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Authors on authors

In selected biographical-novels-about-writers

Authors on authors
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Among many types of life-writing genres that recently have not only become central to contemporary academic discourse, but also attracted wide readership, the biographical novel deserves special attention. Authors on Authors examines biographical-novel-about-a-writer – a sub-genre of biographical novel which takes a real writer and his/her life story as the subject matter for imaginative exploration. The study identifies all the major examples of the genre written in English between 1990 and 2010, while discussing a variety of approaches and methods used by contemporary authors in rewriting the lives of other authors. An original taxonomy of the genre based on Gerard Genette’s Palimpsests is introduced in this work, following a claim that life and, consequently, life-writing are derivational practices and as such are inherently intertextual and ontologically palimpsestuous. Seen as the most representative and accomplished achievements of the genre, four specific attempts at a biographical-novel-about-a-writer (Author, Author by David Lodge, The Master by Colm Tóibín, The Hours by Michael Cunningham and The Master of Petersburg by J.M. Coetzee) are singled out for an in-depth analysis in this multi-dimensional study which works dialectically across the borders of history, biography, literary criticism, philosophy and textual analysis. Robert Kusek is a lecturer in the Institute of English Philology at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, as well as culture manager, editor and translator. He graduated with honours from the Institute of English Philology and the Institute of Journalism and Social Communication at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. In 2011 he completed his doctoral thesis on biographical-novel-about-a-writer. His research interests include life-writing, poetics of memory and loss, the Holocaust and its representation in culture, postcolonialism and media. He is also active in intercultural dialogue and holds the position of the Polish Coordinator of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures at the International Cultural Centre in Krakow
Jagiellonian University Press; November 2012
169 pages; ISBN 9788323387343
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