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Fictions in Autobiography : Studies in the Art of Self-Invention.

By: Eakin, Paul John.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Princeton Legacy Library: Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2014Copyright date: ©2014Description: 1 online resource (300 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781400854790.Subject(s): American prose literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism | Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography | Authors, French -- 20th century -- Biography | Autobiography | Fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism | Invention (Rhetoric) -- History -- 20th century | Sartre, Jean-Paul, -- 1905-1980Genre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Fictions in Autobiography : Studies in the Art of Self-InventionDDC classification: 818/.508/09 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Cover -- Contents.
Summary: Investigating autobiographical writing of Mary McCarthy, Henry James, Jean-Paul Sartre, Saul Friedlander, and Maxine Hong Kingston, this book argues that autobiographical truth is not a fixed but an evolving content in a process of self-creation. Further, Paul John Eakin contends, the self at the center of all autobiography is necessarily fictive. Professor Eakin shows that the autobiographical impulse is simply a special form of reflexive consciousness: from a developmental viewpoint, the autobiographical act is a mode of self-invention always practiced first in living and only eventually, and occasionally, in writing. Originally published in 1985. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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PS366.A88 -- E26 1985 (Browse shelf) http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uttyler/detail.action?docID=1701100 Available EBC1701100

Cover -- Contents.

Investigating autobiographical writing of Mary McCarthy, Henry James, Jean-Paul Sartre, Saul Friedlander, and Maxine Hong Kingston, this book argues that autobiographical truth is not a fixed but an evolving content in a process of self-creation. Further, Paul John Eakin contends, the self at the center of all autobiography is necessarily fictive. Professor Eakin shows that the autobiographical impulse is simply a special form of reflexive consciousness: from a developmental viewpoint, the autobiographical act is a mode of self-invention always practiced first in living and only eventually, and occasionally, in writing. Originally published in 1985. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Eakin conceives of autobiography as a performative act in which the self is created in language. In brilliant readings of Mary McCarthy, Henry James, and Sartre he explores the role of fiction in the process of self-invention, arguing that with autobiography fiction is not deception but a means of self-revelation that captures psychological truth. The study is somewhat disjointed, as the last two chapters veer away from the attention to fictionalizing that binds together the first three. But the entire text shimmers with fresh insight into the nature of autobiography. Eakin surfs the roiled waters of theoretical discourse with ease and grace. The performative act of his own study is nothing less than dazzling. Leland Krauth, English Dept., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Eakin's thesis-that the self in autobiography is a ``fiction,'' that is, a mode of self-invention grounded in culture, literature, and, most importantly, in language-is carefully and articulately elucidated through substantial discussions of the autobiographical writings of Henry James, Mary McCarthy, Jean-Paul Sartre, Saul Friedlander, and Maxine Hong Kingston. Eakin builds on the autobiographical criticism established by Georges Gusdorf and James Olney, and he draws from a wide variety of contemporary philosophers, linguists, and literary theorists to demonstrate the psychological and cultural factors that characterize ``the autobiographical act as both a re-enactment and an extension of earlier phases of identity formation.'' The idea that the creation of the autobiographical self is both ``discovery and invention of identity'' is cogently and elegantly argued, and Eakin's emphasis on textuality is a welcome addition to the rapidly expanding field of autobiographical criticism. For upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.-B. Braendlin, Florida State University

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