelled. George O’Brien Biography Brendan Francis Behan. Born in Dublin, Ireland, 9 February 1923; older brother of the novelist Dominic Behan. His father was a house painter. Educated at the French Sisters of Charity School, Dublin,

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1928–34; Christian Brothers School, Dublin, 1934–37. Studied at the Day Apprentice School, 1937. Worked as an apprentice house painter, 1937–39. Joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA), 1937. Served a sentence at Hollesley Bay Borstal, England, for attempting to blow up a Liverpool shipyard, 1940–41, then deported. Served terms in Mountjoy, Arbour Hill, and Curragh prisons for the attempted murder of two police detectives, 1942–46. Worked as a house painter, journalist, and seaman, 1946–50. Broadcaster, Radio Eireann, 1951–53. Columnist, Irish Press, Dublin, 1954–55. Married Beatrice ffrench-Salkeld, 1955: one daughter. His fame rests principally on two plays, The Quare Fellow (1954) and The Hostage (1958), both produced by Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Workshop in East London. Died in Dublin, 20 March 1964.

Selected Writings Borstal Boy (autobiography), 1958 Brendan Behan’s Island: An Irish Sketchbook (travel writing), 1962 Hold Your Hour and Have Another (newspaper extracts), 1963 Brendan Behan’s New York (travel writing), 1964 Confessions of an Irish Rebel (autobiography), 1965 The Letters of Brendan Behan, edited by E.H. Mikhail, 1992

Further Reading Behan, Beatrice, Des Hickey and Gus Smith, My Life with Brendan, London: Leslie Frewn, 1973; Los Angeles: Nash, 1974 Behan, Brian, Mother of All the Behans: The Autobiography of Kathleen Behan as Told to Brian Behan, London: Hutchinson, 1984; Dublin: Poolbeg, 1994 Behan, Dominic, My Brother Brendan, London: Leslie Frewin, 1965; New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966 Boyle, Ted E., Brendan Behan, Boston: Twayne, 1969 Cronin, Anthony, Dead as Doornails: A Chronicle of Life, Dublin: Dolmen Press, and London: Calder and Boyars, 1976 Jeffs, Rae, Brendan Behan: Man and Showman, London: Hutchinson, 1966; San Francisco: World, 1968 Kearney, Colbert, The Writings of Brendan Behan, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1977 McCann, Sean, The World of Brendan Behan, London: New English Library, 1965; Boston: Twayne, 1966 McMahon, Frank, Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy: An Adaptation for the Stage, adapted for the stage by Frank McMahon, Dublin: Four Masters; New York: Random House, 1971 Mikhail, E.H., Brendan Behan: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, London: Macmillan, and New York: Harper and Row, 1980 O’Connor, Ulick, Brendan Behan, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1970; Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1971 Ryan, John, Remembering How We Stood: Bohemian Dublin at the mid-century, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, and New York: Taplinger, 1975 Simpson, Alan, Beckett and Behan and a Theatre in Dublin, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962; New York: Hillary House, 1966

Belgium see Netherlands and Belgium (Flemish) Benjamin, Walter

1892–1940

German autobiographer and critic The modernist and cultural critic Walter Benjamin remained both a social and intellectual outsider from his childhood days in Berlin, through his growing up in a middle-class, Jewish household, to his life in exile after 1933 in Paris, and finally to his suicide while fleeing Nazi-occupied France. His critical,

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historical, Marxist, and modernist thought was structured and presented – in a highly eclectic, associative, and aphoristic manner – through the prism of the self. Demonstrating both a traditional, Romantic, and aesthetic dimension as well as a modernist, Marxist, and materialist perspective, Benjamin’s discourse resonates subtly and suggestively in the fields of history and philosophy. Heavily influenced by such thinkers as the Annales historian Marc Bloch and literary critic Georg [György] Lukács and writers like Bertolt Brecht and Charles Baudelaire – whom he treated in Charles Baudelaire: ein Lyriker im Zeitalter des Hochkapitalismus (1969; Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism) – Marcel Proust, and Franz Kafka, Benjamin’s style often proved too self-conscious and idiosyncratic for his contemporaries, but it is a cornerstone of his growing posthumous fame. The earliest works, like his brilliant 1924 essay on Goethe’s Wahlverwandschaften and his Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (1928; Origin of The German Tragic Drama), failed to establish him as a writer or academic, but many of his most influential essays, including “Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter der technischen Reproduzierbarkeit” (1936; “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”) are collected in his Illuminationen (1955; Illuminations). Moving among the prevailing revolutionary ideology of communism, Zionism, and critical theory, Benjamin opted for the role of solitary wanderer and homme de lettres, not for purposes of communicating to the reader, but for decoding and deciphering the self. The unique and original quality of Benjamin’s prose, his “gift for thinking poetically” (Arendt), may be circumscribed by three broad, extended metaphors that he employed as thinker and poet to weave the life of the mind into the tapestry of concrete things. First, the self and its memory are constructed not as character and narrative, but as places or tableaux – first and foremost, for Benjamin, of Berlin and Paris. For Benjamin time passes and fades, but places are more reliable, and by returning to the places of one’s past one may also recapture the temps perdu of one’s life. In his autobiographical writings Einbahnstrasse (1928; One-Way Street), Berliner Kindheit um Neunzehnhundert [1950; Berlin Childhood around 1910], Berliner Chronik (1970; “A Berlin Chronicle”) memory of one’s past is less a map than a labyrinth in which one loses one’s way. Thus, in his Passagen-werk (1983; The Arcades Project), the arcades of Paris are evoked in order to proceed upon a history of 19th-century Paris. Second, the allegory of collecting and the metaphor of a collection served as the central principle of Benjamin’s epistemology and methodology. Indeed, he understood history not as ordered narrative, but as chaos and debris, and the historian as a collector of ruins. An avid collector of books, Benjamin conceived of writing as collecting thoughts, letters, and quotations. In his work diaries or “little black notebooks” he collected quotations or “pearls of reading”, not to be subsequently used as documentation, but to constitute an intrinsic montage. According to the philosopher Hannah Arendt, who edited Illuminations, “to quote is to name, and naming rather than speaking, the word rather than the sentence, brings truth and light”. Third, the world both as place and as collection is modulated by the desultory rhetoric of purposelessness and chance. These

are signified by the image of the flâneur (idler) made famous by Baudelaire. Just as the urban flâneur strolls without aim through the modern city, so Benjamin conceives of thinking and writing as a form of flânerie or freely associative, open-ended essayism. For him, history – public and private – is experienced by the wanderer and collector travelling and decoding the enigmas of place and self. Ralph W. Buechler Biography Walter Benedix Schönflies Benjamin. Born in Berlin, Germany, 15 July 1892. His father was an affluent Jewish art and antiquities dealer. Educated at the Kaiser Friedrich school and the Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium in Thuringia. Studied philosophy at the universities of Freiburg, 1912, Berlin, 1913, and Munich, 1915–17. Avoided service in World War I by feigning sciatica. Married Dora Sophie Pollak (née Kellner), 1917 (separated 1923, divorced 1930): one son. Studied at the universities of Berne, 1917–19 (Ph.D in philosophy and literature), and Frankfurt-am-Main, 1925 (thesis rejected). Contributed to various journals from the early 1920s. Declared himself a communist, 1924. Wrote Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (1928; The Origin of German Tragic Drama), a study of the 17th century from the German viewpoint. Visited Russia, 1926–27, and Paris, 1927. Forced to leave Germany when the Nazis rose to power, 1933; lived in Paris. Associated with the Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt, 1934–37, and wrote for its journal Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung [Journal for Social Research]. Wrote essays on Marxist materialism, notably “The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1937). Attempted to escape from the Nazi regime by emigrating to the United States via Portugal, but committed suicide in Port Bou, Spain, when in danger of being betrayed to the Gestapo, 26 September 1940 (some sources give 27 September).

Selected Writings Einbahnstrasse (autobiographical prose), 1928; as One-Way Street, translated by Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter in One-Way Street and Other Writings, 1979 Berliner Kindheit um Neunzehnhundert (autobiographical prose), 1950 Illuminationen: ausgewählte Schriften (selections), edited by Siegfried Unseld, 1955; as Illuminations, edited by Hannah Arendt, translated by Harry Zohn, 1968 Briefe, edited by Gershom Scholem and Theodor W. Adorno, 2 vols, 1966; as The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910–1940, translated by Manfred R. Jacobson and Evelyn M. Jacobson, 1994 Charles Baudelaire: ein Lyriker im Zeitalter des Hochkapitalismus, edited by Rolf Tiedemann, 1969; as Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, translated by Harry Zohn, 1973 Berliner Chronik: mit einem Nachwort (autobiographical prose), edited by Gershom Scholem, 1970 as “A Berlin Chronicle” in OneWay Street and Other Writings, translated by Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter, 1979 Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, edited by Peter Demetz, translated by Edmund Jephcott, 1978 Moskauer Tagebuch, edited by Gary Smith, 1980; as Moscow Diary, translated by Richard Sieburth, 1985 Briefe an Siegfried Kracauer, edited by Theodor W. Adorno, 1987 (with Theodor W. Adorno) Gesammelte Briefe, edited by Christoph Godde and Henri Lonitz, 1995–; as The Complete Correspondence, 1928–1940, translated by Nicholas Walker, 1999

Further Reading Adorno, Theodor W., “Benjamin the Letter Writer” in his Notes to Literature, vol 2, edited by Rolf Tiedemann, New York: Columbia University Press, 1992 Alter, Robert, Necessary Angels: Tradition and Modernity in Kafka, Benjamin, and Scholem, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1991 Arendt, Hannah, introduction to Benjamin’s Illuminations, edited by Arendt, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1968

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Buck-Morss, Susan, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1989 Cohen, Margaret, Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993 Frisby, David, Fragments of Modernity: Theories of Modernity in the Work of Simmel, Kracauer, and Benjamin, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1985; Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1986 Gilloch, Graeme, Myth and Metropolis: Walter Benjamin and the City, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996 Nägele, Rainer (editor), Benjamin’s Ground: New Readings of Walter Benjamin, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1988 Smith, Gary (editor), On Walter Benjamin: Critical Essays and Recollections, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1988 “Walter Benjamin”, special issue of New German Critique, 39 (Fall 1986) Wolin, Richard, Walter Benjamin: An Aesthetic of Redemption, New York: Columbia University Press, 1982; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994 (with a new introduction by the author)

Bernhard, Thomas

1931–1989

Austrian novelist, playwright, and autobiographer Over a span of seven years, Thomas Bernhard published five short volumes of autobiography about his childhood and youth during and after World War II: Die Ursache: eine Andeutung (1975; An Indication of the Cause); Der Keller: eine Entziehung (1976; The Cellar: An Escape); Der Atem: eine Entscheidung (1978; Breath: A Decision); Die Kälte: eine Isolation (1981; In The Cold); and Ein Kind (1982; A Child). Just as this pentalogy is a fictionalized and stylized account of Bernhard’s early years, inviting comparison with legends of artists and saints, his fictional prose is also autobiographical. In Ja (1978; Yes), an exotic woman and her Swiss husband are modelled partly on the poet Ingeborg Bachmann, whom Bernhard met in the late 1960s, and her partner, the Swiss author Max Frisch. Bernhard’s friend Paul Wittgenstein, a nephew of the philosopher, appears as the protagonist of Wittgensteins Neffe (1982; Wittgenstein’s Nephew), which was published as a sequel to the autobiography. In one of Austria’s most notorious literary scandals, Holzfällen (1984; Cutting Wood), a roman à clef ripe with bitter invective against the author’s old acquaintances, led to a court charge of slander and to the temporary confiscation by the authorities of the volume. Interestingly, a purely fictional novel, Der Untergeher (1983; The Loser), in which a character named Glenn Gould appears, was first mistaken by some reviewers as a biography of the Canadian pianist. Die Ursache tells of the author’s experiences – many of which cannot be corroborated – as a boarding-school student in Salzburg from 1944 through the city’s bombardment and the school’s reopening after the war. One of Bernhard’s major themes, the continuity between National Socialism and the postwar “National-Socialist-Catholic” state, finds harsh expression in the figure of the school’s new director after the war (“a Nazi and Catholic”). Claiming slander, the Salzburg priest who recognized himself in this figure succeeded in court in having the text modified. The volume exhibits many themes of the pentalogy as a whole. The child, forced by general crisis (war, poverty, disease) to choose between radical alternatives, gains identity and self-

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awareness. Choosing manual labour over classical learning, art over illness, life over death, he advances towards the individuation achieved by the mature author. In Der Keller, Bernhard tells of his decision to abandon his humanistic schooling in favour of a merchant apprenticeship. The boy’s positive assessment of his socialization and “usefulness” in society are contrasted with the narrator’s pessimistic outlook, for a long period of horrific illness is to follow the relative bliss of these early years. This odyssey through hospitals and institutions is described with raw medical detail and sometimes gripping accounts of isolation and despair in Der Atem and Die Kälte. As Bernhard struggles to survive an inflammation of the pleura, his beloved grandfather, the author Johannes Freumbichler, dies nearby. The crisis brings about his “decision” to live: “I wanted to live, nothing else mattered. Live my life, in a manner I choose and for as long as I choose”. Before transferring to a dark, desolate sanatorium – a counter-image of Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain – for the treatment of tuberculosis, he establishes a new bond with his mother, only to find out that she suffers from cancer. Reading of her death in a newspaper notice, he is forced to borrow money for a train fare to the funeral. A bicycle excursion that ends in defeat and disappointment – a metaphor for the child’s strong, if unsuccessful, early attempts at individuation – opens the last-published volume, Ein Kind, which covers Bernhard’s earliest years. Its mood oscillates between the child’s humilation in the face of illegitimacy, poverty, and the affliction of bed-wetting on the one hand, and a positive thematic complex on the other: rural life in southern Bavaria, where he stays with his supportive grandparents. In contrast to the earlier volumes, where a prominent narrator grapples with the reality of the events he relates, always commenting, questioning motivations, and contemplating alternative outcomes, Ein Kind features a narrator more in tune with the child’s sometimes harrowing experiences. He expresses his critical distance from the events, including an extended stay in a Nazi reformatory, not through explicit commentary but through detached irony. It is the relaxed style and structural complexity of this volume that links Bernhard’s autobiographical writing to his later work, as he continued to refine a unique narrative style and probe the boundaries of life writing and fiction. Gregor Hens Biography Born in Heerlen, near Maastricht, The Netherlands, 10 February 1931, to an Austrian mother. Lived in Austria and southern Germany from 1932. Educated at Salzburg schools, 1943–47. Left school without degree and took up a commercial apprenticeship. Attended the Viennese Academy of Music and Drama, 51. Contracted tuberculosis and spent two years in convalescence, 1949–51. Studied singing, directing, and theatrical technique, 1952–55. Worked as a freelance writer and court reporter for the socialist newspaper Demokratisches Volksblatt from 1952. Contributed to the newspaper Die Furche. Studied drama at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, 1955–57. Travelled to Italy and Yugoslavia, 1953–57, to London, 1960, and to Poland, 1962–63. Published his first novel, Frost, 1963. Settled on a farm in Ohlsdorf, Upper Austria, 1965. Wrote poetry, more than 15 plays, novels (e.g. Das Kalkwerk, 1970; The Lime Works), and his autobiography. Received several prizes, including the Minor Austrian State Prize (1968), Büchner Prize (1970), Grillparzer Prize (1972), and Prix Médicis (1988). Withdrew from the Deutsche Akademie in 1979. Died in Gmunden, Austria, 12 February 1989.

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Selected Writings Die Ursache: eine Andeutung (autobiography), 1975; as An Indication of the Cause in Gathering Evidence Der Keller: eine Entziehung (autobiography), 1976; as The Cellar: An Escape in Gathering Evidence Der Atem: eine Entscheidung (autobiography), 1978; as Breath: A Decision in Gathering Evidence Die Kälte: eine Isolation (autobiography), 1981; as In the Cold in Gathering Evidence Ein Kind (autobiography), 1982; as A Child in Gathering Evidence Gathering Evidence: A Memoir (includes An Indication of the Cause, The Cellar: An Escape, Breath: A Decision, and A Child), translated by David McLintock, 1985

Further Reading Bugmann, Urs, Bewältigungsversuch: Thomas Bernhards autobiographische Schriften, New York and Bern: Peter Lang, 1981 Dörr, Volker C., “Leben und Wahrheit: Eine Lesart: zu den autobiographischen Büchern Thomas Bernhards”, Modern Austrian Literature, 32 /2 (1999): 39–57 Dowden, Stephen D., Understanding Thomas Bernhard, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991 Höller, Hans, Thomas Bernhard, Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1993 Huber, Martin, “‘Möglichkeitsfetzen als Erinnerung’: Zur Rezeption von Thomas Bernhards autobiographischer Pentalogie” in Kontinent Bernhard: Zur Thomas-Bernhard-Rezeption in Europa, edited by Wolfram Bayer, Vienna: Böhlau, 1995 Huguet, Louis, Chronologie Johannes Freumbichler – Thomas Bernhard, Weitra: Bibliothek der Provinz, 1995 Markolin, Caroline, Die Grossväter sind die Lehrer: Johannes Freumbichler und sein Enkel Thomas Bernhard, Salzburg: Müller, 1988 Mittermayer, Manfred, Thomas Bernhard, Stuttgart: Metzler, 1995 Parth, Thomas, “Verwickelte Hierarchien”: Die Wege des Erzählens in den Jugenderinnerungen Thomas Bernhards, Tübingen: Francke, 1995 Schmidt-Dengler, Wendelin, “‘Auf dem Boden der Sicherheit und Gleichgültigkeit’: zu Thomas Bernhards Autobiographie Der Keller” in Autobiographien in der österreichischen Literatur: von Franz Grillparzer bis Thomas Bernhard, Innsbruck and Vienna: Studien Verlag, 1998 Tschapke, Reinhard, Hölle und zurück: Das Initiationsthema in den Jugenderinnerungen Thomas Bernhards, New York and Hildesheim: Olms, 1984

Bethlen, Miklós

1642–1716

Transylvanian statesman and autobiographer Miklós Bethlen’s memoirs (Önéletírása, literally “Autobiography”), were not meant for publication. They were written by this eminent Transylvanian statesman towards the end of his life while under arrest (they were finished in Vienna in 1710) and their addressee was not the imperial court or Hungarian public opinion but Bethlen’s own family and descendants. This is why the language of the memoirs is Hungarian, not Latin, though often sprinkled with Latin sentences and phrases; at any rate, they are a great achievement of Hungarian baroque prose, comparable to the Mémoires of Saint-Simon and other French writers of the age of absolutism. Önéletírása consists of three parts. In the lengthy introduction Bethlen explains the aims of his work: it is an apology for his life and a political testament in which he is trying to defend his honour and give an account of the most important events of his life. The introduction is followed by two books of autobiographical narrative, of which the first begins with the author’s

birth and ends in 1666, while the second traces his career from 1666 to 1708. In the 20 chapters of book one, Bethlen, by religion a Calvinist, gives an unusually frank, in some ways “modern”, physical and psychological description of himself and his early youth. The models are Augustine and René Descartes, but the language is Bethlen’s own, a very expressive, imagery-rich Transylvanian version of colloquial Hungarian. Bethlen’s autobiography is particularly memorable when he describes his studies abroad and travels in Western Europe, as well as episodes of great political significance, such as the death of Count Nicholas Zrínyi in a boar-hunt witnessed by the young visitor. In England, after an adventurous journey from Dover, via Rochester, to London, Bethlen had a good time, was introduced to Charles II, and conversed with him in French; he was invited to dine with “certain great men” both in London and Oxford and concluded that “the English are friendly people by nature”. He was bemused by the charming English habit of women of all ages kissing guests on the cheek and noted that even Oxford dons “found it difficult to converse in Latin”. In the last chapter of the first book where he confesses “the sins” of his youth, Bethlen also relates a visit to the Saracen’s Head, a certain London inn (in fact, a brothel) known to one of his fellow Hungarians then also staying in London, an episode that gives an interesting insight into the sexual mores and fears of the age. When describing his stay in Venice, Bethlen provides information about the behaviour of local courtesans, but that is supplied by his less scrupulous manservant indulging there in carnal pleasures. The second book of Bethlen’s autobiography is painted in darker colours. On the one hand it relates Bethlen’s two marriages and the birth of his children, but the pleasant moments of family life and careful estate management are drowned in a series of intrigues, plots, and clashes with political opponents such as Mihály Teleki, chancellor of Transylvania, and others. In 1676 and 1677 Bethlen even suffered imprisonment for his alleged involvement in a plot against Prince Apafi, the charge of which was later dropped as false. Apart from a detailed description of the changing circumstances of his imprisonment (he could ask for books and was fed at his own cost, but at one point his legs were chained, which caused him much suffering), Bethlen gives a thorough account of this whole affair, including an analysis of the changes in the prince’s attitude towards the prisoners. Though in 1691 Bethlen became chancellor himself, the subsequent loss of Transylvania’s independence and its inclusion in the Habsburg empire coincided with his exclusion from political power and arrest in 1704. The autobiography ends with the transportation of the embittered but still patient prisoner to Vienna four years later. Another interesting feature of Bethlen’s autobiography is the frequent insertion of dreams, some of which are portents of future political developments. Bethlen analyses his (sometimes very elaborate) dreams sensitively and intelligently, and he is a good enough psychologist to distinguish genuine oneiric foresight from “the whispers of the Devil” or weird hallucinations. One of the most moving parts of the autobiography is the description of Bethlen’s first wife’s agony on her deathbed where this virtuous person has fierce doubts about the salvation of her soul, resolved only shortly before expiring. The author’s loyalty to his first wife is in fact borne out by the manner of his second marriage: it is the dying wife’s wish that Bethlen should soon

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remarry (this was customary, for the sake of the children) and, if possible, he should marry an orphan. Júlia, the girl chosen by Bethlen to be his second wife, was indeed an orphan. The second book of Bethlen’s memoirs is stylistically less carefully written than the first half; it is interspersed with long Latin passages, partly recreating Bethlen’s conversations with imperial generals who, after 1689, held de facto power in Transylvania. The whole work, however, is a significant achievement of Hungarian prose which, though not directly influencing its development (it was first published from manuscript in the mid19th century), showed that János Kemény’s somewhat earlier memoirs were not a unique specimen of the genre and that Hungarian could serve as a fine vehicle of self-expression as early as the late 17th century. George Gömöri Biography Born in Kisbún, Transylvania (now in Romania), then a province of the Ottoman empire, 1642, into a Calvinist family of the wealthy nobility. Attended a school in Gyulafehérvár (Alba Julia), where he was taught by Pál Keresztúri and the English emigré theologian Isaac Basire, 1652–57. Taught by the influential educationalist János Apáczai Csere in Kolozsvár (now Cluj, Romania), 1658–59. Went abroad to study, 1661, attending the universities of Heidelberg, Utrecht, and Leiden. Visited England, 1663. Returned to Hungary via France. Sent to Venice on a diplomatic mission, 1665; had talks with the French ambassador in Vienna on his way home. Returned to Transylvania, 1666. Wrote a number of tracts in Latin against the increasingly intolerant religious policy of the Catholic Habsburgs. Imprisoned in Fogaras for alleged involvement in the “Béldi plot”, 1676–77. Tried to renegotiate Transylvania’s status with the Habsburgs after Mihály Apafi I’s death, which resulted in the decree known as the Diploma Leopoldinum. Became chancellor of Transylvania, 1691. Tried to reform the economy of the province. Created count, 1696. Tried to resign and handed over the tract Penetralia Transylvania to the emperor, Leopold I. Transylvania passed into Austrian Habsburg control after the defeat of the Ottoman forces, 1699. Married twice, on the second occasion to Júlia. Wrote a political tract in Hungarian, Olaját visellö Noe galambya [Noah’s Dove Bearing an Olive Branch], under a pseudonym, trying to mediate between Ferenc Rákóczi II (who rebelled against the Habsburgs, 1703–11) and Vienna, 1704. Arrested and sentenced to death, 1704, but sentence commuted to imprisonment, which he served in Nagyszeben (Sibiu) and Eszék (Osijek). Sent to Vienna, May 1708, and lived there under house arrest. Case investigated several times, but his petitions to be freed were ignored. Worked on his memoirs while in prison. Died in Vienna, 1716.

