On Life-Writing

Hardcover | November 19, 2015

EditorZachary Leader

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Chapter 12 of this publication is open access, available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. "Life-writing" is a generic term meant to encompass a range of writings about lives or parts of lives, or which provide materials out of which lives or parts of lives are composed. These writings include not only memoir, autobiography, biography, diaries, autobiographical fiction, and biographicalfiction, but letters, writs, wills, written anecdotes, depositions, marginalia, lyric poems, scientific and historical writings, and digital forms (including blogs, tweets, Facebook entries). On Life-Writing offers a sampling of approaches to the study of life-writing, introducing readers tosomething of the range of forms the term encompasses, their changing fortunes and features, the notions of "life," "self" and "story" which help to explain these changing fortunes and features, recent attempts to group forms, the permeability of the boundaries between forms, the moral problemsraised by life-writing in all forms, but particularly in fictional forms, and the relations between life-writing and history, life-writing and psychoanalysis, life-writing and philosophy. The essays mostly focus on individual instances rather than fields, whether historical, theoretical or generic. Generalizations are grounded in particulars. For example, the role of the "life-changing encounter," a frequent trope in literary life-writing, is pondered by Hermione Lee through anaccount of a much-storied first meeting between the philosopher Isaiah Berlin and the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova; James Shapiro examines the history of the "cradle to grave" life-narrative, as well as the potential distortions it breeds, by focusing on Shakespeare biography, in particular attemptsto explain Shakespeare's so-called "lost years".

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Chapter 12 of this publication is open access, available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. "Life-writing" is a generic term meant to encompass a range of writings about lives or parts of lives, or which provide materials out of which l...

Zachary Leader grew up in California but has lived in Britain for over forty years. He was educated at Northwestern University, Trinity College, Cambridge, and Harvard. In addition to teaching at Roehampton, he has taught at Caltech and the University of Chicago. He is the author of Reading Blake's Songs, Writer's Block, Revision and R...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.99 inPublished:November 19, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198704062

ISBN - 13:9780198704065

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Table of Contents

Zachary Leader: Introduction1. James Shapiro: Unravelling Shakespeare's Life2. Michael Dobson: A Boy from Stratford: Shakespearean Biography And Romantic Nationalism3. William St. Clair: Romantic Biography: Conveying a Sense of Presence, Immediacy and Authenticity4. Alison Booth: Prosopography and Crowded Attention in Old and New Media5. Adam Foulds: Writing Real People6. Janis Bellow-Freedman: Rosamund and Ravelstein: The Discandying of a Creator's Confection7. Hermione Lee: 'From Memory': Literary Encounters and Life-Writing8. Karen A. Winstead: Medieval Life-Writing and the Strange Case of Margery Kempe Of Lynn (c.1373-c.1440)9. Alan Stewart: The Materiality of Early Modern Life-Writing: The Case of Richard Stonley10. Joyce E. Chaplin: The Autobiographies of Benjamin Franklin11. Blake Morrison: The Worst Thing I Ever Did: The Contemporary Confessional Memoir12. David Velleman: The Rights to a Life13. Patrick Hayes: Human 2.0? Life-Writing In the Digital Age14. Laura Marcus: Psychoanalysis and Autobiography15. Galen Strawson: The Unstoried Life