Selected Writings Gróf Bethlen Miklós önéletírása (memoirs), completed 1710, published (2 vols) 1858–60; as Bethlen Miklós önéletírása, edited by Eva V. Windisch, 2 vols, 1955; selections in Old Hungarian Literary Reader: 11th–18th Centuries, edited by Tibor Klaniczay, translated by Keith Bosley et al., 1985 Bethlen Miklós levelei (correspondence), edited by József Jankovics, 2 vols, 1987

Further Reading Jankovics József, entry on Bethlen in Új magyar irodalmi lexikon, edited by László Péter, Budapest: Akadémiai, 1994 Máté, Károly, A magyar önéletírás kezdetei, Pécs: 1926 Németh, László, Az én katedrám, Budapest: Magveto˝ es Szépirodalmi, 1969 Révérend, Dominique, Mémoires historiques du comte Bethlen-Niklos (fictitious autobiography), Amsterdam: Jean Swart, 1736 Szávai, János, Magyar emlékírók , Budapest: Szépirodalmi Könyvkiadó, 1988 Tolnai Gábor, “Elo˝szó” in Bethlen Miklós Önéletírása, Budapest: Szépirodalmi, 1955

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The Bible Nowhere are the boundaries between life writing and imaginative literature less distinct than in the books of the Bible, and nowhere have their demarcations been drawn or debated for bigger stakes. The problems of extricating personal history from its mythic and legendary contexts have proven largely insurmountable. Even the very considerable modern scholarly effort to locate the so-called “historical Jesus” within the context of the canonical Gospels has, in the end, shown itself to be mainly a matter of definition, hypothesis, and speculation. The two fundamental questions for personal history in the Bible are still with us: did the ancient writers intend to provide accounts of actual persons and events and, if so, what value have these accounts as sources for modern biographers? Determination of scriptural genre has traditionally depended as much on religious faith as literary criteria. Modern and contemporary literarycritical approaches to the Bible, however, have problematized and sophisticated every aspect of biblical study and have affected the way we think about its most fundamental categories (genre, history, authorship, text, and so on). The influence of postmodern theory on the study of the Bible has been similar to its influence on the study of life writing. For example, just as deconstructionists tend to conflate life writing with fiction and the so-called “autobiographical self” with the “fictional I”, so the biblical narrative that for two millennia has been read as “sacred history” is now more often than not read as fiction. The privileged, a priori concept of the unity and continuity of the autobiographical self accords well with the Bible’s conception of the unity and continuity of God, especially when one considers its very first chapter’s insistence upon a humanity created in the (self-) “image of God” (Genesis 1:26ff.). Both the “worlds” of the Creator and the life writer are word creations and both discourses hinge on the privileged authority of their “authors”. The modern individual’s privileged access to the self finds some correspondence with the ancient prophet’s or apostle’s privileged revelation of God. The knowledge that results in both cases establishes the special relationship of addresser and addressee and the distinctive reading conventions (or faith) that that special relationship entails. The uniquely privileged point of view has the interesting effect of sanctioning the authority of a discourse without possibility of corroboration and explaining the accessibility of otherwise inaccessible experience. Because of this correspondence, prophetic oracle or apostolic confession can carry a kind of intimate revelation of self that is the closest the Bible comes to the modern selfrevelatory mode. The best example of this in the New Testament is found in certain verses of Paul’s Epistles, to be considered shortly. The most vivid exemplifications of self-revelation among the Hebrew Prophets are to be found in the extraordinary experiences documented (or invented) in Hosea 1–3 and in much more extensive sections of Jeremiah. The vast 52-chapter book of Jeremiah is a collection of first-person verse oracles linked in part by a biographical prose narrative, some of which was probably written by the eyewitness Baruch, the prophet’s scribe and close companion. The book begins with the divine call, which itself began as a pre-birth or predestined imperative (1:5), providing the type for the later claim by Paul (Galatians 1:15); it

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ends with the prophet’s disappearance in Egypt after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 bce. The motifs of persecution, isolation, “pain unceasing” / “wound incurable” (15:18), and obsessivecompulsive determination to carry out his divine commission provide the fullest material for scriptural “biography”. They also provide part of the typology for the “life” of the apostle Paul. Most of the external events and the socio-political context of Jeremiah are reconstructable as history, and the inner life is amply attested to, especially in chapter 1 and the so-called “Confessions” or “Prayers” of Jeremiah (at least 11:18–23, 12:1–6, 15:10–21, 17:14–18, 18:18–23, and 20:7–18). The most obvious life writing in the Bible is found in the New Testament. Of its four principal literary genres, three (all but apocalyptic literature) are relevant to the present discussion. The most often studied in recent decades has been the Gospel as a form of ancient biography. The Epistles, mentioned earlier, have been mined for their intimate autobiographical revelations and for their clues to Paul’s apostolate. The Acts of the Apostles, which can be read as a kind of ideologically driven historical literature, have always been thought of as containing Paul’s first “biography”. The four canonical Gospels are certainly as close as Scripture comes to biography, but whether or not they are biography is – as so much else in genre study – a matter mainly of debate. David Aune, who, along with other New Testament scholars, interprets Gospel as a sub-type of Greco-Roman biography, offers a very general description of the genre that seems broadly applicable to all four Gospels: “A biography relates the significance of a famous person’s career (i.e., his character and achievements), optionally framed by a narrative of origins and youth, on the one hand, and death and lasting significance on the other” (The New Testament in Its Literary Environment). One specialized form upon which the Gospels would seem to have been modelled (but about which scholars are still not generally convinced) is the aretalogy: an account of the career of an impressive teacher, usually consisting of a collection of miracle stories providing evidence for his preternatural gifts and usually used for moral instruction. Another paradigmatic form (suggested chiefly in the work of Philip Shuler) is a laudatory form known as encomium biography. Whereas biography is a type of personal history, the canonical Gospels are fundamentally mythic and kerygmatic (or proclamational). So the Gospels report and claim to report a truth that is independent of historical confirmation and that does not require corroboration for belief. What is also clear is that the Gospels, like all biblical narrative, manifest very little interest in physical appearance, formative experience, motivation and the so-called inner life, the development of personality, and other standard features of the modern biographical form. The Gospels remain focused on the early Christian kerygma, upon the presentation of Jesus as the eschatological prophet who is the Christ and the Son of God. The historical details of the Gospels are no more accurate or documentable than those of Acts, the reliability of which has been universally questioned by scholarly research of the last half century. It is in Acts alone that we read of Paul’s dramatic “conversion” on the road to Damascus. In no less than three separate accounts (Acts 9:1–19, a third-person narrative; and two firstperson accounts in 22:1–21 and 26:12–23), we read of Paul blinded by celestial light and converted by hearing the voice of

the risen Christ. None of these reports is confirmed in Paul’s Letters, which, in any case, treat his transforming experience more as a “call” on the model of the Hebrew prophet than as a conversion from one religious belief to another. Paul wrote directly to his contemporaries during the three decades following the crucifixion of Jesus, and his Letters provide some evidence for documenting each major stage of his life. The principal texts for the revelation of his personal life and sensibility are at least the following: Galatians 1:11–24, which deals with the call (conceived as originally predestined, then by Christ and God) and commission (to preach to the gentiles); Philippians 3:4–11 and Romans 7, which help in the re-creation of his pre-commissioned self; and 2 Corinthians 10–12, especially 11:21–33 (relating his hardships and persecution) and 12:1–10 (relating his ecstatic ascension “to the third heaven”, “into Paradise”, and the “thorn … in the flesh” that keeps him “from being too elated by the abundance of revelations”). From the perspective of life-writing theory, perhaps the most important aspect of the autobiographical sections of the Epistles is the clear pattern of contrasts that emerges between Paul’s life before his call and after it. This pattern is similar to the standard retrospective pattern of autobiography, in which the true significance of events and activities of the earlier life becomes clear only in retrospect. The pattern, however, is even more strikingly characteristic of conversion narratives (like the most famous one in Book 8 of the Confessions of St Augustine), in which the contrast between past and present selves is seen as the direct consequence of the central transforming experience of the life, the experience that leads to the re-evaluation of all that precedes it. In this sense Paul’s call is tantamount to conversion. Except for the self-constructions found in parts of the prophetic books (of which two have already been mentioned), the Hebrew Bible provides a less obvious and more challenging field of study than does the New Testament. The largest narrative portraits in the Hebrew Bible are those of Moses (contained mainly in Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and David (in 1 Samuel 16–1 Kings 2), but “biography” is hardly the best term for these texts. While obsessed with history, ancient Israel seems to have been little interested in “personality”. Its narratives concentrate on ideology rather than personality, and it produced no generic form like biography as we understand it today. The prose narratives of the Hebrew Bible display little of the individualism we find in the New Testament, and so the discussion of their life writing must take a different direction. Israel is both the name of a person (Jacob) and the name of a people whose own self-narratives trace them back to their eponymous father. The early stories of the people, which shaped their corporate personality (their collective “autobiographical self”) are found in the more or less continuous story from Genesis 1 to 2 Chronicles 36 (the final chapter of the Hebrew Bible, different in arrangement from the Christian Old Testament). This narrative has traditionally been read as the ancient but undocumentable history of Israel. For our purposes it may also be read as a kind of mythic autobiography of Israel’s collective self, a self created and transformed by its own autobiographical acts, a self known through its self-writing, rewriting, and recitation. From this perspective the so-called “People of the Book” are literally that. Exodus has been characterized as “a national autobiography”. “Not the event”, says Arthur Gold in “Exodus as Autobiography” (1967), “but the telling of the event is what matters.

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Not the event that can be corroborated, but the event that is the telling of the event – and therefore neither needs nor bears corroboration”. Over many centuries Israel (later Judeans, Jews) has managed to differentiate itself from other peoples – that is, it has managed to achieve a self-identity – by telling itself the story of its providential liberation from Egypt. In orthodoxy this story is history; in another context it would be a foundation myth; it may also be regarded as collective autobiography. Ancient Israel defined itself in terms of its inscribed past and conceived of itself as “commanded” to remember that past by reciting it. It is this corporate historical memory that creates a cohesive “people”. Thus corporate memory in the Hebrew Bible and in Jewish ritual may be seen to function in a way very similar to that of personal memory in modern forms of life construction. It is also subject to the same sceptical inquiry, as when the memory is attacked as “false” (however oxymoronic that may be) and the story equated with fiction. Barry N. Olshen See also Christianity and Life Writing; Judaism and Life Writing; Religious Autobiography; Religious Biography; Spiritual Autobiography

Further Reading Aichele, George et al. (The Bible and Culture Collective), The Postmodern Bible, New Haven, Connecticut and London: Yale University Press, 1995 Alter, Robert and Frank Kermode (editors), The Literary Guide to the Bible, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, and London: Collins, 1987 Aune, David E., The New Testament in Its Literary Environment, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987 Fredriksen, Paula, “Paul and Augustine: Conversion Narratives, Orthodox Traditions, and the Retrospective Self”, Journal of Theological Studies, new series, 37 (1986): 3–34 Gold, Arthur R., “Exodus as Autobiography”, Commentary, (May 1967): 46–51 Luedemann, Gerd, Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles: Studies in Chronology, translated by F. Stanley Jones, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, and London: SCM Press, 1984 (German edition, 1980) Miles, Jack, God: A Biography, New York: Knopf, and London: Simon and Schuster, 1995 Minor, Mark, Literary-Critical Approaches to the Bible: An Annotated Bibliography, West Cornwall, Connecticut: Locust Hill Press, 1992; Supplement, 1996 Segal, Alan F., Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1990 Shuler, Philip L., A Genre for the Gospels: The Biographical Character of Matthew, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982 Talbert, Charles H., What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977; London: SPCK, 1978

The Bildungsroman The Bildungsroman, most commonly translated as the “novel of formation”, has been the subject of literary criticism since the late 19th century, when the eminent German literary theorist Wilhelm Dilthey identified Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novel, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795–96; Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship), as a foundation stone for a new literary form. Although Dilthey did not coin this word, and he was not the first to apply it to Goethe’s novel, his definition should be the

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starting point for any investigation of the genre. In his 1906 work, Das Erlebnis und die Dichtung (Poetry and Experience), Dilthey describes the Bildungsroman as a story of a youth and of how … in joyful dawning he enters into life, searches for kindred souls, encounters friendship, and love, and how he engages in a struggle with the hard reality of life, and thus maturing as a result of the multiplicity of life experiences, he finds himself and becomes aware of his purpose in the world. In Goethe’s novel, Wilhelm Meister rejects his father’s business expectations for a life as a dramatist, actor, and reformer of the theatre as a cultural institution. At first he is motivated by his affair with a young actress, but upon discovering her infidelity he sets out on a journey that brings him into contact with the full spectrum of German theatre life. Wilhelm’s goal is to develop his natural talents to their fullest potential, and, given the rigid class structure of 18th-century Germany, he sees the stage as the only realm available to the bourgeoisie for true artistic selfexpression. After a series of encounters and misadventures, his idealism is tempered and he abandons the stage. A secret society of progressive aristocrats reveals its long-time interest in his development, and ultimately he joins this group, rediscovering his young son from the earlier affair, becoming engaged, and taking up a practical and socially useful occupation. Goethe’s novel met with immediate popularity and found imitators (as well as detractors) among the Romantic writers (imitators included Ludwig Tieck’s Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen, 1798; and Novalis’s Heinrich von Ofterdingen, 1802). Other major contributions to the genre appeared during the 19th century (e.g. Adalbert Stifter’s Der Nachsommer, 1857; and Gottfried Keller’s Der grüne Heinrich, 1854–55; 1879–80). The German tradition continued, albeit in altered manifestations, into the 20th century with such works as Rainer Maria Rilke’s Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge (1910; The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge) and Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg (1924; Magic Mountain). The use of the German term Bildungsroman as a designation of this literary genre is not only attributable to its national origin, but also to the inadequacy of translations to express succinctly the complexity inherent in the genre. Bildung, a concept whose meaning changed as social demands and environment shifted, is linked to a literary concept, Roman, or novel. Generally the early usage of Bildung referred to the outer form and shape of an object. The term was transformed in Pietist religious thought, where it was used to express God’s active work in reshaping the sinful individual. By the end of the 18th century, it had shifted to designate inner intellectual development. In this secularized usage, Bildung is not just a term for the static intellect, but is understood as a process involving dynamic interaction between the individual and the environment. The term, however, also evokes a historically determined collective understanding and value system among various social strata in Germany. These two meanings reflect the polarized tensions within the genre: the development of the individual’s unique potential, and the assimilation of the individual into society. It is this combination that distinguishes the Bildungsroman from the related genre: the Entwicklungsroman, or the

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novel of development (with its primary focus on the individual), and the Erziehungsroman, or the novel of education (with its focus on social integration). Goethe’s work had a direct impact on the British literary scene after Thomas Carlyle translated Wilhelm Meister into English in 1824, and the term Bildungsroman found its way into the vocabulary of English and American literary critics. A more generalized definition of the Bildungsroman was provided in 1974 by Jerome Buckley, who outlined the “principle characteristics” as the following: a (male) child grows up in the provinces, suffers constraints on his intellectual and imaginative development, clashes with his father and leaves home, usually heading for a large city. He experiences at least two love affairs, “one debasing, one exalting”, and, together with other experiences, they compel him to re-examine his values and to attain a measure of maturity and understanding of the world. Examples in the English tradition include Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield (1850) and Great Expectations (1861); George Meredith’s The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859) and The Adventures of Harry Richmond (1871); Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure (1895); Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh (1903); D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers (1913); and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). Despite the varieties in genre designation, one essential aspect of the Bildungsroman is what Northrop Frye describes as “human character as it manifests itself in society”. Wilhelm Meister ultimately established his place in an aristocratic world, although the progressive Society of the Tower, which accepted him into their ranks, may be more a utopian projection than an attainable ideal. A major tension in the genre is the contradictory demands on the protagonist to develop fully his individuality and to harmonize his development with the goals of the greater community. Franco Moretti described the Bildungsroman as a “symbolic form of modernity”, since this internal contradiction reflects the nature of modern culture. In Western civilization, individuality is accentuated, but must nevertheless coexist within the demands of society. In his view, the Bildungsroman is the ideal narrative form for depicting and exploring the modern world. The term “female Bildungsroman” came to be applied to novels such as George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss (1860) and Middlemarch (1871–72) and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), since, given the social realities of the 19th century, even the most liberal definition of the genre precluded a female protagonist. The quest for self-realization could not range beyond the boundaries of hearth and home. In the 20th century the breakdown of social restrictions allowed a wider freedom of expression for women, yet there is some debate as to whether the Bildungsroman is an appropriate literary form for this expression. In some respects the female Bildungsroman (and the black Bildungsroman) restores one of the original conditions of the Goethean model, which dealt with the difficulties of integrating a disenfranchized minority – in Goethe’s era of aristocratic absolutism, the bourgeois male intellectual – into an inaccessible social order. The genre is stretched beyond the traditional patterns to include the “awakening” of the older woman after the social expectations of marriage and motherhood are fulfilled. This variant of the genre, in stark contrast to the Goethean model, outlines the evolution of the individual away from society. Examples include Margaret Atwood’s Sur-

facing (1972) and Lady Oracle (1976), and Sheila Ballantyne’s Norma Jean the Termite Queen (1975). Black Bildungsroman, too, rejects the possibility of attaining harmony with the existing social order. Identifying African American and West Indian novels as variants of Bildungsroman which derived from a tradition of slave autobiography (e.g. Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845; Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, 1859; and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1861), Geta Leseur shows the adaption of the European literary genre as a medium of cultural expression. Since harmonization with the dominant society is not an option in African American Bildungsromane, such as Richard Wright’s Black Boy (1945), James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970), the goal is to document the destructive impact of society on the individual. Likewise West Indian novels (e.g. George Lamming’s In the Castle of My Skin, 1953; and Austin Clarke’s Amongst Thistles and Thorns, 1965) seek cultural symbols of black heritage as a balance to the hostile white American and British society. In The Summing Up (1938), Somerset Maugham commented on his book Of Human Bondage (1915): It is not an autobiography, but an autobiographical novel; fact and fiction are inextricably mingled; the emotions are my own, but not all the incidents are related as they happened and some of them are transferred to my hero not from my own life but from that of persons with whom I was intimate. This statement could have been uttered by Goethe, who referred to the first book of Wilhelm Meister as a pseudo-confession. Additionally, at the time of its composition, Goethe edited and published Heinrich Jung’s autobiography as a novel, and collaborated with Karl Philipp Moritz, who had just published his autobiography as a novel. Perhaps the strongest indication of the relationship between the two genres is the inclusion of a Pietist autobiography at the centre of Wilhelm Meister. Autobiography and biography, like the Bildungsroman, are narrative interpretations of an individual’s life. The collapse of the teleological characteristics of the Bildungsroman in the 20th century and the breakdown of rigid genre expectations match the development in autobiography, where postmodernism undermined belief in the capability of narrative as an expression of personal identity. Thus the underlying relationship between these genres is becoming apparent. Raymond L. Burt Further Reading Abel, Elizabeth, Marianne Hirsch and Elizabeth Langland (editors), The Voyage In: Fictions of Female Development, Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1983 Buckley, Jerome Hamilton, Season of Youth: The Bildungsroman from Dickens to Golding, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1974 Bruford, W.H., The German Tradition of Self-Cultivation: “Bildung” from Humboldt to Thomas Mann, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975 Frye, Northrop, The Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1957 Hardin, James (editor), Reflection and Action: Essays on the Bildungsroman, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991

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Howe, Susanne, Wilhelm Meister and His English Kinsmen: Apprentices to Life, New York: Columbia University Press, 1930 Kontje, Todd, The German Bildungsroman: History of a National Genre, Columbia: Camden House, 1993 Leseur, Geta, Ten is the Age of Darkness: The Black Bildungsroman, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1995 Moretti, Franco, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture, London: Verso, 1987 Swales, Martin, The German Bildungsroman from Wieland to Hesse, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978 White, Barbara Anne, Growing up Female: Adolescent Girlhood in American Fiction, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985

Biographical Dictionaries The earliest biographical dictionaries appeared by the 10th century, among the Arabs: examples are the eight-volume Kitƒb al-tabaqƒt al-kab¡r (on biographies of religious figures and converts, including women, and companions of the Prophet) by Ibn Sa’d (d. c.845) and the Tabaqƒt fuh›l al-shu‘arƒ’ by Ibn Sallƒm al-Jamƒhi (d. c.846), on poets. These books appeared at the time, as Wadƒd al-Qƒd¡ has written, that Islam “was beginning to develop a clear self-image”. The genre was associated, and still is, with the emergence of (collective) identity, whether in national dictionaries of biography or in the many proliferating versions on special groups by race, gender, profession, or other identifying criteria. One source of the biographical dictionary in the West was the biographical history, which appeared in antiquity (Plutarch’s Lives and Pliny the Elder’s histories of illustrious figures) and were prominent in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. These focused on Christian martyrs and saints, popes, monarchs, and other “worthies”. Examples include Bartolomeo Platina’s lives of the popes (1479); Antonio de Villegas’s lives of the saints (1609); and Giovanni Alidosi’s biographical histories of prominent Bolognese theologians, philosophers, and physicians (1614). Saints, popes, and monarchs (and other royalty), along with physicians and lawyers, two of the principal types of professional in the Middle Ages, made up the subjects of biographical dictionaries up to the 17th century. The most exhaustive and among the first to use “dictionary” in its title was Louis Moréri’s Le Grand Dictionnaire historique, ou, le mélange curieux de l’histoire sacrée et profane … of 1681, which included geography, laws, customs, and manners as well as lives. Many of these were very popular and were frequently reprinted and translated. Related to these dictionaries were books of engraved portraits, or “heads”, of illustrious persons, the same subjects that dictionaries focused on. These histories were marked by their didactic purpose. Biographical dictionaries, however, were distinct from biographical histories, which wove lives together in a chronological pattern, often culminating in a national heroic tradition or national identity that complemented (and later displaced) the didactic purpose. Histories were overtly rhetorical and partisan – whether about leaders, monarchs, or artists, the last introduced into the genre by Giorgio Vasari, whose Le vite de’ più eccelenti architetti … (1550, 1568; Lives of the Artists) was imitated in every European country from the 17th to the 20th century.

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The modern secular biographical dictionary arose in the 18th century and was the product of the cosmological, encyclopedic thinking of the Enlightenment. It retained its earlier characteristics of alphabetical arrangement and “breadth of coverage” (as Wood says), ranging widely in subjects over time and place. Modern versions did not immediately shed the exemplary tradition. The “historical and biographical dictionary” by Jean Baptiste Ladvocat of 1754 included the Hebrew patriarchs as well as historians, pagan gods and heroes, popes, cardinals, poets, orators, divines, lawyers, physicians, learned women, and painters, “et généralement de toutes les personnes illustres ou fameuses des tous les siècles et des toutes les nations du monde” – an archetypal Enlightenment venture. Biographical dictionaries, however, became secularized and universal, applying the didactic functions of the earlier lives of saints and monarchs to exemplary citizens and historical topics, as in A New and General Biographical Dictionary … Lives and Writing of More Eminent Persons in Every Nation … Especially of Britain and Ireland (1761), Joseph Strutt’s Biographical Dictionary of Engravers (1785), Matthew Pilkington’s Dictionary of Painters (1797), biographical dictionaries of ancient classical history, and dictionary compendia for the Bible. Examples of national orientation in dictionaries are the Biographia Britannica, or, The Lives of the Most Eminent Persons Who Have Flourished in Great Britain and Ireland (1747–66) – “the pre-eminent eighteenth-century biographical collection” according to Wood – Robert Shiels’s The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753); A New and General Biographical Dictionary (1761–62); Isaac Reed’s Biographia dramatica (1764); George Ballard’s Memoirs of Several Ladies of Great Britain (1752); the Biographium faemineum (1766); John Aikin and William Enfield’s General Biography, or, Lives, Critical and Historical, of the Most Eminent Persons of All Ages, Countries, Conditions, and Professions, Arranged According to Alphabetical Order (1799); Mary Hays’s Female Biography, or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women of All Ages and Countries, Alphabetically Arranged (1803); and Matilda Betham’s A Biographical Dictionary of the Celebrated Women of Every Age and Country (1804); as well as similar versions on the continent. Biographical dictionary entries tend to be brief and nonnarrative, not organized historically or chronologically but directed by motives of compilation towards a combination of inclusivity and brevity, as the titles above indicate. The emergence of alphabetical organization provoked debates in the 18th century about the threat that such organization posed to didactic purposes, since alphabetizing tended to level entries, making them all equal and all equally worthy. Having no overriding narrative themes as have histories, dictionaries appear to present “facts” and to be highly selective and “objective”. But the didactic content was not erased completely. The genre had “an underlying, hidden stratum of history” (al-Qƒd¡) that determined choices of subjects and entry lengths. Systematizing and ordering entries, dictionaries still determined who was worthy of honour by inclusion. Entries often had rhetorical motives, making some dictionaries moralizing and others nationalistic, highlighting national identity as the primary criterion for inclusion. Some intended to educate or elevate readers in the 19th-century processes of middle- and workingclass acculturation. Samuel Redgrave’s A Dictionary of Artists

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of the English School: Painters, Sculptors, Architects, Engravers and Ornamentists with Notices of Their Lives and Works (1874) was intended for a wide range of users, from the lay reader to the connoisseur and scholar, to bind them to national culture. Most important, however, was that as history came to dominate ways of organizing information, in such concepts as evolution and progress, biographical dictionaries could be created, and old dictionaries updated and expanded, to include new subjects that reflected new attitudes towards worth and achievements. Revisions and updates in Who’s Who and the current massive revisions of the British Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), due in 2002, exemplify how dictionaries function, through updating, as infinitely expandable resources through new historical documentation and methods. Entries can be very brief or several pages in length, as in the DNB, which has entries of varying lengths and depths and which grew out of a history of such national dictionaries throughout 19th-century Europe (e.g. the Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne, 1843–65). Many old dictionaries were frequently revised – for instance, Baker’s biography of musicians and Chambers’s Biographical Dictionary. Bryan’s Dictionary of Artists was revised throughout the 19th century, with the aim of increasing historical accuracy. The revision of 1909–10 by George Williamson included hundreds of new biographies of recently deceased artists and thousands of revisions of old entries based on new art historical scholarship. Old Master entries were marked by length, catalogues of works, and several reproductions. New Masters, such as recently deceased Victorian painters, had entries just as long and well illustrated as their earlier counterparts and were thus by content and length of their entries elevated to Old Master status. Williamson’s revision gave attention to Victorian British artists, and even short entries on minor British artists were accompanied by reproductions (e.g. J.J. Jenkins), which served to encourage readers to see British art as part of a national identity. Dictionaries can also have a levelling effect by eliminating certain distinctions. In Williamson’s revision, an entry on Sarah Biffin, who had no hands or feet but many royal patrons, alongside entries on old masters exemplified this levelling. Criteria for inclusion were frequently in conflict with the dictionary’s inherent generic encyclopedic impulse. The current rage for biographical dictionaries is reflected in their many forms – most countries have dictionaries of national biography and most professions and other special interest groups have dictionaries of prominent persons in those professions. Dictionary subjects may be organized by race and gender (e.g. African American women) or by professions (such as medicine or musical composition), often in nationalistic frames (American reformers, British authors, American women in science, Art and Artists of South Africa, Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen, or A Biographical Dictionary of the Sudan). Biographical dictionaries confer status, through inclusion, on subjects previously left out or not recognized as coherent groups. Categories such as “thinker”, in Thinkers of the Twentieth Century, allow the authors latitude in defining criteria for inclusion. Dictionaries may embrace long stretches of time from antiquity to the present and thus confer historical legitimacy, as suggested in a title such as A Biographical Dictionary of Japanese History. They may also be global in range, as in the

Biographical Dictionary of World Artists. Increasingly, they may cover highly specialized topics, as in A Biographical Dictionary on the Political Abuse of Psychiatry in the USSR, Agitators and Promoters in the Age of Gladstone and Disraeli, or A Biographical Dictionary of the British Colonial Governor. Examples from the range of modern biographical dictionaries demonstrate the flexibility of the genre to treat (and thus foreground) subjects and validate new fields of enquiry, from Islamic women (Biographical Dictionary of Prominent Muslim Ladies) to peace movements (Dictionary of Modern Peace Leaders), from 20th-century musical sub-cultures (Biographical Dictionary of Blues Singers) to developing technologies (International Biographical Dictionary of Computer Pioneers). New fields, groups, and nations thus gain a greater recognition through biographical dictionaries; their existence is validated in a manner comparable to the saints, martyrs, and monarchs of the early works. Although historical fact now dominates over hagiographic representation, biographical dictionaries still communicate value by generally undergirding national identity and through this validation of new groups or enterprises, with the genre increasingly serving modern specialization, as al-Qƒd¡ suggests. Julie F. Codell See also Australian Dictionary of Biography; Biographie universelle & Dictionnaire de biographie française; Dictionary of American Biography; Dictionary of Canadian Biography / Dictionnaire biographique du Canada; Dictionary of National Biography; Dictionary of New Zealand Biography; Neue Deutsche Biographie; Who’s Who

Further Reading al-Qƒd¡, Wadƒd, “Biographical Dictionaries: Inner Structure and Cultural Significance” in The Book in the Islamic World: The Written Word and Communication in the Middle East, edited by George N. Atiyeh, Albany and Washington, DC: State University of New York Press / Library of Congress, 1995 Fenwick, Gillian, Women and the Dictionary of National Biography, Aldershot, Hampshire: Scolar, 1994 Fritze, Ronald H., “The Dictionary of National Biography and Its Early Editors and Publisher”, Reference Services Review, 16 / 4 (1988): 21–29 Longaker, Mark, English Biography in the Eighteenth Century, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1931 McCalman, Iain, Jodi Parvey, and Misty Cook (editors), National Biographies & National Identity: A Critical Approach to Theory and Editorial Practice, Canberra: Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, 1996 Stauffer, Donald A., The Art of Biography in Eighteenth-Century England, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, and London: Oxford University Press, 1941 Stephen, Leslie, “National Biography” in his Studies of a Biographer, vol. 1, London: Duckworth, 1898 von Harnack, Axel, “Die Neue Deutsche Biographie”, Historische Zeitschrift, 178 (1954): 531–36 Winslow, Donald J., Life-Writing: A Glossary of Terms in Biography, Autobiography, and Related Forms, revised edition, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995 Wood, Jeanne, “Alphabetically Arranged: Mary May’s Female Biography and the Biographical Dictionary”, Genre, 31 / 2 (1998): 117–42 Yeo, Richard, “Reading Encyclopedias: Science and the Organization of Knowledge in British Dictionaries of Arts and Sciences, 1730–1850”, ISIS, 82 / 311 (1991): 24–49

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Biographie universelle; Dictionnaire de biographie française Announced in a pamphlet by Louis-Simon Auger in 1810, the first double-column volume of the Biographie universelle was published in Paris in 1811. The coming decades were to be turbulent in France, but the audaciously ambitious project of covering all the significant individuals in human history was brought to an end with the 52nd volume in 1834, to be promptly complemented by three volumes on mythological figures, prepared by Parisot, and then by 30 supplementary volumes. The moving spirit behind this was Louis-Gabriel Michaud. Born in 1773, educated at a former Jesuit college and abandoning a military career in 1797, he went into publishing with his elder brother, Joseph-François, best known for his Histoire de Croisades (1812–22) and the major series of historical memoirs he later edited with Poujoulat. As publishers, the brothers Michaud generally brought out books with royalist and Catholic tendencies. The Biographie moderne des hommes qui se sont fait un nom en France et en Europe depuis 1789 may well have inspired the thought of a more ambitious work, and while aiming with their team of contributors at the widest possible coverage, they allowed their sympathies some expression in it. With date of birth given as 2978 (bce), Noah, for instance, is admitted as a historical personage, and his career is solemnly related in quasi-biblical language before there is any discussion of the Flood in rather more enlightened terms. Marshal Ney, one of the most controversial, as well as one of the most colourful personalities of the period contemporary with the publication of the Biographie, is treated adroitly. The facts are given, but the article contrives to undermine Ney’s reputation by making him condemn himself by quoting his own outrageously inconsistent statements. A characteristic feature of the Biographie universelle is the listing of sources, the full notice on “Horace” Nelson, for instance, being followed by acknowledgement of indebtedness to Robert Southey. The insertion of a lot of background information often lengthens the entries unduly, and, though obviously intended to help the reader understand the personalities under discussion, blurs the distinction between an encyclopedia and a dictionary of biography. In general, though, Michaud’s Biographie universelle stands as an impressive achievement and one that spurred successors to greater efforts. In 1852 the Parisian publishers Firmin-Didot embarked on a Nouvelle Biographie universelle, depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu’à nos jours, planning a work that would amount to some 30 volumes. That number had grown to 46, i.e. nearly 50 per cent more, by the time the project was completed in 1866. The editor in charge was (Jean-Chrétien-)Ferdinand Hoefer. This remarkably able and industrious polymath, who was born in 1811 at Doenschnitz and studied the classics at nearby Rudolstadt, about 30 miles south of Weimar, made his way to Paris on foot in 1830, earned a living as a schoolmaster before gaining a doctorate in science, and took French nationality in 1848. The Nouvelle Biographie universelle, though by far the most ambitious, was by no means the only publishing enterprise with which he was connected. Some departures from Michaud’s policy can be detected. For instance, a prefatory note remarks that the apportioning of space will be a more accurate indication of the importance of the subject; though apparently sensible,

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such an approach disregards the fact that a comprehensive biographical dictionary is primarily of value for its entries for secondary figures. Prevalent attitudes may be inferred from some changes in the treatment of subjects already mentioned. Noah, for instance, is granted less space and viewed somewhat sceptically, and though Robert Southey is cited as a source of information about “Horatio” Nelson (as he is now correctly called), his biography, readers are informed, is unworthy of its reputation. More pages are devoted to Ney, and the opportunity is grasped for purple patches praising his courage. Hoefer’s Nouvelle Biographie universelle, though in many ways an improvement on Michaud’s work, does not, however, mark quite the advance that might have been hoped for. Mooted before the First World War by a schoolmaster at the prestigious Lycée Hoche, Versailles, and two “conservateurs” at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, the Dictionnaire de biographie française began to appear only in 1933, and in twothirds of a century it has advanced only halfway through the alphabet in its coverage of the achievements of French men and women at home and abroad. As in the British Dictionary of National Biography, the representation of women’s achievement, though not neglected when earlier periods are dealt with, becomes more marked in accounts of more modern times. Under a number of editors, of whom Roman d’Amat has made the greatest contribution since World War II, a team of scholars has maintained high standards. All the same, it is frustrating that protracted gestation reduces the value of this great work of scholarship. Christopher Smith Further Reading McCalman, Iain, Jodi Parvey and Misty Cook (editors), National Biographies & National Identity: A Critical Approach to Theory and Editorial Practice, Canberra: Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, 1996

Biography: General Survey Because it borrows from and overlaps with other genres, biography – “the history of the lives of individual men, as a branch of literature”, in the words of the Oxford English Dictionary (which notably fails to mention women!) – is a notoriously difficult form to define. Often seen as a subcategory of historical writing, biography is, like history, nonfictional and narrative, with the passage of time playing an important part in its structure. Biography also resembles fiction in its effort to evoke its subject’s inner life, as well as in its literary “realism”, that is, its use of anecdote and description to make its subject “come alive”. Biography is sometimes merged with autobiography, in that both depict a subject’s life. We can assume here, however, that there are generic distinctions unique to biography. It differs from history in that its scope is limited by its subject’s birth, death, and actions. Its distinction from fiction rests on an extratextual relationship of trust between author and reader: for a book to work as biography, its readers must believe it to be “true”, based on verifiable evidence in a way that novels need not be. Finally, it differs from autobiography in that its characteristic split between biographer and subject (i.e. they are

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not, as in autobiography, one and the same person) produces unique aesthetic and ethical problems. The word “biography” was first used in the anonymous Life of … Thomas Fuller of 1661, but accounts of people’s lives date back to ancient times. Historians of biography generally cite funeral orations, post-funeral songs of mourning and praise, and inscriptions on monuments as its earliest manifestations. Among the earliest surviving works to include biographical elements are The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and the biblical accounts of Joseph and David. Arnaldo Momigliano speculates that the earliest Greek biographies – now lost – appeared in the 5th century bce: a life of Heraclides by Skylax of Caryande and one of Empedocles by Xanthus the Lydian are mentioned by ancient writers. But it was not until the 4th century bce, according to Momigliano, that the Greek term bios emerged to distinguish biographical from historical writing. During this century, admirers of Socrates wrote encomium-like accounts of his life, among them Plato’s Phaedo and Xenophon’s Memorabilia. Later in the century, influenced by Aristotle, biographers became more analytical and detached. Early biography tended towards the philosophical and didactic, depicting individuals’ lives in order to explore larger ideas such as leadership and courage; to analyse character types; or to provide models for imitation. Plutarch, for example, in his depiction of Mark Antony written in the 1st century ce, focuses on the conflict between Antony’s judgement and his passions, which led him ultimately to fail as a Roman leader. Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle in the 4th century bce, approaches human behaviour with his teacher’s classificatory impulse: his Characters depicts 30 personality traits – squalor, for example, and miserliness – each epitomized by an individual’s behaviour. During the Middle Ages, hagiography – the recording of saints’ lives – dominated European biography. The dual goal of saints’ lives was to provide evidence supporting the subject’s canonization (if not already achieved) and to provide readers with exemplary role models. Such works – among them Adamnan’s Columba (late 7th century), Bede’s St Cuthbert (8th century), and Eadmer’s Anselm (12th century) – emphasize the saint’s miraculous achievements as well as his exemplary response to death. Non-European medieval biographies were similarly hagiographic. In 12th-century India, notes Jagdish Sharma, the Jaina monk Hemachandra wrote Lives of Sixty-Three Illustrious Persons or Heroes. Japanese biographers during this time focused on admired warriors and Buddhists, Chinese writers on feudal leaders, and Islamic scholars on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Although several distinguished English biographies were written in the 16th century – George Cavendish’s Wolsey, for example, and William Roper’s More – it was not until the 17th century that biography gained integrity as a distinct genre, when Francis Bacon, in 1623, distinguished “lives”, which deal with people, from “annals” and “narratives”, two other kinds of historical writing. The Renaissance, with its emphasis on human individuality as well as its newly available translations of classical biographical texts, stimulated this new interest in life writing. So, too, did the burgeoning market for sermons, letters, and essays, which often required biographical prefaces; this was the origin of Izaak Walton’s Donne (1640), for example.

Literary biographies – i.e. depictions of writers’ lives, such as Dryden’s Plutarch (1683) – multiplied, as did collections of short lives. In the 18th century, English-language literary biography reached what many would call its peak, in Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets (1779–81) and James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). With empiricism, Protestantism, and capitalism fuelling a new interest in the individual’s effort to wrest meaning and success from his or her encounters with the external world, biography flourished, alongside and in close relationship with the realistic novel. The effort to achieve an illusion of reality reached a climax in Boswell’s biography of Johnson, with its attention to what Boswell calls “the most minute singularities” of its subject, gathered through years of personal contact. Not only conversations, but physical idiosyncrasies, such as Johnson’s tendency to blow out his breath like a whale, are affectionately chronicled. Johnson himself advocated such attention to detail in biographical writing: “All knowledge is of itself of some value”, he told Boswell. “There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable, that I would not rather know it than not.” Johnson provided a full account of his ideas about biography in the Rambler, number 60, where he argued that “an account of anyone’s life … is useful, for all our lives are essentially the same”. Johnson’s attention to ordinary lives, his insistence that apparently minor incidents can reveal the most about a person’s character, and his acceptance that any convincing portrait must contain some negative attributes, while based on his classical reading, provided a new model for a biography that would illuminate human experience and personality without explicit didacticism. In the writing of such an account, intimacy with its subject was an advantage; indeed, Johnson told Boswell, “Nobody can write the life of a man but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him.” While Johnson and Boswell provided a new model for biography, few 19th-century biographers followed it exactly. Nineteenth-century biographies tended to be long and respectful, often compiled from letters and diaries by relatives or friends: examples include John Lockhart’s Life of Scott (1837– 38), Arthur Stanley’s Life of Dr. Arnold (1844), and John Morley’s Life of Gladstone (1903). Such biographies, as A.O.J. Cockshut points out, emphasized their subjects’ force of will and achievement as adults, with little attention to either their childhood or their inner conflicts. Carlyle’s view – expressed in On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841) – that great men are the crucial factors in human history and that only hero worship would redeem humanity from its post-Industrial Revolution materialism, reinforced this tendency to emphasize the subject’s greatness rather than his failings. It also, of course, contributed to the enormous number of biographies written during this time: these included Carlyle’s own Life of John Sterling (1851), Leslie Stephen’s massive editorial project, The Dictionary of National Biography (begun 1882), and publishers’ series such as “English Men of Letters” and “Eminent Women”. Although Carlyle himself attacked eulogistic biographies as “mealy mouthed” and complained about the “Damocles sword of respectability” limiting biographers’ freedom, pressure on biographers to avoid explicitness about disturbing issues only intensified during the 19th century. Elizabeth Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), which described Branwell’s sexual

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entanglements, and Froude’s Thomas Carlyle (4 vols, 1882–84), which alluded to marital conflicts, were attacked for their frankness. All this changed, however, with the impact of Freudian psychology and the wave of anti-Victorianism that followed World War I. The publication of Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians in 1918 is generally considered the turning point. Insisting that the biographer must be an artist, Strachey argued that the biographer must shape his / her material and expose his / her subject’s less complimentary features in the interest of constructing a coherent, artful, and convincing portrait. The term “new biography” emerged to describe the biographical experiments that followed: best epitomized by Strachey’s own Queen Victoria (1921), the trend also included André Maurois in France, Emil Ludwig in Germany, and Harold Nicolson in England, all of whom speculated freely about their subjects’ inner lives, assuming them to be shaped by unconscious motives better discerned by their biographers than by themselves. Explicitly Freudian biographies, sometimes termed psychobiographies, include that of Leonardo da Vinci by Freud himself (1910), of Elizabeth I by Strachey (1928), of Henry James by Leon Edel (5 vols, 1953–72), and of Flaubert by Jean-Paul Sartre (1971–72). There was also, of course, a counter-reaction: critics accused new biographers of misinformation and distortion. “Debunking” and “muck-racking” biographers were condemned as mean-spirited, while strictly Freudian interpretations were accused of oversimplifying their subjects’ motivations and belittling their achievements. More recently, biography has mushroomed into a plethora of forms. Scholarly biographies, characterized by careful archival research – Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce (1959), for example – continue to be widely respected. But there are also many more popular forms, including other media. The “bio-pic” dramatizes the subject’s life as television show or film, freely distorting and / or reconstructing the past in order to create dramatic interest. The “celebrity biography”, hastily compiled from interviews, focuses on the star of the moment. In the United States, the popularity “Biography Channel” and People magazine suggest that the life stories of famous people continue to fascinate. At the generic boundaries of biography are such mixed forms as the mock-biography (a novel in the form of a biography: Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928), for example, or Steven Millhauser’s Edwin Mullhouse:The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943–1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright, 1972) and the fictionalized biography (ostensibly true, yet containing invented material, such as Edmund Morris’s Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, 1999). Group biographies place multiple subjects in relation to each other: examples include Phyllis Rose’s Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages (1983) and Margot Peter’s Bernard Shaw and the Actresses (1980). From a theoretical standpoint, biography remains vexed by a number of recurring issues as well as new controversies, which fall into four categories: aesthetic, epistemological, ethical, and political. The aesthetic issue can perhaps best be understood in terms of Virginia Woolf’s dichotomy – framed in her essay “The New Biography” (1927) – between the “granite” of facts and the “rainbow” of personality. How to arrange intractable “facts” so as to evoke intangible personality? Woolf was sympathetic to the efforts of such new biographers as Strachey and Nicolson to

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provide fiction-like access to their subjects’ inner lives, but also worried that in doing so they mangled “truth” and lost the trust of their readers. In her “The Art of Biography” (1939) Woolf concluded that the biographer “is a craftsman, not an artist”, and biography not an art but “something betwixt and between”. This question of whether biography is a craft or an art continues to trouble life writers: if a craft, the biographer must restrain his or her imaginative and artistic ambitions and construct his or her portrait with a strictly conceived notion of evidence. If it is an art, on the other hand, the biographer may freely seek what Henry James called “the figure in the carpet” – that is, some pattern in the subject’s personality – and having determined it, shape the presentation to suit it. One way to reconcile these opposing pressures is to shift emphasis from the subject to the biographical process itself; then at least one can emphasize these difficulties rather than obscure them. Both A.J.A. Symons’s The Quest for Corvo (1934) and Ian Hamilton’s In Search of J.D. Salinger (1988) thematize the challenges of the biographical quest in this way. The epistemological issue – that is, the extent to which biography generates new and valuable knowledge about reality – remains equally unresolved. With the emergence of “New Criticism” in the 1920s, literary biography – accounts of authors’ lives – fell from favour. New critics such as W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley argued that the work itself should stand alone, and any attempt to decipher the author’s intention (presumably the very task a biography would facilitate) was doomed and worthless. Since then, the epistemological challenge to biography has been intensified by poststructuralist and postmodernist critiques of language, selfhood, and historical narrative. If language cannot transparently convey reality, if the self is a fictive construct or mere multiplicity of subject positions, if narrative itself imposes a false coherence on events, then no biographical account of someone’s life can be in any sense “true”. It is perhaps the ethical issue, though, that has produced the most controversy. To what extent is the biographer justified in depicting the life of a person no longer able to defend or explain himself or herself? To what extremes of intrusiveness is the biographer justified in going? Having been allowed access to the subject’s papers by his or her survivors, what obligations accompany that access? Is the “authorized” or “commissioned” biography necessarily less objective or convincing than the “unauthorized” one? As early as 1716, Joseph Addison complained about “Grub-Street biographers”, “who watch for the death of a great man, like so many undertakers, on purpose to make a penny of him”. Henry James’s ghost story of 1899, “The Real Right Thing”, depicts a character who returns after death to warn his biographer away from the task. But few subjects appear to have had this kind of postmortem power. These issues have become particularly visible in a spate of biographies of the poet Sylvia Plath: Plath’s literary estate was long controlled by her surviving ex-husband Ted Hughes and his sister Olwyn, who refused biographers permission to quote if their accounts of the Plath–Hughes marriage did not meet with their approval. Janet Malcolm’s account of these disputes, The Silent Woman (1994), concludes that the biographer resembles a “professional burglar”, and that readers of biography are motivated by “voyeurism and busybodyism”. Finally, biography and politics are intimately related, in that

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a culture’s dominant ideology – generated and sustained by those in power – will inevitably determine whose biographical data gets preserved and how the successful life is conceptualized. By focusing on those who achieve in visible, culturally sanctioned ways, biography has tended to overlook anyone marginalized by that culture – generally women, the poor, and ethnic minorities – and to overlook aspects of the life, such as homosexuality, that might disturb its values. There has also been an assumption that biography is primarily a Western form, shaped by ancient Greek and Judeo-Christian individualism. An African American, feminist, or non-Western overview of biography might well differ significantly from that traced above, emphasizing the way that oppressed peoples have used biography to reclaim their own history, for example, or the way non-Western as well as Western traditions have contributed to the interest in individual lives. In the early 1900s, W.E.B. Du Bois urged African American scholars to document the lives of Africans and African Americans; more recently, Arnold Rampersad – author of biographies of Langston Hughes and Du Bois – has suggested that while in the past African American writers have preferred autobiography to biography, the time for ambitious, psychologically informed, non-hagiographic biography by and about African Americans has come. From a feminist standpoint, biography, as Woolf writes in A Room of One’s Own (1929), has been “too much about great men”. Woolf herself called for – and wrote – “lives of the obscure”. The feminist critic Carolyn Heilbrun posits the publication in 1970 of Nancy Milford’s Zelda, about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, as a crucial turning point in the history of biography. Since then, she argues, women previously seen as subsidiary to men have begun to be valued as individuals deserving of biographical attention, and their biographers have come to assume that the lives they depict will take shape differently from those of men. As for the intrinsically Western bias of biography itself, Asian scholars point out that in fact biographical writing has emerged from intellectual milieux other than Western individualism. Chinese dynastic histories included colourful and influential portraits of individuals as early as Sima Qian’s Shiji (Historical Records) of the late 2nd century bce; and the Japanese scholar Shoichi Saeki argues that 17th-century biographies of samurais and 18th-century biographies of eccentrics – vastly popular at the time in Japan – managed to capture their subjects’ unique personalities without isolating them from their respective communities. The history and theory of biography remains complex, contested, and underexplored. Albert Camus suggested that people read biography because they envy the coherence that lives achieve when recorded. Certainly biographies possess a unique power to attract readers. As a result they play a vital role in reinforcing and / or challenging a culture’s assumptions about what the successful life looks like, and who is worth remembering. Ruth Hoberman Further Reading Clifford, James L. (editor), Biography as an Art: Selected Criticism 1560–1960, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1962 Cockshut, A.O.J., Truth to Life: The Art of Biography in the Nineteenth Century, London: Collins, and New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974

Dai, Wenbao, “Biography in China in the Last Ten Years” in Biography East and West: Selected Conference Papers, vol. 3, edited by Carol Ramelb, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989 Edel, Leon, Writing Lives: Principia Biographica, New York: Norton, 1984 Garraty, John, The Nature of Biography, New York: Knopf, 1957 Heilbrun, Carolyn, Writing a Woman’s Life, New York: Norton, 1988; London: Women’s Press, 1989 Kendall, Paul Murray, The Art of Biography, New York: Norton, 1965 Malcolm, Janet, The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, New York: Knopf, 1994 Momigliano, Arnaldo, The Development of Greek Biography, expanded edition, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1993 Nicolson, Harold, The Development of English Biography, London: Hogarth Press, 1927; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1928 Rampersad, Arnold, “Biography, Autobiography, and Afro-American Culture”, Yale Review, 73 (Autumn 1983): 1–16 Rampersad, Arnold, “Biography and Afro-American Culture” in AfroAmerican Literary Study in the 1990s, edited by Houston A. Baker, Jr, and Patricia Redmond, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989 Rollyson, Carl, Biography: An Annotated Bibliography, Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 1992 Sharma, Jagdish, “Life-Pattern of the Jains” in Biography East and West: Selected Conference Papers, vol. 3, edited by Carol Ramelb, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989 Shoichi Saeki, “Images of Eccentrics: East and West” in Biography East and West: Selected Conference Papers, vol. 3, edited by Carol Ramelb, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989 Stauffer, Donald, English Biography before 1700, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1930 Stauffer, Donald, The Art of Biography in Eighteenth-Century England, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, and London: Oxford University Press, 1941

Biography and Fiction Biography in the Western tradition, like the novel, is a genre that became fully developed in the 18th century. Just as Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding were publishing their first great novels, Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), Samuel Johnson provided the first comprehensive apologia for biography in The Rambler (No. 60, 13 October 1750). In 1744, Johnson had published his Life of Richard Savage, a moving account of a disreputable minor poet, which is linked to the fiction of Johnson’s time in that the biography sought to explore the life of an intriguing personality, worthy of understanding precisely because of his unique individuality and not because of his contributions to society. In his Rambler essay, Johnson argued that any life might be the subject of a biography, for all lives, high and low, proved that “there is scarce any possibility of good or ill, but is common to humankind”. Just as Richardson could choose a servant girl as his heroine and Fielding a foundling as his hero, so Johnson selected specimens of humanity that earlier works of biography and fiction would have deemed inappropriate. To say, however, that biography and the novel became fully developed in the 18th century – particularly in England – is not to ignore earlier prose narratives that approximate the modern meaning of biography and fiction. Plutarch’s Vitae parallelae (late 1st century ce; Parallel Lives), translated into English in

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1579, provided vivid accounts of Greek and Roman leaders. Plutarch included accounts not only of great deeds but of personal anecdotes that humanized his portraits, many of which Shakespeare relied on in his history plays. But like the narrative accounts of saints in the Middle Ages, Plutarch’s work portrayed exemplary individuals who had made their mark on history. It was not until the 18th century – not only in England but in very different cultures such as Japan – that writers began to be interested in the human personality per se, in so-called ordinary or common individuals. Beginning in the 18th century, biography and fiction aspired to a meticulous accounting of both public and private lives. Richardson, for example, instilled Pamela with a sense of factuality by making her a letter writer, so that she literally tells the story of the novel through her correspondence. Indeed, Richardson’s novel evolved out of his writing of model letters for young women, advising them how to comport themselves in society. Pamela became an exemplary figure because of her virtue – that is, by demonstrating a standard of moral behaviour in everyday life that was worth imitating. However, as Johnson showed in his Life of Richard Savage and Daniel Defoe demonstrated in Moll Flanders, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous (1722), in which his main character succumbs to the very male seductions that Pamela resists, readers craved lives that were intrinsically interesting, and not necessarily confirmations of morality. The great landmark biography of the 18th century, James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), drew on many of the techniques of fiction. As Johnson’s faithful and studious friend, Boswell reported extensive examples of Johnson’s conversation, creating scenes with dialogue that rivalled that of the best realistic novels. Johnson stood revealed not merely as a great literary intellectual and a moral man but also as a quirky, opinionated, irascible, and even prejudiced person. Boswell contrived a story that put the reader in the room with Johnson, so to speak. Biography acquired a sense of immediacy and drama, so that subsequent critics would often praise biographies if they read like novels. Although Boswell set a high and enviable standard for biography, he had few imitators. When John Gibson Lockhart published his Life of Scott (1837–38), he specifically rejected Boswell’s method of creating scenes and reporting dialogue, even though Lockhart had been close to his father-in-law, Sir Walter Scott, and had the means to emulate the Boswellian method. Like other Victorian writers, however, Lockhart found aspects of the Life of Samuel Johnson unseemly, unbefitting the dignity of a renowned literary figure. For all his depiction of genius, Boswell seemed to make the great man a little too accessible. Lockhart chose a quieter form of narrative – risking dullness – rather than compete with fiction’s more inventive techniques. Victorian biographers brought the genre back to a form of hagiography, in which the modern hero was treated rather like a saint, his or her faults minimized or even eliminated from the biography lest they offended the subject’s family and readers. This practice of censoring biography and giving it a happier tone than the subject’s life had its parallel in the great Victorian novels, in which writers such as Dickens tempered their darker conclusions, sometimes even supplying alternative endings to novels in order to preserve an air of optimism.

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Biography and fiction were radically changed by the steady seepage of Sigmund Freud’s theories of identity into the literature of the 1920s. Freud saw the human mind as a great, seething drama, and novels such as James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) treated the life of an ordinary person – in Joyce’s case the Dubliner Leopold Bloom – with an intensity and meticulousness unrivalled in previous fiction. Joyce explored his characters’ stream of consciousness, their intimate thoughts about sex, and how they organized their everyday lives. His approach was psychological – as was biographer Lytton Strachey’s in Eminent Victorians (1918), a book that probed the peculiar tics of 19thcentury worthies such as Florence Nightingale and Cardinal Manning. Strachey implied a nexus between his subjects’ personalities and their public acts, thereby removing the Victorian veil that had shrouded such figures and frozen them in reverential and unreal poses. In Strachey’s hands, biography became a debunking genre, critical of society and of its so-called pillars. Similarly, many novelists regarded themselves as alienated from bourgeois society and dedicated to exposing its flaws and hypocrisies. Even biographers who did not emulate Strachey’s satirical style found his attention to psychological detail compelling. Following Freud, biographers combined this interest in psychology with a fresh sense of the importance of childhood, seeing in their subjects’ early lives the key to their later adult behaviour. Orthodox Freudians produced psychoanalytical biographies, in which they attempted to fathom their subjects’ minds just as Joyce had plumbed Bloom’s. Whereas 18th- and 19th-century biographers said little about childhood, focusing mainly on their subjects’ adult characters, the very term “personality” governed 20th-century biography and fiction, suggesting a view of human identity as a fragile, intricate sensibility exposed to and formed by the vicissitudes of family dynamics and societal demands from the very beginning. The two biographers and scholars most associated with the development of modern life writing have been Leon Edel and Richard Ellmann. It is no accident that Edel and Ellmann should choose Henry James and James Joyce as their subjects, since these novelists showed considerable interest in biography and psychology and produced great work that both biographers and novelists have emulated. Edel was especially taken with the notion that a biography could be factual and yet employ the most important techniques of fiction. Thus he structured his five-volume life of Henry James as a dramatic narrative, creating scenes meticulously based on his research, and experimenting with point of view, so that readers could see how James’s sensibility slowly evolved over time. Ellmann was more wary of the novel as a model for biography, and he used fewer fictional techniques. But like Edel, Ellmann thought the use of psychology crucial, believing that the methods Joyce had employed as a psychological novelist should be applied to his life and to the lives of other artists. Although Edel and Ellmann have had an enormous influence on contemporary biographers and their work is continually cited as the finest examples of 20th-century biography, both biographers and novelists have voiced significant dissenting opinions. Paul Murray Kendall, a biographer and author of The Art of Biography (1965), criticized Edel for losing sight of the chronological and documentary focus of life writing. Biography could not be literature in the same way as novels, Kendall

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argued, without violating the integrity of the way a life developed in time and in history. Literary form could, in other words, distort biography – a point made satirically in Steven Millhauser’s brilliant fictional spoof of Edel’s biography of James. Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943–1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright: A Novel (1972) is divided into “The Early Years”, “The Middle Years”, “The Later Years” – terms Edel uses to divide his narrative and which Millhauser applies to the life of a boy who dies before he reaches the age of twelve. In fact, a good many novelists – such as Samuel R. Delany and William Golding – have attacked biography and biographers in works of fiction, exposing their pretensions to knowledge and to artistry. Other novelists – such as Alison Lurie and Bernard Malamud – have presented biographers sympathetically. Certainly one of the most searching explorations of the connections between biography and fiction is to be found in the five-volume series of novels (beginning with Incline Our Hearts) produced in between 1989 and 1996 by A.N. Wilson, one of the century’s distinguished biographers in English. Carl Rollyson Further Reading Altick, Richard D., Lives and Letters: A History of Literary Biography in England and America, New York: Knopf, 1965 Amigoni, David, Victorian Biography: Intellectuals and the Ordering of Discourse, New York: St Martin’s Press, and London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993 Boswell, James, Life of Johnson, edited by R.W. Chapman, revised by J.D. Fleeman, introduction by Pat Rogers, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1980 Cockshut, A.O.J., Truth to Life: The Art of Biography in the Nineteenth Century, London: Collins, and New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974 Delany, Samuel R., The Mad Man, New York: Masquerade Books, 1994 Edel, Leon, Writing Lives: Principia Biographica, New York: Norton, 1984 Edel, Leon, Henry James: A Life, revised and condensed edition, New York: Harper and Row, 1985 Ellmann, Richard, James Joyce, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1959, revised 1982 Ellmann, Richard, Golden Codgers: Biographical Speculations, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1973 Golding, William, The Paper Men, New York: Farrar Straus, and London: Faber, 1984 Holmes, Richard, Dr Johnson and Mr Savage, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1993; New York: Pantheon, 1994 Johnson, Samuel, Selected Writings, edited by Patrick Cruttwell, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968 Kendall, Paul Murray, The Art of Biography, New York: Norton, 1965 Lurie, Alison, The Truth about Lorin Jones: A Novel, Boston: Little Brown, 1988 Malamud, Bernard, Dubin’s Lives, New York: Farrar Straus, and Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979 Millhauser, Steven, Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943–1954, by Jeffrey Cartwright: A Novel, New York: Knopf, 1972 Rollyson, Carl E., Biography: An Annotated Bibliography, Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 1992 Strachey, Lytton, Eminent Victorians: Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Dr Arnold, General Gordon, London: Chatto and Windus, and New York: Garden City Publishing, 1918 Wilson, A.N., Incline Our Hearts, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1988; New York: Viking, 1989 Wilson, A.N., A Bottle in the Smoke, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, and New York: Viking, 1990

Wilson, A.N., Daughters of Albion, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1991; New York: Viking, 1992 Wilson, A.N., Hearing Voices, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1995; New York: Norton, 1996 Wilson, A.N., A Watch in the Night, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, and New York: Norton, 1996

Biography and History The link between biography and history is perhaps best established by reference to the changing nature of the epistemological (i.e. pertaining to the theory of knowledge) and ontological (pertaining to the theory of being) construction of the past itself. In the West, it is with the Greeks and Romans that writing history is conventionally first located, notably in the work of classical historians and philosophers like Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius, Plutarch, and Tacitus. The literary records and annals of these thinkers largely avowed the accomplishments of kings and emperors, although certain ideas deployed by later generations of historians begin to emerge: notions of chronology, representation, truth, objectivity, referentiality, causation, contextualization, human intentionality, and the idea of history teaching moral lessons. However, a change can be read into the most well-known example of biography in this period, Plutarch’s Vitae parallelae (written after c.96 ce; Parallel Lives). What is significant for later generations of modernist or post-Enlightenment historians is Plutarch’s distinction in Parallel Lives between biography and history. The book is a series of comparative biographies of Greeks and Romans, the intention being not only to reveal how personal failings can destroy empires, but to distinguish for the reader the personal insight or moral lesson from the broader, somewhat less literary, historical account. This distinction was largely forgotten in the European West as late antiquity gave way to the early medieval and medieval periods. (An important example of ancient historiographic biography in a non-Western context is the work of the Chinese Sima Qian (c.145–c.90 bce). Two hundred years before Plutarch, as the first Grand Historian to the Emperor, Sima Qian wrote his Shiji (Historical Records) largely as a collection of zhuan, or biographies, framed as part of a dynastic record of the imperial reign. Sima Qian has long been praised both for the art and for the wide social range of his biographies, which included criminals and businessmen as well as royal or military leaders, but his lives, like zhuan up until the 20th century in China, reflect the traditional elision of biography, history, and didactic intent.) In the European West during the Middle Ages, the distinction between biography and history, as between fact and fiction, was blurred (although Plutarch’s Parallel Lives remained a model of sorts for writing history, with the most famous imitator being Augustine in his 4th-century Confessions). Although there were biographies – as opposed to comprehensive histories – written during this period, among them the 9th-century Frankish historian Einhard’s Vita Karoli (Life of Charlemagne), the predominant form of history was the provincial chronicle. Some broader historical accounts were written, such as William of Tyre’s 12th-century Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis

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gestarum (History of Deeds Done beyond the Sea), an account of the Crusades, and the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus’s 13th-century Historia Danicae (Danish History), which includes the narrative of Hamlet. There were a number of biographies produced towards the end of the middle ages, such as Eadmer’s 12th-century Vita Sancti Anselmi (Life of St Anselm). But it was with the Italian poet Petrarch’s 14thcentury sweeping history text, Africa, and his autobiography Secretum, that the West saw a return to the lessons of classical historical learning. Nevertheless, despite the work of Petrarch and the Renaissance recovery of the Greek and Roman heritage of critical history, the recounting and retelling of the lives of famous men and women as moral lessons was sustained. The Renaissance generated a humanist vogue for history and auto/biographical discourse, but one that witnessed the emergence of a rethinking of the relationship of the individual – the self – to nature. With the 300-year challenge to feudalism (from the 16th to the 18th centuries) offered by the rise of mercantile imperialism, urbanization, religious conflict, the eventual development of capitalism, and the rationalist Cartesian-inspired Enlightenment that created the educated middle classes, the connection between history and biography in the West entered a new phase. The consciousness of self, with its congruent self-reflexivity, developed alongside these massive cultural, economic, and political shifts to produce a growing divergence between history and biography. Enlightenment rationalism viewed history as the true account of facts explored through cause and effect. By maintaining the gap between the self-conscious historian and the facts, historians like the Scottish common-sense empiricist Adam Ferguson claimed in the late 18th century that the knowing subject could objectively represent such knowledge. In short, the Enlightenment created a disciplined history built on a methodology of objective empiricism and a degraded biographical version of history that engaged the author, the reader, and the subject in a collective pursuit of moral lessons. This divergence between history as an objective discipline and biography as a subjective moral pursuit was confirmed in the 17th and 18th centuries as historians like Giambattista Vico, Montesquieu, and Edward Gibbon produced comprehensive histories of social and cultural periods exploring and explaining the nature of historical change, while others continued to write laudatory biographies of the famous and well-to-do. The Englishman Izaak Walton wrote admiring biographies of his friends John Donne, George Herbert, and Henry Wotton (published together in 1670), and Wotton himself in his History of Rome (1701) offered accounts of pairs of lives in order to compare and contrast virtue with vice. The drifting apart of biography and history is further evidenced in the rise of the literary biography exemplified by Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the English Poets (1779–81), which was itself the model for James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). In the 19th century, Thomas Carlyle, with a spectacular lack of success, attempted to reconcile the two practices of history and biography by trying to demonstrate that the lives of eminent men were the very essence of history. One reason for Carlyle’s lack of influence over “proper” history was his poetic and present-tense style (as in The French Revolution, 1837) to which a good many historians objected, but the main reason was that history became increasingly

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entrenched in its realist aesthetic. History’s professionalized factualism, based on the representationalist correspondence theory of knowledge, was stiffened by the shift toward positivism and the application of social theory (in Europe by Karl Marx and later in the United States by Frederick Jackson Turner). After Carlyle, biography became a backwater of historical thought which, by the early 20th century, had become ever more strongly associated with the discipline of literature, a move articulated by “new biographers” such as Lytton Strachey or Virginia Woolf who suggested that to find out the truth of a life the biographer had to become an artist who actively engaged in the construction of his or her object. Woolf’s vision contrasted the imaginative and constructionist act of the writer even more starkly with the positivist-inspired rational / inferential and reconstructive operation of the historian. In the second half of the 20th century, however, two forces – in the European West, at least – attempted to restore biography as a legitimate form of history through the challenge to modernist history: the rise of psychology and the advent of postmodern criticism. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic conceptualization of the unconscious introduced a psychological form of biography as evidenced by his own Leonardo Da Vinci (1910) as well as those of the American historian Henry Adams, whose autobiography was written in the third person (The Education of Henry Adams, 1918), and the American literary scholar Leon Edel’s five-volume Henry James (1953–72). Psycho-history attempts to unify social-science approaches to history with psychodynamic clinical insights in order to offer, it is claimed, a more rounded view of the past. It is also claimed that psychohistory acknowledges as fruitful the conflation of the modernist categories of observer and observed. The historian thus becomes a psychoanalyst studying past human actions and intentions, in part guided by his or her own experience. In this respect history and biography are aligned once again. Much 20th-century continental philosophical thinking, especially that of Martin Heidegger and the philosophy of phenomenology, has provided the basis for the postmodern critique of modernist history not only by challenging its epistemological model, but also by suggesting that the connection between subject and object is not established at all at the epistemological level (the level of knowing). As Heidegger suggests in his book Sein und Zeit (1927; Being and Time), and contrary to a common assumption of deconstructionist theory that there is nothing beyond the text, prior to knowledge the human subject is, in fact, already in the given real world, and all the historian’s knowledge or theories, like those of the biographer and novelist, are built on this pre-epistemological state of existence. This can be seen in the work of two recent biographers, Robert A. Rosenstone (Mirror in the Shrine, 1988) and Donna Merwick (Death of a Notary: Conquest and Change in Colonial New York, 1999), who have both, in their different ways, explored the collapse of the unified subject and the subject–object polarity. These examples suggest that historical understanding is not epistemological but is ultimately ontological (the result of being in the world). This particular postmodern critique of the unified subject is compounded by deconstructionist Jacques Derrida’s rejection of the representationalist, correspondence theory of truth. This maintains that the historian’s language is inadequate to the task of representation. This, many postmodernists claim, strengthens the case for a return of

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biography as a legitimate form of what is now a rethought, de-disciplined, and de-privileged history. It follows that neither historian nor biographer can hope to achieve mirror-like reflectivity, and the Enlightenment rationale for distinguishing history from biography disappears along with many of history’s pretensions to being a truth-acquiring and representationalist discipline. The postmodern challenge to historical “truth” may, it seems, provide the key to returning biography to the fold of a reconceptualized history at the start of the third millennium through a new willingness to explore the intimate connection between the historian and the object of study. Alun Munslow See also Historiography

Further Reading Barzun, Jacques, Clio and the Doctors: Psycho-History, QuantoHistory and History, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974 Beales, Derek, History and Biography: An Inaugural Lecture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981 Biography (quarterly journal), 1978– Blanning, T.C.W. and David Cannadine (editors), History and Biography: Essays in Honour of Derek Beales, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996 Cockshut, A.O.J., The Art of Autobiography in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century England, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1984 Edel, Leon, Literary Biography, London: Hart-Davis, 1957; New York: Doubleday, 1959 Hook, Sidney, The Hero in History: A Study in Imitation and Possibility, New York: John Day, 1943 Lowenberg, Peter, Decoding the Past: The Psychohistorical Approach, New York: Knopf, 1982 Marcus, Laura, Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1994 Merwick, Donna, Death of a Notary: Conquest and Change in Colonial New York, New York: Cornell University Press, 1999 Pimlott, Ben, “Is Contemporary Biography History?”, Political Quarterly, 70 / 1 (1999): 31–41 Porter, Roy (editor), Rewriting the Self: Histories from the Renaissance to the Present, London and New York: Routledge, 1997 Rosenstone, Robert A., Mirror in the Shrine: American Encounters with Meiji Japan, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1988 Shortland, M. and R. Yeo (editors), Telling Lives in Science: Essays on Scientific Biography, New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996 Winslow, Donald J., Life-Writing: A Glossary of Terms in Biography, Autobiography, and Related Forms, revised edition, Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1995 Woolf, Virginia, Granite and Rainbow: Essays, London: Hogarth Press, 1958; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975

Biography and Poetry While the expression “biography in verse” may occasionally be found in descriptions of works whose dates and places of composition are widely scattered, the genre as such has not been given much scholarly attention. Consequently, definitions for such designations as biographical poetry, biographical verse, and verse biography simply do not appear even in our most comprehensive glossaries of literary terms. Nor can we be much surprised, since the exemplars of this category of composition

are themselves widely variant in their historical periods, social purposes, and poetic forms. Nevertheless, biographies in verse have – as scholarship proves – an ancient history; and, however doubtful their value as historical documents, poets are still composing book-length examples of them in our own times (see for example Riding, Sanders, Porter). Across the universe of learned commentary, specific poetic texts that tell the life story of another have generally been treated – often painstakingly and at great length – within traditional and national literary histories and according to their primary expressive motivations, for instance, as eulogy (i.e. encomium, epideictic poetry, and panegyric), elegy, epic characterization, satire (e.g. lampoon), the dramatization of the life of a remarkable real person, and so on. Most scholars of biography whose central interest is in the genre itself take on the area of verse biography in academically responsible and, thus, fairly limited ways: such as Anna Makolkin, who explores primarily English and Russian elegaic poetry in her study of the origins of biography, tracing a generic typology of biographic “invariants” through pre-heroic, heroic, anti-heroic, and post-heroic stages (see also Christensen, Guttierrez, Lapidge, Ramazani and Berger, and Schober and Holt). Among the most spectacular – in raising theoretical issues regarding life writing – are verse plays based on historical personages, including, among hundreds of other possible examples, Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar and his history plays on the English kings, Aleksandr Pushkin’s history play Boris Godunov (1831), Aimé Césaire’s Tragédie du roi Christophe (1963; Tragedy of King Christophe), Bertolt Brecht’s Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe (1932; St Joan of the Stockyards), Peter Weiss’s Marat / Sade (1964), and Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf of 1974 (which Shange has claimed is based on the real lives of black women she has known). Two broad scholarly trends characterize examinations of such works: the mytho-archetypal and the historicist. As Nicole Ferrier-Caverivière argues à propos the relation of historical to “mythical” figures, “the historical characters that art [especially poetry] succeeds in raising to this grandiose realm give the impression of being guided by a divine or a diabolical light. They seem, in some way, to be in league with the supernatural” (in Brunel). Even when strong historical and biographical claims can be made for a character portrayed in a poetic work, the medium (even if it is poorly handled) exalts the subject, and “history gives way to myth”, as Ferrier-Caverivière puts it. That phenomenon (the conversion of history into myth through poetry) also explains the ambition of poets of this particular genre: to create cultural or political capital. We need only consider the links between the manifold versions of the story of Joan of Arc and their authors’ often contradictory ideologies to appreciate what Simone Fraisse calls the “powerful inner existence [of personhood that] rises to the surface” like “a mystical presence” in poetic works that purport to tell of a real person’s life (see “Joan of Arc” in Brunel). While mytho-archetypal scholars study the essential character of the subject as it comes through the verse biography, historicists focus on the local and particular conditions of the creative act itself (see Altieri, Breatnach, Ibler, Keily, Metcalfe, and Stone). It is no doubt highly significant, from a theoretic point of

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view, that a meticulous scholar such as Altieri, in her historically conditioned examination of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, should agree with O.B. Hardison that “virtually all Renaissance literature is the literature of praise”; indeed, her book represents a fairly typical contemporary treatment of the epideictic tradition (see Preminger and Brogan), for it fastidiously historicizes the composition and production of individual masques and musical drama of the 16th and 17th centuries while subscribing, sweepingly, to the premise that, when versified, individual histories turn into mythology. The conversion phenomenon – in part an effect of the tribute implicit in the very act of versification – may also explain the durable popularity of versified lives, whatever their respective cultural context or poetic forms. The 20th century saw the production and publication – and probably far more production than publication – of third-rate biographical verse praising the accomplishments of family and friends, composed to be read at weddings, banquets, and funerals (e.g. Minahan, Finley and Bacon, Cutler et al., and Evans). Jay Farness argues that it is precisely Edmund Spenser’s poetic “craft” (in effecting the conversion) that “outwits our hope for biography” in The Faerie Queene, a work nevertheless tethered to the very real lives of Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Lord Grey de Wilton, and so many others. But the fact remains that the best man John Doe’s rhymed narrative on the life of his friend the groom, composed to be recited at the wedding dinner, is just as much a charming fabulation as Spenser’s masterpiece, if not so richly textured or (thank goodness) so long. Alexander Pope’s verse epistles, according to one scholar, are among the most accomplished renderings in English of the impulse to versify real lives (see Davidow). And Catullus, according to the scholar Ken Hope, perfected the form in Latin. Obviously, versified life writing may vary as widely in tone as in subject. In his book-length index Poetry Themes, Peter Marcan lists more than 1500 entries, many of which describe anthologies made up entirely of biographical poems, among them rhymes of personal invective and satirical abuse, lampoons, mock-serious eulogies, and funny and light-hearted narratives as well as elegies, solemn eulogies, and patriotic verse. Marcan’s index is but one of an overwhelming number of bibliographic and scholarly testaments to the widespread popularity of these perennial life-writing forms. In the 1990s alone, thousands of volumes of scholarship have been published around the world that, like ‘Abbasid Belles-Lettres, edited by J. Ashtiany et al. and published by Cambridge University Press, include catalogues and descriptions of poems having biographical interest, but treated within the context of ethnic or national literary history. In Ashtiany, for instance, one may read about the madhh (panegyric) of Bashshƒr Bibn Burd, Ab® Nuwƒs, alMutanabb¡, and the Egyptian poets of the Fƒtimid (909–1171) and Ayy®bid periods (1169 to end of the 15th century), or about the hijƒ’ (lampoons) of Bashshƒr Bibn Burd and others. Such literary histories, however, make no pretence of theorizing the verse forms, but do serve as useful compilations, indexes, and bibliographies of many types of biographically prompted poems. The oldest instances of biographies in verse appear in the sacred texts of many cultures, for example the Hebrew Hagiographa and the Book of Job, the Sanskrit Mahƒbhƒrata (considered itihƒsa, or historical tradition), parts of the Bible,

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the Sumerian-Babylonian Gilgamesh, the German Niebelungenlied, the Finnish Kalevala, and so on. Praise poetry (epideictic or encomiastic) that celebrates particular kings, heroes, and leaders can be found in virtually every culture, whether in epic, panegyric, or elegaic form. The examples that follow can suggest only a breadth of range, for the monumental stories of specific individuals are told in the versified izibongo of the Xhosa and Zulu, the dithoko of the Sotho, and the maboko of Botswana; in the Quechua (Inca) Ollántay, and the Mayan Popol Vuh; in the Byzantine panegyrics of the 7th-century poet George Pisides (encomium of the emperor Heraclius), the Icelandic and Nordic sagas, the late medieval Gallic La Chanson de Roland, the Spanish El Cantar del Mío Cid, and the Irish filidh tradition of sung genealogies, histories, and praise of patrons; in John Donne’s “Anniversaries on the Death of Elizabeth Drury” and countless other elegies by poets as illustrious as Donne; and in contemporary poems that celebrate the lives of family and friends, such as the Malay poet S.T. Alisjahbana’s Tebaran Mega [1936; Scattered Clouds, written in memory of his wife] and the poems of the Palestinian Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi (in Jayyusi pp.335–41). Epic-length poems containing biographies in verse of historical figures (heroic or not) continue to be written in our day: among the more celebrated are the Brazilian poet Cecília Meireles’s Romanceiro da Inconfidência (1953; see Bernucci for a discussion of other South and Central American epics set in modern times); Derek Walcott’s Omeros (1990), set principally in the Caribbean; and W.S. Merwin’s The Folding Cliffs (1998), set in Hawaii a hundred years ago (see Fogarty 1998). Whether they focus on the old or the new, critical examinations of the relationship between heroic biographies (in verse and prose) and their respective oral and folk poetic traditions are as esteemed in the academy today as they ever have been and constitute a significant proportion of literary-historical scholarship. The works by Beeston, Campbell, Dykstal, Gonzalo and Bravo, Lindell, Macdonald, Milosevic-Djordjevic, Murphy, Olson, Rowan and Scully, Shamkovich, Stanonik, Watson, and Williams are all relevant in this respect. Perhaps it is not too bold a generalization to say that, today as in the past, scholars study biographical poetry because it so often perfectly reveals the poet’s idea of a character’s ethos (the moral element in character) and dianoia (the intellectual or rational quality of his or her thought) and because it offers insight into a culture’s as well as an era’s basis for judging human character and virtuous action. R. Victoria Arana

Further Reading Altieri, Joanne, The Theatre of Praise: The Panegyric Tradition in Seventeenth-Century English Drama, Newark: University of Delaware Press, and London: Associated University Presses, 1986 Anderson, Jervis, “Onward and Upward with the Arts: Derek Walcott’s Odyssey”, The New Yorker, 68 / 44 (21 December 1992): 71–79 Beeston, A.F.L., “Al-Hamadhani, al-Hariri and the Maqamat Genre” in ‘Abbasid Belles-Lettres, edited by Julia Ashtiany and others, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990 Bernucci, Leopoldo M., “That Gentle Epic: Writing and Elegy in the Heroic Poetry of Cecília Meireles”, Modern Language Notes, 112 / 2 (1997): 201–18 Breatnach, Padraig A., “The Poet’s Graveside Vigil: A Theme of Irish

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Bardic Elegy in the Fifteenth Century”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 49–50 (1997): 50–63 Brunel, Pierre (editor), Companion to Literary Myths, Heroes, and Archetypes, translated by Wendy Allatson, Judith Hayward, and Trista Selous, revised edition, London and New York: Routledge, 1996 (first English edition, 1992) Burgess, Theodore, Epideictic Literature, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1902 Campbell, Alistair, Skaldic Verse and Anglo-Saxon History, London: H.K. Lewis, 1971 Christensen, Jerome, “Ecce Homo: Biographical Acknowledgment, the End of the French Revolution, and the Romantic Reinvention of English Verse” in Contesting the Subject: Essays in the Postmodern Theory and Practice of Biography and Biographical Criticism, edited by William H. Epstein, West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1991 Cutler, Ivor et al. (editors), Billy Jenkins, Entertainment USA: The Poems / Entertainment USA, Exeter, Devon: Stride, 1995 (features poems on the personalities featured in Jenkins’s musical suite) Davidow, Lawrence Lee, “Pope’s Verse Epistles: Friendship and the Private Sphere of Life”, Huntington Library Quarterly, 40 / 2 (1977): 151–70 Dykstal, Timothy, “The Epic Reticence of Abraham Cowley”, SEL: Studies in English Literature, 31 / 1 (1991): 95–115 Evans, B.R. (compiler), The Republican Compiler, Comprising a Series of Scientific, Descriptive, Narrative, Popular, Biographical, Epistolary, and Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Verse, Pittsburgh: Cramer and Spear, 1818 Farness, Jay, “Disenchanted Elves: Biography in the Text of Faerie Queene V” in Spenser’s Life and the Subject of Biography, edited by Judith H. Anderson, Donald Cheney, and David A. Richardson, Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996 Ferrier-Caverivière, Nicole, “Historical Figures and Mythical Figures” in Companion to Literary Myths, Heroes, and Archetypes, edited by Pierre Brunel, translated by Wendy Allatson, Judith Hayward, and Trista Selous, revised edition, London and New York: Routledge, 1996 (first English edition, 1992) Finley, John [H.] and Leonard Bacon, Biographical Notes, Mostly in Verse, New York: Printed for the Association [of Centurions], 1938 Fogarty, Robert S., “W.S. Merwin’s Hawaian Epic and National Poetry Month”, Antioch Review, 56 / 3 (1998): 260ff. Fraisse, Simone, “Joan of Arc” in Companion to Literary Myths, Heroes, and Archetypes, edited by Pierre Brunel, translated by Wendy Allatson, Judith Hayward and Trista Selous, revised edition, London and New York: Routledge, 1996 (first English edition, 1992) Gonzalo, Pedro and Antonio Bravo, “Sapientia et Fortitudo in the Anglo-Saxon Epic Heroes and in Aelfric’s English Saints”, SELIM: Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature, 3 (1993): 72–102 Garrison, James D., Dryden and the Tradition of Panegyric, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975 Gutierrez, Nancy A., “The Remembrance: A Form of Renaissance Verse Biography”, Shakespeare and Renaissance Association of West Virginia Selected Papers, 7 / 2 (Spring 1982): 54–59 Hardison, O.B., The Enduring Monument: A Study of the Idea of Praise in Renaissance Literary Theory and Practice, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1962 Ibler, Reinhard, “Zur Entwicklung des Elegienzyklus in der russischen Literatur des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts” [On the Development of Elegaic Cycles in Russian Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries], Zeitschrift für slavische Philologie, 57 / 2 (1998): 331–51 Jayyusi, Salma Khadra (editor), Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature, New York: Columbia University Press, 1992 Keily, David, “The Socialist Realist Panegyric in the Polish Poetry of the Stalinist Era: The Case of Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz’s ‘List do Prezydenta’”, Polish Review, 38 / 1 (1993): 57–68 Lapidge, Michael, “Tenth-Century Anglo-Latin Verse Hagiography” in Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch: Internationale Zeitschrift für Mediävistik, 24–25 (1989–90): 249–60 Lindell, Lisa R., “Recasting Epic Tradition: The Dispossessed as Hero in Sandoz’s Crazy Horse and Cheyenne Autumn”, Great Plains Quarterly, 16 / 1 (1996): 43–53

Macdonald, R.R., “John G. Demaray’s Cosmos and Epic Representation: Dante, Spenser, Milton and the Transformation of Renaissance Heroic Poetry”, Speculum, 69 / 1 (1994): 128ff. Makolkin, Anna, “Probing the Origins of Literary Biography: English and Russian Versions”, Biography, 19 / 1 (1996): 87ff. Marcan, Peter, Poetry Themes: A Bibliographical Index to Subject Anthologies and Related Criticisms in the English Language, 1875–1975, London: Clive Bingley, and Hamden, Connecticut: Linnet, 1977 Metcalfe, Jean LeDrew, “The Politics of Panegyric: Poetic Representations of Oliver Cromwell”, Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture 1660–1700, 18 / 1 (1994): 1–16 Milosevic-Djordjevic, Nada, “The [Serbian] Oral Tradition” on-line: The History of Serbian Culture, Porthill Publishers, Serbian Unity Congress, 1996–1999; see www.suc.org/culture/history/ Minahan, William B., Headlight Flashes of Facts in Verse: Political, Biographical, Historical, and Social, Oshkosh, Wisconsin: no publisher, 1905 Murphy, Shane, “‘You Took Away My Biography’: The Poetry of Medbh McGuckian”, Irish University Review, 28 / 1 (1998): 110–32 Olson, Paul A., “Black Elk Speaks as Epic and Ritual Attempt to Reverse History” in Vision and Refuge: Essays on the Literature of the Great Plains, edited by Virginia Faulkner and Frederick C. Luebke, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982 Porter, Dorothy, Akhenaten, St Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1992 (biography in verse of the Egyptian pharaoh) Preminger, Alex and T.V.F. Brogan (editors), The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 3rd edition, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993 Ramazani, Jahan and Charles Berger, “Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney”, Modern Philology, 95 / 1 (1997): 142ff. Riding Gottschalk, Laura, Voltaire: A Biographical Fantasy, London: Hogarth Press, 1927; reprinted, Folcroft, Pennsylvania: Folcroft Press, 1969 Rowan, Charles and Stephen Scully, “Ancient Epic Poetry: Homer, Apollonius, Virgil”, Comparative Literature Studies, 33 / 3 (1996): 303ff. Sanders, Ed, Chekhov: A Biography in Verse, Black Sparrow Press, 1995 Schober, Juliane and John Clifford Holt, “Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia”, History of Religions, 38 / 4 (1999): 401–02 Shamkovich, Tatyana I., “Saintly Hero: Mythological, Epic and Ecclesiastical Perspectives on the Image of the Saint in Medieval Hagiography” (dissertation), abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International, 53 / 2 (1992): 493A Stanonik, Marija, “The Relationship between Verse and Prose in Literary Folklore”, Estudios de Literatura Oral, 1 (Spring 1995): 211–16 Stone, Carole, “Elegy as Political Expression in Women’s Poetry: Akhmatova, Levertov, Forché”, College Literature, 18 / 1 (1991): 84–91 Watson, Roderick, “Alan Riach’s Hugh MacDiarmid’s Epic Poetry”, Modern Language Review, 88 (1993): 964ff. Williams, David, “Voltaire’s ‘True Essay’ on Epic Poetry”, Modern Language Review, 88 / 1 (1993): 46ff.

Black Elk

1863–1950

American autobiographer John Neihardt (1881–1973), poet laureate of Nebraska, and Black Elk (1863–1950), Lakota holy man, collaboratively produced what is perhaps the best-known and most venerated Native American autobiography, Black Elk Speaks, Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (1932). Since

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Neihardt spoke no Lakota and Black Elk little English, their collaboration necessarily involved other people. Black Elk’s son Ben Black Elk, who had been educated at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, translated his father’s words (and those of Lakota elders who supplemented Black Elk’s story) into English. Neihardt’s daughter Enid recorded these words stenographically. Working from Enid’s typescripts of her stenographic records of the interviews, Neihardt produced a seamless life story, beginning with Black Elk’s birth and ending with the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. (The process of collaboration and composition has been fully described, and the transcripts published, by Raymond J. DeMallie). Thus, the words so frequently attributed to Black Elk alone were in fact the product of a complex multi-stage process of translation. In addition to the issues of linguistic translation, the collaboration raises serious questions about cultural mediation, since autobiography is not a traditional Native American genre. The book is an “Indian autobiography”, as distinct from an “autobiography by an Indian” (Krupat). The former is produced by collaboration between an unacculturated Native American and a Euro-American; the latter is produced single-handedly by an acculturated Native. Although Neihardt was a poet rather than an anthropologist, his collaboration with Black Elk is an example, more generally, of the ethnographic scenario of collaborative life writing, in which the author comes from Western culture, while the native subject of the book comes from a non-Western culture. To his credit, Neihardt preserved or simulated many aspects of Lakota culture in the narrative. Nevertheless, when the circumstances governing the book’s production are understood, the result can no longer be viewed as a transparent representation of Indian subjectivity. In the early 1930s, Neihardt was seeking material about the Ghost Dance religion for The Song of the Messiah (1935), the last instalment in his cycle of epic poems about the West. As a participant in the Ghost Dance religion and witness to the massacre at Wounded Knee, Black Elk was an invaluable source. Although it is impossible to know the aims of each collaborator, it is clear in retrospect that they were working somewhat at cross purposes. The result, a book-length narrative with a single protagonist, must to some extent distort the Lakota holy man’s life and his relation to his people. In fact, the aftermath of the collaboration suggests that Black Elk, though not coerced to participate, may have felt that he was in some sense misrepresented. Neihardt deliberately portrayed Black Elk as an unreconstructed traditionalist, when in fact he had converted to Roman Catholicism, been baptized Nicholas Black Elk, and become a valued catechist who disseminated Christian doctrine among his people. This revelation shocks many readers of Black Elk Speaks largely because Neihardt so carefully excluded any evidence of Black Elk’s acculturation. When the book became known on the reservation, missionaries there felt betrayed by Black Elk. His response was to “speak” again, issuing a document in which he reaffirmed his faith in Christianity. This document (published in DeMallie) furnishes a salutary supplement to the life story. Collaborative autobiography is inherently a ventriloquistic genre – the simulation of one person’s voice by another – and Black Elk Speaks is more ventriloquistic than most readers have understood. In interviews in the 1970s, Neihardt acknowledged that several passages, including the opening and closing ones,

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had no source in the interviews. Indeed, Neihardt claimed as his own inventions some of the passages most frequently attributed to Black Elk. This is especially troubling because, since these passages create the narrative’s tragic sense of the finality of the Oglala Sioux’s defeat in 1890, they help to reinforce the myth of the “vanishing American”. Perhaps the ultimate irony of the collaboration is that the ventriloquism can be seen as working also in reverse: by speaking through Neihardt, Black Elk managed to preserve his vision and his Lakota faith for posterity. The book has contributed to the revival of traditional religion and served as a sort of pantribal Native American bible. A further irony is that the book for which Neihardt is remembered today is not his epic poem but the autobiography of Black Elk. G. Thomas Couser Biography Born Nicholas Black Elk on the Little Powder River (now in Wyoming), United States, December 1863. His father was Black Elk, a medicine man of the Lakota Sioux Indian clan. Brought up as an Oglala Lakota. Experienced spiritual vision indicating his calling as a shaman while suffering from a life-threatening disease, 1872. Witnessed battle of Little Big Horn, Montana, 1876. Demonstrated powers as shaman at Fort Keogh, Montana, 1881. Settled with his family and other Oglalas at the Pine Ridge Agency Indian reservation in South Dakota. Became a respected medicine man. Joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to learn about white American culture and make a living, 1886. Toured US and Europe, 1886–89. Worked as a store clerk on his return to South Dakota. Took part in Ghost Dance religious movement, 1889–90. Settled in Wounded Knee district of Pine Ridge reservation, acting as a shamanic healer, after the battle of Wounded Knee, 1890. Married Katie War Bonnet, 1892: three children. Wife died, 1903. Received into the Roman Catholic Church as Nicholas Black Elk, 6 December 1904. Lived in Manderson, South Dakota; joined St Joseph Society there and assisted Jesuit priests as a catechist. Married Anna Brings White (also known as Brings White Horses), 1906: one daughter and two sons. Travelled as a Catholic missionary around many Indian reservations in the Wyoming and Nebraska area from 1908. Met John G. Neihardt, poet laureate of Nebraska, and formed deep spiritual friendship with him, 1930. Recounted details of his spiritual vision and experience as a traditional healer and shaman of the Lakota people, which Neihardt recorded in Black Elk Speaks (1932). Took part in Alex Duhamel’s annual Sioux Indian Pageant, demonstrating Lakota rituals, from 1935. Hospitalized for tuberculosis, 1941. Second wife died, 1941. Interviewed again by Niehardt in 1944 for his book on the history of the Lakota people, When the Tree Flowered (1951). Died in Manderson, South Dakota, 19 August 1950.

Selected Writings (with John G. Neihardt) Black Elk Speaks, Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, 1932

Further Reading Brown, Joseph Epes (editor), The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk’s Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1953 Brumble, H. David, III, American Indian Autobiography, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988 Couser, G. Thomas, Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1989 DeMallie, Raymond J. (editor), The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk’s Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984 Krupat, Arnold, For Those Who Come After: A Study of Native American Autobiography, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985

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McCluskey, Sally, “Black Elk Speaks – and So Does John Neihardt”, Western American Literature, 6 (1972): 231–42 Neihardt, John G., The Song of the Messiah, New York: Macmillan, 1935 Rice, Julian, Black Elk’s Story: Distinguishing Its Lakota Purpose, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991 Wong, Hertha D., Sending My Heart Back across the Years: Tradition and Innovation in Native American Autobiography, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992

Blixen, Karen

1885–1962

Danish short-story writer and autobiographer Even though Baroness Karen Blixen is highly respected as a writer of short stories, it is the account of her life on her Kenyan farm, Out of Africa (1937), that has ensured her international literary fame. (A sequel, published in English as Shadows in the Grass, appeared in 1960.) After her divorce from her husband in 1921, she kept two important possessions that had been brought to her by her marriage: she retained the name Blixen in her everyday life (even though she used the pseudonym “Isak Dinesen” for the remainder of her literary career), and she continued running the Kenyan farm to which she had initially moved with her husband in 1914. During her early period of adaptation to life on the farm, Blixen relied on her writing as a means of escapism, and her subject matter, centred on the Gothic and on European forms of romance, was entirely removed from her everyday circumstances; gradually, though, the interaction with her African environment became an absorbing and ultimately fascinating experience, and it remained the central subject matter of her autobiographical prose once she was back in Europe. The text of Out of Africa covers the whole of her stay on the farm, from her first settling there to the time when the difficulties of meeting the demands of the coffee market forced her to sell it and to return to Denmark (1931). The speaker’s approach to her past experience is, from the start, serene and free from sentimentalism: her discretion concerning her private life is also noteworthy. Nothing very explicit is said about her marriage, her love for Denys Finch-Hatton (the most remarkable of the many figures evoked in the text) is indirectly expressed, and the narrative concentrates instead on the portayal of several individual characters, both African and European, not necessarily following the chronological development of her stay on the farm. Blixen’s admiration is always granted to the figures who appear endowed with a sense of individualism and strength; among them stand out the images of Kamante (the gnome-like Kikuyu servant, who acts as the repository of a practical wisdom that the author lacks at the start of her stay in Africa) or such figures as the Danish fugitive Knudsen (who constantly finds himself in trouble with authority) and especially Denys Finch-Hatton, a British adventurer, cultured and independent, who, in his unpredictable visits, takes Blixen to her most memorable moments. The lack of a clear temporal frame and the concentration on individual figures rather than on the author’s own subjectivity place Blixen’s text closer to the epic than to the lyric tradition. This tendency can also be seen in her treatment of her most intimate feelings (notably towards Dennis), which are expressed in succinct

scenes of action rather than in meditation. The most intense experiences of love can be expressed, for instance, in the description of a flight over Kenya in Denys’s plane, or through the silent sharing of a gun during a shooting party against a group of lions: “We did not speak one word. In our hunt we had been a unity and we had nothing to say to one another.” Love, just as the rest of the author’s African experience, is evoked as a series of significant isolated moments rather than as a narrative with a linear development. Particularly representative of this tendency is the fourth part of the book, “From an Immigrant´s Notebook”, which consists only of unconnected fragments, each of them spanning no more than three pages: they are a collection of anecdotes, conversations, and portraits. For Blixen, life itself is a series of relatively independent events; a sequence that has no specific form, and can be understood only when seen as a whole, but not while one is experiencing it. One of these fragments, “The Stork”, is in itself a commentary on this concept, and can be taken as a commentary on her autobiographical practice as a whole. The stork is a picture that is drawn for children, in the context of an oral story; the stork appears only when unifying the disparate shapes (a circle, a triangle, etc.) that previously seemed unconnected. The impossibility of seeing the shape of life from within it is compared to the difficulty of seeing the completed picture by focusing on only one of its parts: “When the design of my life is completed, shall I, shall other people see a stork?” It is not that life is formless: it is, rather, that its form cannot be understood at any particular moment of it: it cannot be narrated, therefore, as a romance, a tragedy, or a comedy. Still, and in spite of this tendency to abandon traditional models of narrative, Blixen’s style is clear and detailed, and her prose is classical and logically structured, far from the experimentalist tendencies of modernism. The few symbols that appear throughout the narrative are thus used sparingly, but with a sense of austerity and mystery that contributes to their effect. They are simple images, but by refusing to explain them clearly, Blixen ensures that they do not become simple metaphors, and they retain an aura of transcendence. The famous image of the lions coming to Denys FinchHatton’s grave, for instance, is presented as information that Blixen has received by hearsay, and is not dwelt on; once it has performed the function of ennobling Denys, Blixen simply adds a brief commentary that “even Nelson … in Trafalgar Square, has his lions made only out of stone”. This use of symbol makes evident the lack of sentimentalism or nostalgia, and the celebration of life that pervade the whole of the text: in the final section, as Blixen is selling her possessions at the farm, the image of a hen biting out the tongue of a chameleon and mutilating it is seen not as an image of destruction or fear but as an affirmation of the inherent violence of life, and as a reminder of the need to gather strength and go on: “This was clearly not the time for coddling … Great powers had laughed to me, with an echo from the hills to follow the laughter.” Recent developments in postcolonial criticism and feminism have had a major influence on the critical consideration of Blixen’s autobiography. Blixen herself explicitly denied having been a part of the feminist movement, yet her representation of the Somali women in Out of Africa has repeatedly been interpreted in feminist terms; on the other hand, her comparisons between the Somali or Masai traditions and the European

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aristocratic traditions (examined by Linda Donelson in her biography) have also been seen as a very bourgeois kind of fascination for the nobility on her part, a theme that tends to recur, moreover, in her private letters. One of the principal contributions in this area is the work of Susan Aiken and Catherine Stimpson: for them, Blixen (in her narrative works as much as in her autobiography) rewrites the notion of difference, both in the domains of sexual and colonial politics, and her extensive representation of the natives as inherently epic figures against the bourgeois tendencies of the colonizers implies a questioning of imperialist phallocentrism and problematizes the entire ideological basis of the colonial project. The critical debate on these matters promises to remain, at the start of the 21st century, one of the most fertile areas of academic discussion on Out of Africa. Joan Curbet Biography Born Karen Christentze Dinesen in Rungsted, Denmark, 17 April 1885. Educated privately at home and in France, Switzerland, and England. Adopted English as her main literary language. Studied art at the Copenhagen Academy, 1902–06; in Paris, 1910; and in Rome. Married a cousin, Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke, 1914. Contracted syphilis from him. Managed a coffee plantation near Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband, 1913–21, then alone after their divorce in 1921. Returned to Denmark after her lover, Denys Finch-Hatton, died in a plane crash, 1931. Lived in Rungsted. Began writing short stories, including Winter’s Tales (1942), Last Tales (1957), and Anecdotes of Destiny (1958). Co-founder, with Ole Wivel, Bjørn Poulson, and Thorkild Bjørnvig, of the literary journal Heretica. Founding member of the Danish Academy, 1960. Her life story was the subject of the feature film Out of Africa (1986). Died in Rungsted, 7 September 1962.

Selected Writings Out of Africa (autobiography), 1937 Skygger på graesset (autobiography), 1960; as Shadows on the Grass, 1960 On Mottoes of My Life, 1960 Breve fra Afrika 1914–31, edited by Frans Lasson, 2 vols, 1978; as Letters from Africa 1914–1931, translated by Anne Born, 1981 Karen Blixen i Danmark: Breve 1931–62 (correspondence), edited by Frans Lasson and Tom Engelbrecht, 2 vols, 1996

Further Reading Aiken, Susan Hardy, Isak Dinesen and the Engendering of Narrative, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990 Donelson, Linda, Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa: The Untold Story, Iowa City: Coulsong List, 1995 Horton, Susan R., Difficult Women, Artful Lives: Olive Schreiner and Isak Dinesen: In and out of Africa, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995 Juhl, Marianne and Bo Hakon Jørgensen, Dianas Haevn, Odense: Odense Universitetsforlag, 1981 Thurman, Judith, Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller, New York: St Martin’s Press, 1982; as Isak Dinesen: The Life of Karen Blixen, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1982 Westenholz, Anders, The Power of Aries: Myth and Reality in Karen Blixen’s Life, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987

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The Body and Life Writing Many forces in Western culture – such as Christian theology or Cartesian dualism – have devalued or effaced the body. In addition, Western culture has tended to marginalize people on the basis of bodily differences, especially with respect to illness and disability. As a result, the body has not, until recently, figured very prominently in life writing in the West. Biographers usually treat illness as an interruption of the life that is their proper concern, except when it threatens life or ends it, or where the condition in question is considered a prime factor in the shaping of identity or career (as in the case of Samuel Johnson). While autobiographers are better situated than biographers to report on the somatic lives of their subjects, they too have been disinclined to do so. Traditionally, then, published lives have not been “body stories”. Except where it has been treated under the rubric of spiritual discipline, as in John Donne’s Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624), until the 20th century the story of illness and disability has been largely confined to private forms of life writing, such as diary and letters (for example, novelist Fanny Burney’s account of her tumour and mastectomy and Alice James’s diary, which ends with her account of her breast cancer). In the last several decades, however, illness narratives have been written and published in unprecedented numbers in North America and Europe. In the first study of this phenomenon, Reconstructing Illness (1993), Anne Hunsaker Hawkins declares that “as a genre, pathography is remarkable in that it seems to have emerged ex nihilo; book-length personal accounts of illness are uncommon before 1950 and rarely found before 1900”. New modes and genres of life writing have flourished in the post-World War II era. Dysfunction may remain in the background, as when serious illness or disability is the occasion for a reassessment of a whole life, but more often it is squarely in the foreground and the narrative is coextensive with the condition. Several related phenomena seem to be coinciding in the upsurge in personal narratives of the body. Writers already established in other more “literary” genres, like poetry and fiction, have been turning to autopathography; for them, bodily dysfunction has provided an occasion for an experiment with life writing. Works in this category would include William Styron’s 1990 Darkness Visible (which deals with depression), Audre Lorde’s 1980 The Cancer Journals (breast cancer), and Paul West’s 1995 A Stroke of Genius. Similarly, non-literary celebrities have taken illness as the occasion for autobiography, often collaborative in authorship – for example, American tennis player Arthur Ashe’s Days of Grace of 1993 (HIV/ AIDS). In both sets of examples, the fame of the subjects guarantees their books an audience; the narratives are published by well-known presses and reviewed widely and prominently. Less prominent but perhaps just as significant is the complementary groundswell of illness narratives by hitherto anonymous individuals. Illness and disability may stimulate the autobiographical impulse in a number of ways – by disrupting the apparent plot of one’s life and threatening one’s sense of self, and by heightening awareness of one’s mortality. Thus, illness and disability may induce autobiographical writing in those who would most likely never have written books, certainly not personal narratives, had they or someone close to them not

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become ill or impaired; indeed, their books are likely to be the only ones they ever write. Sometimes naive in their approach, they tend to be published by small presses and are usually not widely or prominently reviewed. Illnesses invested with cultural significance tend to provoke relatively large numbers of narratives. Thus, in the 19th century, tuberculosis generated a number of personal accounts. In the period immediately following World War II, polio narratives proliferated. Today, the extension of identity politics to illness and disability is a strong stimulus to personal narratives. The women’s liberation movement has created a receptive environment for breast cancer narratives, beginning with Betty Rollin’s First, You Cry (1976); the gay liberation movement for HIV / AIDS narratives (as in Paul Monette’s Borrowed Time, 1988); and the disability rights movement for narratives of disability (as in Irving Zola’s Missing Pieces, 1982). The recent proliferation of life writing about disease has to do with larger cultural forces, as well. One stimulus has been the rise of biomedicine, which renders survivable, and tends to destigmatize, conditions that once were unnarratable. Scientific medicine is not sufficient to destigmatize illness, however. In Illness as Metaphor, Susan Sontag showed that medical discourse often uses tropes for illness that may be hostile to patients; her critique of the cultural construction of illness was given further urgency by the mythologizing of AIDS. Biomedicine may stimulate life writing about illness in another way. The treatment of illness typically, and necessarily, involves a sort of narrative collaboration between doctor and patient. Diagnosis often relies, at least in part, on a “medical history”; the patient offers up testimony that the physician interprets according to codes and conventions generally unavailable to the patient. In diagnosis, physicians provide patients with an interpretation of their lives. Diagnosis leads in turn to prescription, treatment, and prognosis, all of which extend physicians’ authority over patients’ lives. Thus, physicians may both reinterpret patients’ pasts and literally pre-script their futures. The process is collaborative, but one-sided; patients submit their bodies to tests, their life histories to scrutiny, while physicians retain the authority to interpret these data. By means of this process, the sick person’s illness is reconfigured by the physician, through interrogation and interpretation, as the patient’s disease (see Kleinman). The process involves relinquishing control over one’s body and one’s life in a way that may seem objectifying to many patients. Thus, just as patients wish to vanquish the illness that alters their lives, they may also wish to regain control of their life narratives, which are yielded up to objective, and perhaps indifferent, medical authority. Increasingly, patients are resisting or challenging that authority, or seeking to share it. As patients seize, or at least claim, more authority over their treatment, they may also be more inclined to narrate their stories, to take their lives literarily into their own hands. The number of autobiographical narratives about illness is still relatively small, and, predictably, they are unevenly distributed among different classes, genders, and races. For the most part, people who write (or at least publish) personal narratives of sickness or disability have tended to be white and middle-class; many work in professions where writing is part of the job. When such people experience serious illness or disability, it jeopardizes an already valorized individuality; writing,

already a valued professional tool, promises to be an agent of recovery as well as self-expression. One of the constraints on autobiographical accounts of illness and disability is the powerful autobiographical convention of the comic plot, which by traditional definition should end happily for the protagonist. While comic resolution need not be provided solely by cure or recovery, illnesses that are invariably fatal, or conditions that are degenerative, seem inconsistent with comic plots. As a result, the accounts that get published tend to represent best-case scenarios. Another constraint is that a physical condition may be so daunting, debilitating, or disorienting as to impede or prevent retroactive first-person narration. With other forms of life writing, such constraints may not apply. The use of a collaborator may circumvent some obstacles, as in the case of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s celebrated narrative (translated as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) of a massive stroke that left him paralysed except for an eyelid; he was able to select letters, and thus to “type” his memoir, by blinking as a collaborator recited the alphabet. The diary or journal form also facilitates the representation of certain conditions, precisely because it does not require the comic resolution that seems to license most retrospective autobiographical accounts. While biography cannot render the subjective experience of illness, it can represent conditions (and outcomes) unavailable to autobiography. (Thus, most early HIV / AIDS narratives were written by surviving partners or relatives of people with AIDS.) The neurologist Oliver Sacks has made a literary career of writing case studies of people with rare disorders. Although most of his subjects are relatively normal, “high-functioning” individuals, most would not have been inclined or able to narrate their own stories. Life writing about somatic dysfunction, then, can take a number of forms. In the broadest sense, it can even include selfportraiture (e.g. the paintings of Frida Kahlo) or audio- or video-recording. The Human Genome Project, which aims to decode human DNA, is already having important impacts on life writing. For example, as the surest indicator of paternity, DNA has helped to revise the biography of Thomas Jefferson, confirming speculation – highly controversial when first aired – that he fathered children with his slave, Sally Hemings. DNA testing represents a significant addition to the biographer’s forensic toolkit that may help to resolve questions about medical conditions that have affected the personality and life events of historical figures. When it is applied to the living, DNA testing raises new ethical considerations. Today, when life writing often concerns ethnic and racial identity, biographers can use the results of DNA tests to help validate such aspects of their subjects’ identity, as well as to check questionable autobiographical claims of ethnic or racial identity – to detect, say, Aboriginal or Native impostors. Thus, DNA can be used to enforce what Philippe Lejeune has called “the autobiographical pact” in a rather legalistic way. The knowledge provided by the mapping of the genome has other implications for life writing – especially for autobiography. For example, the establishment of genetic predispositions for complex behaviours like alcoholism and criminality could generate a new subgenre of genetic confessions – or apologias. The mapping of the human genome represents a significant new development in the trend in biomedicine toward diagnosis and prognosis independent of the patient’s testimony or even

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cooperation; genetic testing represents the achievement, without literal penetration of the body, of the most metaphorically invasive of exposures. It will bring about presymptomatic diagnosis on a new scale, and this will undoubtedly precipitate new forms of personal narratives of the body. The awareness that one is fated, or merely predisposed, to develop a medical condition can induce intense, even excruciating, self-consciousness and thus be a powerful stimulant to self-monitoring in the form of diary writing or journal keeping. In Mapping Fate: A Memoir of Family, Risk, and Genetic Research, Alice Wexler recounts her family history of Huntington’s disease and her own decision not to take a DNA test that would have revealed whether she carried the gene herself. As the genome is mapped, more and more people will be living, like Wexler, in the interval between the discovery of the gene for a certain condition and the development of a therapy or cure for it; such individuals occupy a liminal zone between health and disease, normality and disability. The decoding of human genes – itself a form of biomedical life writing – will likely “out” a good many seemingly normal people as “latent defectives”, carriers of genes for various disabilities and conditions considered undesirable to perpetuate. Such a trend toward disseminating disability may shift or erase the usual border between “normal” and “abnormal”, and could significantly change the climate in which genetics and eugenics are understood. Part of the future project of life writing, then, will be reckoning with what is, and what is not, genetic destiny, for individuals and for the species. Still in early stages of development, body-centred life writing promises to illuminate the relationship between body, mind, and soul because physical as well as mental illness or disability may radically change a person’s sense of self. Perhaps our conventional notions of bodily integrity, individuality, and mortality are most profoundly challenged when surgeons successfully transplant vital organs – including that most metaphorically and symbolically charged of all such organs, the human heart. Such operations, which would have seemed like science fiction to earlier generations, have interesting and unsettling implications for life writing, because they threaten the very borders of self and life that autobiography usually takes for granted. A similarly transgressive scenario is the increasingly familiar one of the sex-change operation, as narrated for example by Jan Morris in Conundrum (1974). When illness and disability bring the body to mind in this way, life writing has a new opportunity to explore the ways in which identity or personality is mediated by the body. G. Thomas Couser Further Reading Ashe, Arthur and Arnold Rampersad, Days of Grace: A Memoir, New York: Knopf, and London: Heinemann, 1993 Bauby, Jean-Dominique, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, translated by Jeremy Leggatt, New York: Knopf, and London: Fourth Estate, 1997 Couser, G. Thomas, Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability, and Life Writing, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997 Donne, John, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, Montreal: McGillQueens University Press, 1975; edited by Anthony Raspa, New York: Oxford University Press, 1987 Frank, Arthur W., The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995 Hawkins, Anne Hunsaker, Reconstructing Illness: Studies in

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Pathography, West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1993 James, Alice, The Diary of Alice James, edited by Leon Edel, New York: Dodd Mead, 1964 Kleinman, Arthur, The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition, New York: Basic Books, 1988 Lejeune, Philippe, Le Pacte autobiographique [The Autobiographical Pact], Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1975 Lorde, Audre, The Cancer Journals, Argyle, New York: Spinsters Ink, 1980; London: Sheba, 1985 Mairs, Nancy, Waist-High in the World: A Life among the Nondisabled, Boston: Beacon, 1996 Monette, Paul, Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1988 Morris, Jan, Conundrum, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, and London: Faber, 1974 Rollin, Betty, First, You Cry, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1976; updated edition, New York: New American Library, 1980 Sacks, Oliver W., An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales, New York: Knopf, and London: Picador, 1995 Sontag, Susan, Illness as Metaphor, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1978; London: Allen Cane, 1979 Styron, William, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, New York: Random House, 1990 West, Paul, A Stroke of Genius: Illness and Self-Discovery, New York: Viking, 1995 Wexler, Alice, Mapping Fate: A Memoir of Family, Risk, and Genetic Research, New York: Random House, 1995 Zola, Irving Kenneth, Missing Pieces: A Chronicle of Living with a Disability, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982

Bosnia-Herzegovina see Yugoslavia and Former Yugoslav Territories

Boswell, James

1740–1795

Scottish biographer and diarist James Boswell has long been thought to be the premier biographer in English. It is widely believed, for instance, that he virtually created the modern form of biography in his Life of Samuel Johnson, first published in 1791. But it is still important to understand that this work was necessarily the end result of a lifetime’s work in life writing. Curiously enough, Boswell’s achievement in biography began in autobiography, in his decision in his very early twenties to keep a regular journal. He was to proclaim its purpose to be “know thyself”. Whether Boswell ever succeeded in achieving that goal may be open to question, but these opening words of his London Journal can fairly be considered the beginning of a life-long commitment to journalizing that would eventually yield 15 printed volumes, constituting the fullest account we have of one person’s life in 18th-century England. The discovery and then the publication of Boswell’s journals have considerably altered our picture of him as a writer. Much of the attention has understandably focused on his private candour about sexual matters, shredding the veil that Victorian prudishness wanted to draw over such matters. But perhaps more importantly the journals help us to see Boswell both more widely and sometimes more deeply than we once could. It is first

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of all evident that he worked very hard to develop into the man and writer he later became, day after day, year in and year out. He began to record conversation early on, and only gradually learned how to do this with the skill that is so evident in scene after scene in The Life of Samuel Johnson. It is also clear that Boswell did not at first conceive of himself as Johnson’s biographer. In his journals, for instance, there are stunning accounts of his interviews in late 1764 first with Rousseau and then with Voltaire, and they indicate clearly enough just how well he could perform when Johnson was not his biographical subject. He would demonstrate that same power, though perhaps not so tellingly, in his rendition of his meetings with the Corsican rebel leader Pasquale di Paoli in 1765. This was published in 1768 as part of his larger Account of Corsica, a work that enjoyed considerable success in its own time. Nevertheless, the key moment in Boswell’s artistic development has to have been the journey he made with Johnson through Scotland and the western islands in the autumn of 1773. On this occasion Boswell spent more than 100 days in Johnson’s company. This is the time in which his long-established habits of journalizing and recording conversation seem to have reached critical mass. It was also the moment when the decision to dedicate his literary talents to becoming Samuel Johnson’s biographer seems to have become permanently fixed. After this, it would be Johnson or no one. However, the precipitant to Boswell actually becoming Johnson’s biographer was to come much later. Charles Dilly, a London bookseller, contacted Boswell shortly after Johnson’s death on 13 December 1784 to ask if he had any biographical materials he was willing to bring before the public. Boswell knew he could never complete the full-length biography he was nurturing within the timetable that Dilly had in mind, but he suspected that the public might be interested in his account of the journey he and Johnson had taken through Scotland in 1773 as a foretaste of what was to come. So, in late September 1785, not quite ten months after Johnson’s death, Boswell published his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides. Buoyed by the success of his Tour to the Hebrides, Boswell continued to work during the next six years on his full-length biography with important help from Edmond Malone. He sought out new sources, assembled and checked his facts, experimented with different arrangements, and of course ceaselessly mined his journals. By remaining faithful to what he had recorded in those journals, he ended up combining biography with autobiography, reminding us that our understanding of others is always grounded in the perceptions of the self. The course his biography would take was by then more or less set, but two events did have a significant impact on the shape and tone it would finally take. The first of these was the publication in 1786 of Hester Thrale Piozzi’s Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson. The second was the publication in 1787 of a full-length biography of Johnson by Sir John Hawkins. Boswell’s dissatisfaction with what he called Hester Piozzi’s “inaccuracies” helps to explain why he places so much emphasis on his own accuracy, while his indignant objection to the “dark uncharitable cast” that pervaded Sir John Hawkins’s biography suggests why his own portrait of Johnson is bathed in warmth and affection. The Life of Samuel Johnson was finally published on 16 May

1791, when Boswell was 50 years old, and 28 years to the day after he had first met Johnson in the back of Tom Davies’s London bookshop. It proved a great favourite with the public. Boswell, though, would not get to enjoy his triumph. His personal life by that time was almost a total wreck, and it continued on a downward spiral until he finally passed away on 19 May 1795, not yet 55. John J. Burke, Jr Biography Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 29 October 1740, the eldest son of a successful lawyer (created Lord Auchinleck in 1754). Educated privately, then at Edinburgh High School. Studied at the University of Edinburgh, 1753–58, then studied civil law at the University of Glasgow, 1759–60. Expressed a desire to become a Roman Catholic priest, but persuaded by his family to abandon this plan, settling instead for a career in the army. Visited London with his father, 1760–61. Decided not to enlist and resumed legal studies in Edinburgh. Began to publish anonymous pamphlets and verses. Stayed in London, where he pursued a libertine lifestyle, 1762–63; met Samuel Johnson there in May 1763. Studied law at the University of Utrecht at the insistence of his father, 1763–64, then left to tour the Continent, 1764–66. Visited Voltaire and Rousseau, who inspired him to visit Corsica and support the cause of Corsican liberty, 1765; his experiences formed the basis of An Account of Corsica (1768). Returned to Britain and was admitted to the Scottish bar, 1766. Practised as an advocate in Edinburgh until 1788, visiting London frequently. Married a cousin, Margaret Montgomerie, 1769 (died 1789): seven children (two died in infancy). Elected a member of Johnson’s literary Club, and accompanied him on a tour of the Highlands and Hebrides, 1773. Contributed essays as “The Hypochondriack” to the London Magazine, 1777–83. Inherited the family estate on his father’s death, 1782. The success of the Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785), based on his trip of 1773, encouraged him to plan his masterpiece, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). Admitted to the English bar, at the Middle Temple, 1786. Recorder of Carlisle, 1788–90. Settled in London after his wife’s death in 1789. Suffered from severe depression and alcoholism in his last years. Died in London, 19 May 1795.

Selected Writings An Account of Corsica: The Journal of a Tour to That Island and Memoirs of Pascal Paoli, 1768 The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, 1785; edited by Frederick A. Pottle and Charles Bennett, 1936, re-edited, 1941; edited by Peter Levi (with Samuel Johnson’s A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland), 1984; as Johnson and Boswell in Scotland: A Journey to the Hebrides, edited by Pat Rogers, 1993; as Journey to the Hebrides, edited by Ian McGowan, 1996 The Life of Samuel Johnson, 2 vols, 1791; revised, 1793 and 1799; edited by George Birkbeck Hill, revised by L.F. Powell, 6 vols, 1934–64; as The Life of Johnson, edited by R.W. Chapman, revised by J.D. Fleeman, 1970; as The Life of Johnson, edited and abridged by Christopher Hibbert, 1979 Letters, Addressed to the Rev. W.J. Temple, edited by Philip Francis, 1857; edited by T. Seccombe, 1908; as The Correspondence of James Boswell and William Johnson Temple, vol. 1, edited by Thomas Crawford, 1991 Letters, 2 vols, edited by C.B. Tinker, 1924 Boswell’s London Journal, 1762–3, edited by Frederick A. Pottle, 1950

Further Reading Bloom, Harold (editor), James Boswell’s Life of Johnson, New York: Chelsea House, 1986 Brady, Frank, James Boswell: The Later Years, 1769–1795, New York: McGraw-Hill, London: Heinemann, 1984 Burke, John J., Jr, “The Documentary Value of Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides” in Fresh Reflections on Samuel Johnson: Essays in Criticism, edited by Prem Nath, Troy, New York: Whitston, 1987

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Burke, John J., Jr, “Talk, Dialogue, Conversation, and Other Kinds of Speech Acts in Boswell’s Life of Johnson” in Compendious Conversations: The Method of Dialogue in the Early Enlightenment, edited by Kevin L. Cope, New York: Peter Lang, 1992 Burke, John J., Jr, “Boswell and the Text of Johnson’s Logia”, Age of Johnson, 9 (1998): 25–46 Clifford, James L. (editor), Twentieth Century Interpretations of Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”: A Collection of Critical Essays, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1970 Clingham, Greg (editor), New Light on Boswell: Critical and Historical Essays on the Occasion of the Bicentenary of the Life of Johnson, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991 Dowling, William C., The Boswellian Hero, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979 Dowling, William C., Language and Logos in Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981 Greene, Donald, “The Logia of Samuel Johnson and the Quest for the Historical Johnson”, Age of Johnson, 3 (1990): 1–33 Hyde, Mary, The Impossible Friendship: Boswell and Mrs. Thrale, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1972 Ingram, Allan, Boswell’s Creative Gloom: A Study of Imagery and Melancholy in the Writings of James Boswell, London: Macmillan, and Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes and Noble, 1982 Lustig, Irma S. (editor), “Boswell at Work: The ‘Animadversions’ on Mrs. Piozzi”, Modern Language Review, 67 (1972): 11–30 Lustig, Irma S. (editor), Boswell: Citizen of the World, Man of Letters, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995 Martin, Peter, A Life of James Boswell, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1999 Newman, Donald J. (editor), James Boswell: Psychological Interpretations, New York: St Martin’s Press, 1995 Passler, David L., Time, Form, and Style in Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971 Pottle, Frederick A., James Boswell: The Earlier Years, 1740–1769, New York: McGraw Hill, 1966 Siebenschuh, William R., Form and Purpose in Boswell’s Biographical Works, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972 Vance, John A. (editor), Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”: New Questions, New Answers, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985

Brandes, Georg

1842–1927

Danish critic, biographer, autobiographer, and letter writer As Denmark’s most influential literary critic, Brandes’s preferred method was the accumulation of a series of literary biographies into the broad characterization of a period or a movement. This method resulted from his studies of CharlesAugustin Sainte-Beuve and Hippolyte Taine, both of whom considered an understanding of the author essential to an understanding of the literary work. Whereas Taine, the subject of Brandes’s doctoral dissertation, believed that an author’s personality could be analysed scientifically on the basis of le race, le milieu, le moment (race, social environment, period), SainteBeuve was a master of literary portraiture who used details about an author’s character, opinions, attitudes, and life experience to analyse his or her writings. In his essay on Sainte-Beuve in Hovedstrømninger I det nittende aarhundredes litteratur (1872–90; Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature), Brandes further credits him with praising “the talent while indicating the defects in the soul which actually affect the talent and any permanent influence it may exercise”. Brandes based his

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own judgements not only on his tireless research and prodigious reading of works in several different languages, but also on his personal acquaintance and written correspondence with many of his subjects. Both Main Currents and Det moderne gjennembruds maend (1883; Eminent Authors of the Nineteenth Century) are based on this method. The latter work was important throughout the Scandinavian countries for stimulating literary realism and naturalism through a series of portraits of contemporary Scandinavian writers, as well as for bringing figures such as Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstierne Bjørnsen to international attention. Brandes’s choices of biographical subjects were seemingly eclectic but actually chosen on the basis of his own interests and psychological identifications. His first long biographies were of the German leftist radical Ferdinand Lassalle, whose pamphlets he had come upon in Germany; the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, whom he had studied during his youthful exploration of Christianity; and the Jewish-English novelist and politician Benjamin Disraeli, who fascinated him as a Jew proud of his Jewishness. In the late 1880s Brandes started to read the works of Friedrich Nietszche and conducted a personal correspondence with him during the last 13 months of Nietszche’s sanity. From this sprang his lectures on Nietzsche at the University of Copenhagen in 1888 and his essay “Aristokratisk Radikalisme” [1909; “An Essay on the Aristocratic Radicalism of Friedrich Nietzsche”], which brought Nietzsche a much wider audience than he had had before. Brandes’s readers saw the essay as a contradiction of his former liberal positions, but Brandes himself asserted that his principles were not in the slightest way modified by his contact with Nietszche. Moreover, he continued, “my first thought with regard to a philosophical book was by no means to ask whether what it contains is right or wrong: ‘I go straight through the book to the man behind it ...’ ”. Nevertheless, the great biographies of Brandes’s later years, William Shakespeare (1895; William Shakespeare: A Critical Study), Wolfgang Goethe (1915), François de Voltaire (1916– 17; Voltaire), Cajus Julius Caesar (1918), and Michelangelo Buonarroti (1921; Michaelangelo: His Life, His Times, His Era), were often interpreted as instances of hero-worship. For Brandes, each of these figures “constituted an epoch” and had interested him all his life. In the case of Shakespeare, Brandes was faced with the difficulty that very little was actually known of the playwright’s life. Undaunted, he constructed a biography from his reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays. Although the critics René Wellek and Austin Warren later found this method unacceptable, calling the resulting work “biographical romance” in their Theory of Literature, Wellek himself in his A History of Modern Criticism (1965) found that it contained “some well digested history, literary history, and simple exposition and criticism”. Although Brandes creatively incorporated his own inner history into his book on Shakespeare, his next books, on Goethe and Voltaire, focused on their subjects and were supported by detailed studies of their times. His biography of Caesar, on the other hand, although backed by detailed readings of the primary sources, “can be read as a documentary novel of the historical genre” in the words of Bertil Nolin, who also calls it “one of the purest examples of Brandes’s hero-worship”. Brandes’s book on Michelangelo attempted to portray this Renaissance Man in all

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his varied facets and bears the marks of Brandes’s own early intention to become a professor of aesthetics. Brandes’s own autobiography, Levned [1905–08; My Life], also employs his favoured method, relying on, and including, passages from his letters and diaries. It traces his intellectual development from childhood and vividly portrays his relationships with those who influenced him, whether famous or humble. In addition to its value as a record of Brandes’s life from his own point of view, it contains much useful information on the scholarly and educational practices of the age. The first volume alone, also the only one of the three to be translated into English (as Reminiscences of My Childhood and Youth), contains information of a personal and confessional nature. Kristine J. Anderson Biography Georg Morris Cohen Brandes. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, 4 February 1842, into a middle-class Jewish family. Studied at the University of Copenhagen, 1859–64 (master’s degree in aesthetics). Travelled in Europe, 1865–71, where he met J.S. Mill, Hippolyte Taine, and Ernest Renan. Lived briefly in Paris. Doctoral dissertation, on Hippolyte Taine and French, accepted by University of Copenhagen, 1870. Taught literature at University of Copenhagen from 1871; published his lectures as Hovedstrømninger i det nittende aarhundredes litteratur (6 vols, 1872–90; Main Currents in Nineteenth-Century Literature). Also worked as a drama critic. Denied chair of aesthetics at University of Copenhagen, despite support from Copenhagen intellectuals, because of his Jewishness, his unorthodox views, and his atheism, 1872. Lived in Berlin, 1877–83. Wrote scholarly studies, including biographies of Søren Kierkegaard, William Shakespeare, and Goethe, and critical writings on modern Danish poetry. Developed philosophy of aristocratic radicalism, late 1880s: published Aristokratisk radicalisme, 1889. Returned to Denmark and became professor at University of Copenhagen, 1902. Travelled widely in Europe, meeting many prominent European writers, until his death. Attacked for his opposition to World War I, 1914. Died in Copenhagen, 19 February 1927.

Cajus Julius Caesar (biographical study), 2 vols, 1918 Michelangelo Buonarroti (biographical study), 2 vols, 1921; as Michelangelo: His Life, His Times, His Era, translated by Heinz Norden, 1963 Georg Brandes’ breve til hjemmet 1870–1871 (correspondence), edited by Alf Hjorth-Moritsen, 1938 Georg og Edv. Brandes: Brevveksling med Bjørnson, Ibsen, Kielland, Elster, Garborg, Lie (correspondence), edited by Francis Bull and Morten Borup, 3 vols, 1939 Georg og Edv. Brandes: Brevveksling med nordiske forfattere og videnskabsmaend (correspondence), edited by Morten Borup, 9 vols, 1939–42 Georg Brandes und Arthur Schnitzler: ein briefwechsel (correspondence), edited by Kurl Bergel, 1956 Georg Brandes’ breve til foraeldrene 1859–71 (correspondence), edited by Morten Borup, 3 vols, 1978 Brandes und die “Deutsche Rundschau”: unveröffentlicher Briefwechsel zwischen Julius Rodenberg und Georg Brandes (correspondence), edited by Klaus Bohnen, 1980 Georg Brandes og Emil Peterson: en brevveksling (correspondence), edited by Morten Borup, 1980 Selected Letters, edited by W. Glyn Jones, 1990 Georg Brandes’ breve til foraeldrene 1872–1904 (correspondence), edited by Morten Borup, 3 vols, 1994

Further Reading Hertel, Hans and Sven Møller Kristensen, The Activist Critic: A Symposium on the Political Ideas, Literary Methods and International Reception of Georg Brandes, Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1980 Mitchell, P.M., “The Breakthrough” in A History of Danish Literature, Copenhagen: Gyldendal, and New York: AmericanScandinavian Foundation, 1957; enlarged edition, New York: Kraus-Thomson, 1971 Nolin, Bertil, Georg Brandes, Boston: Twayne, 1976 Wellek, René, “The Lonely Dane: Georg Brandes” in his A History of Modern Criticism: 1750–1950, vol. 4, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1965

Selected Writings

Brazil

Ferdinand Lassalle: ein literarisches Charakterbild (biographical study), 1877; Danish edition, 1881 Søren Kierkegaard: en kritisk fremstilling i grundrids (biographical study), 1877 Benjamin Disraeli: en literaer charakteristik (biographical study), 1878; as Lord Beaconsfield: A Study, translated by Mrs George Sturge, 1879 Henrik Ibsen (biographical study), 1898, translated by Jesse Muir and Mary Marison in Henrik Ibsen: A Critical Study: With a 42 Page Essay on Björnstjerne Björnson, 1899 Det moderne gjennembruds maend (biographical studies), 1883; as Eminent Authors of the Nineteenth Century: Literary Portraits, translated by Rasmus Björn Anderson, 1886 William Shakespeare (biographical study), 1895; as William Shakespeare: A Critical Study, translated by William Archer, Mary Morison, and Diana White, 2 vols, 1898 Hovedstrømninger i det nittende aarhundredes litteratur, 1872–90; edited by Iver Jespersen, 6 vols, 1966–67; as Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature, translated by Diana White and Mary Morison, 6 vols, 1901–05 Levned, 3 vols, 1905–08; vol. 1 translated as Recollections of My Childhood and Youth, 1906, and Reminiscences of My Childhood and Youth, 1906 Friedrich Nietzsche (biographical study), translated by Arthur G. Chater, 1914 Wolfgang Goethe (biographical study), 2 vols, 1915; as Wolfgang Goethe, translated by Allen Wilson Porterfield, 2 vols, 1924 François de Voltaire (biographical study), 2 vols, 1916–17; as Voltaire, translated by Otto Kruger and Pierce Butler, 1930

Since the end of the 19th century, life writing has expanded steadily in Brazil. Autobiography, memoirs, diaries, collections of letters, testimonies, and biographies have all been published with increasing frequency, and today they are among the country’s most popular literary genres. Their appeal among a wide readership is at least partly explained by the deep social, racial, and cultural divisions, as well as the severe regional imbalances, that characterize contemporary Brazilian society. Living conditions, customs, and lifestyles vary dramatically, and for both the Brazilian reader and the scholar carrying out research on the country, such forms as memoirs and testimonies, by opening up personal experiences which are remote from their own, offer a valuable and fascinating insight into many aspects of the country’s complex social and cultural reality that are of difficult access and are poorly understood. Elements of life writing can certainly be traced back to Brazil’s earliest literary texts. These were first-hand accounts by chroniclers such as Pero Vaz de Caminha of the first phase of Portuguese colonialism. However, the effort to record and justify the enterprise took precedence over details of personal experience and sentiment. The same can be said of the letters written by missionaries later on in the colonial period. Those by Father Antônio Vieira (1608–97), for example, written to fellow

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clergymen and to statesmen, are principally of value for the information they convey about the problems being encountered in the colony, rather than for what they reveal about the man himself. It was in the latter part of the 19th century that the recording of individual experience really began to emerge as a major objective for Brazilian writers. The proliferation of autobiographies, memoirs, and diaries in Europe was undoubtedly a major influence. The Romantic period produced several important examples of life writing, most notably Como e por que sou romancista [1893; How and Why I Am a Novelist], by Brazil’s foremost Romantic writer, José de Alencar, and the Memórias [1948; Memoirs] written by Alfredo D’Escragnolle Taunay (1843–99), better known as the Visconde de Taunay. Both these works, however – published many years after the deaths of their authors – have been eclipsed by their novels. The example of Joaquim Nabuco, a politician who became a leading figure in the Abolitionist Movement in the 1880s, is significantly different. His autobiography, Minha formação [1900; My Education], is widely considered to be the most notable of the works he produced, which covered several genres. The case of Nabuco highlights the growing importance that was attached to life writing by the turn of the 20th century. In addition to his autobiography, he also published an extensive biography of his father, a senator, entitled Um estadista do Império [1899; A Statesman of the Empire], while his own biography, A vida de Joaquim Nabuco [1928; The Life of Jaoquim Nabuco] was written by his daughter, Carolina Nabuco, who also later published the collected letters of her father, and her own memoirs, focusing on the life of her illustrious family. In the 20th century, autobiographies and memoirs gradually progressed from the simple description of the major events in an author’s life to more detailed, intimate studies which often revealed his or her innermost sentiments. Examples are the Memórias [1933; Memoirs] of Humberto de Campos, and Quando eu era vivo [1942; When I Was Alive], by José Medeiros e Albuquerque, looking back critically on the bohemian lifestyle he followed in Europe at the beginning of the century. In the wake of the profound changes in Brazilian cultural life generated by the Modernist movement from 1922 onwards, and the political upheaval of the 1930s, it became increasingly common for writers to record their experience of events. Autobiographical works by major literary figures such as Augusto Schmidt, who published his memoirs, O galo branco [The White Rooster] in 1948, and Manuel Bandeira, whose Itinerário de Pasárgada [1954; The Route to Pasargada] describes his development as a poet, have proved to be a valuable resource for literary critics. Arguably, the most remarkable memoirs from those decades were Memórias do cárcere [1953; Prison Memoirs, 1974], in which Graciliano Ramos documents the brutality and humiliation he suffered during a year in prison, between 1936 and 1937, under the regime of Getúlio Vargas. Published in four volumes, the work transcends personal experience to probe critically numerous aspects of Brazilian society and culture, even debating the role the writer might play within it. Letters by Ramos, published in 1982, have been another significant source of information about his life and work, as has been the case with other major writers, such as Machado de Assis, Mário de Andrade, and Monteiro Lobato. Many of the socially and regionally orientated novels that

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dominated Brazilian fiction in the 1930s and 1940s incorporated clear autobiographical elements, with the central aim of social documentation relying considerably on direct personal experience. Perhaps the most striking example is the work of José Lins do Rego, who is best known for the six so-called “sugar cane cycle” novels that he wrote between 1932 and 1943, all of which drew directly on his memories of growing up on a sugar plantation in the Brazilian north east. Strongly nostalgic, they look back on the traditional patterns of rural life that were largely destroyed by modern, industrialized sugar production. The sadness at the passing of a way of life is linked to the loss of his own childhood. His reliance on personal experience for the creation of his fiction is clearly demonstrated in the memoirs he later wrote on his boyhood years, Meus anos verdes [1956; My Tender Years]. Since then, there have appeared a number of notable novels likewise based on autobiography, such as Fernando Sabino’s O encontro marcado [1956; A Time to Meet], recording a young man’s struggle to give a sense of meaning to his life, and Carlos Heitor Cony’s Informação ao crucificado [1961; Information to the Crucified], a fictional representation of his education in a seminary. From 1964 to 1985 a military dictatorship governed Brazil, and the experiences of oppression and censorship eventually produced another wave of testimonies, autobiographies, and documentary-based fiction. The desire of the reading public to uncover and understand the dramatic events of those years made some of those works bestsellers. Such was the case of Fernando Gabeira’s three-volume autobiography, published between 1979 and 1981, which is arguably the best testimonial writing of the period. The volumes are O que é isso, companheiro? [What’s This, Pal?], O crepuscúlo do macho [Twilight of the Macho], and Entradas e bandeiras [Portals and Flags]. It documents his involvement in guerrilla resistance to the regime, his arrest and torture, and his return to Brazil after nine years in exile. As with much Brazilian life writing, individual experience merges with the concerns of the wider community. Another major writer of memoirs to emerge during this period was Pedro Nava, whose Bau de ossos [1972; Trunk of Bones] was the first of six volumes which he published. Characterized by humour and lively anecdotes, the work critically evaluates the events in his life as it recounts them. The popularity of these varied documentaries on a difficult period in Brazil’s history played a major part in the so-called “boom” in national publishing that occurred in the mid 1970s. In the second half of the 20th century, the most significant development in Brazilian life writing was its increasing inclusion of the most marginalized sections of the country’s population. The publication of a diary, O quarto de despejo (1960; Children of the Dark), by a black woman from a São Paulo shantytown, Carolina Maria de Jesus, served as a vital catalyst for the process. It became one of the bestselling books in Brazilian history, and was widely translated, though the literary establishment tended to show disdain for the work, and Carolina herself benefited little from its success. Because of that contradiction, and the question of the role played by members of the mainstream culture in preparing it for publication, the diary focused unprecedented attention on this form of life writing. The fact that many other efforts have since been made to record the experience of the poorest social sectors is hardly surprising, given that conspicuous poverty alongside great affluence and

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dynamic consumerism is the most evident indication of Brazil’s unbalanced pattern of development. A more recent example of this type of work is Benedita da Silva: An Afro-Brazilian Woman’s Story of Politics and Love, edited by Meden Benjamin and Maisa Mendonça, which, published simultaneously in English and Portuguese in 1997, is da Silva’s testimony of how she emerged from the shantytown to become Brazil’s first black woman senator. During the same period, the lives of major public figures have been recorded more thoroughly than ever before, through numerous biographies and published interviews, in addition to their self-written memoirs, which became increasingly varied in style. Herbert Daniel, for example, published an extraordinary partial autobiography entitled Passagem para o próximo sonho [1982; Passage to the Next Dream], which, though based on his experiences as a gay activist living in Brazil and France, mixes several different forms of discourse. The autobiographical writings of Brazil’s best-known 20th-century author, Jorge Amado, are much more conventional. In 1980, he published his childhood memoirs, O menino grapiúna [The Boy from Ilhéus], and, in 1992, a volume of notes, Navegação de cabotagem: apontamentos para um livro de memórias que jamais escreverei [Voyage from Port to Port: Notes for the Memoirs that I Will Never Write], recalling key moments in his later life. In contrast, Confissões [1997; Confessions], by Darcy Ribeiro, are, as the title suggests, more introspective and reflective. One further indication of the dynamism of Brazilian life writing at the close of the 20th century has been the appearance of a number of critical studies of such work, which had received scant attention from literary scholars hitherto, and which are listed below. Mark Dinneen Further Reading Agosín, Marjorie (editor), Passion, Memory and Identity: TwentiethCentury Latin American Jewish Women Writers, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999 Aguiar, Joaquim Alves de, Espaços da memória: um estudo sobre Pedro Nava, São Paulo: EDUSP, 1998 Almeida Conrado, Regina Fátima de, O mandacaru e a flor: a autobiografía Infáncia e os modos de ser Graciliano, São Paulo: Arte e Ciência, 1997 Bastos, Hermengildo, Memórias do cárcere: literatura e testemunho, Brasília: Universidade de Brasília, 1998 (on Graciliano Ramos’s prison memoirs). Borim, Dario, “Borders and Selves: Contemporary Autobiography of Brazil and the Americas” (dissertation), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1997 Bosi, Alfredo, História concisa da literatura brasileira, São Paulo: Editora Cultrix, 1985 (first edition 1970) Bosi, Ecléa, Memória e sociedade: lembrancas de velhos, São Paulo: EDUSP, 1987 Chalhoub, Sidney and Leonardo Affonso de Miranda Pereira (editors), A História contada: capítulos de história social da literatura no Brasil, Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1998 Coutinho, Afrânio and José Galante de Sousa (editors), Enciclopédia de literatura brasileira, 2 vols, Rio de Janeiro: Ministério de Educação, 1990 Foster, David William and Robert Reis (editors), A Dictionary of Contemporary Brazilian Authors, Tempe: Centre for Latin American Studies, Arizona State University, 1981 Hunsaker, Steven V., Autobiography and National Identity in the Americas, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999 Levine, Robert M., ‘The Cautionary Tale of Carolina Maria de Jesus’, Latin American Research Review, 29 / 1 (1994): 5–83

Levine, Robert M. and J.C. Sebe Bom Meihy, The Life and Death of Carolina Maria de Jesus, Albuquerque: New Mexico University Press, 1995 Patai, Daphne (editor), Brazilian Women Speak: Contemporary Life Stories, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1993 Riedel, Dirce Côrtes (editor), Narrativa, ficção e história, Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1988 Stern, Irwin (editor), Dictionary of Brazilian Literature, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1988 Vieira, Nelson, “A Brazilian Biographical Bibliography”, Bibliography, (Fall 1982): 357–64

Brentano von-Arnim, Bettina see Arnim, Bettina Brentano-von

Breytenbach, Breyten

1939–

South African poet, artist, and autobiographer In his first volume of poetry (Die ysterkoei moet sweet, 1964 [The Iron Cow Must Sweat]) Breyten Breytenbach introduces himself in the dedication as “the thin man with the green sweater” who “supports and hammers his elongated head to produce a poem for you”. In another poem he talks about his parents, and in yet another he informs the reader when, where, and how he was born. But he also becomes a central metaphor of his poetry: the poet, but also the poem. In his recent selection of love poems, Lady One: 99 liefdesgedigte (2000; Lady One: 99 Love Poems), his beloved Vietnamese-born wife Hoang Lien is the subject of most of the poetry: “lady lady only lady / you with all the many names / did I call your name from my sleep?” Breytenbach has gained fame as one of South Africa’s leading poets not only because of his extraordinary and personal love poetry, which shows the influence of both Zen Buddhism and Indian Tantrism. He has also made his mark as a prominent Afrikaner writer who took an early and uncompromising stance against apartheid. In addition to his essays on the art of writing, all Breytenbach’s writing has definite autobiographical leanings. On his visit to South Africa with his wife in 1973, after an exile of 13 years, Breytenbach began a travel journal that offered bitter comment on the apartheid politics of his people, ‘N Seisoen in die paradys (1976; A Season in Paradise). In 1975 he secretly returned to his homeland on a political mission, and was arrested and jailed for seven years on a charge of “terrorism”. Writing in prison, he produced Mouroir (1983), subtitled the “mirrornotes of a novel”. This was published after his release. Although not directly about himself, its highly metaphorical approach reflects the prisoner’s strategy of coding as well as his reflection on abnormal states of existence. The dedication to “my old prison comrade and my master: Don Espejuelo” (Don Espejuelo is Spanish for “Mister Little Mirror”, a fictive character emphasizing the autobiographical: the writer writing himself ) is indicative of its autobiographical status, as is the first-page illustration by the author of himself looking into a mirror. His decision to become physically involved in the liberation of his country, some of the experiences in prison, and the nature of punishment in a South African prison are recorded in

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what is widely regarded as his principle work of life writing, The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist (1983). In a volume of essays, working notes, letters, poems, and diary writing De andere kant van de vrijheid (1985; End Papers) Breytenbach continued to reflect personally on the political situation in South Africa, the meaning of cultural liberation in a postcolonial Africa, and the problems of exile. Although the main character in the “novelistic” first part of Memory of Snow and of Dust (1989) is not a first-person narrator, events from Breytenbach’s life are obvious here. A poem in the text suggests as much: “I am the history of myself”. He and Yolande (Hoang Lien) visited South Africa in the early 1990s, and although he has declared that the book produced after that visit – Return to Paradise (1993) – “could well be a tissue of fiction”, the motto, from the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, again concerns a mirror (“in what mirror did I lose my face”). In The Memory of Birds in Times of Revolution (1996) he again describes travels to South Africa as a springboard for remembering his imprisonment, and for offering his views on his country and Africa. His increasingly nomadic perspective underpins Dog Heart (1998), a travel memoir describing his return to the district of his birth in the Little Karoo, in which South Africa itself becomes “Nomansland”. In Woordwerk [1999; Word Work] he is again the writer and t