By G. Thomas Couser

ISBN-10: 019505833X

ISBN-13: 9780195058338

This paintings explores the "authority" of autobiography in different comparable senses: first, the concept that autobiography is authoritative writing since it is possibly verifiable; moment, the concept that one's lifestyles is one's specific textual area; 3rd, the concept that, as a result of obvious congruence among the implicit ideology of the style and that of the country, autobiography has a different status in the US. conscious of the new opinions of the concept of autobiography as issuing from, decided through, or pertaining to a pre-existing self, Couser examines the ways that the authority of specific texts is named into question--for instance, simply because they contain pseudonymity (Mark Twain), the revision of a most likely spontaneous shape (Mary Chesnut's Civil struggle "diaries"), bilingual authorship (Richard Rodriguez and Maxine Hong Kingston), collaborative construction (Black Elk), or outright fraud (Clifford Irving's "autobiography" of Howard Hughes). Couser examines either the best way canonical autobiographers may possibly playfully and purposely undermine their very own narrative authority and how during which minority writers' regulate in their lives can be compromised. Autobiography, then, is portrayed right here as an area within which participants fight for self-possession and self-expression opposed to the restrictions of language, style, and society.

Show description

Read or Download Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography PDF

Best american literature books

Download PDF by Jack London: The Call of the Wild and White Fang

Overview

The name Of The Wild is the tale of dollar, a puppy stolen from his domestic and thrust into the cruel lifetime of the Arctic north to suffer trouble, sour chilly, and the savage lawlessness of guy and beast.

White Fang is the journey of an animal—part puppy, half wolf—turned vicious by means of merciless abuse, then remodeled via the endurance and affection of 1 man.

Jack London's great skill as a storyteller and his uncanny realizing of animal and human natures provide those stories a awesome power and chronic, and feature earned him a name as a distinct American writer.

Get The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn PDF

Of the entire contenders for the identify of the good American Novel, none has a greater declare than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. meant in the beginning as an easy tale of a boy's adventures within the Mississippi Valley ”a sequel to Tom Sawyer” the ebook grew and matured less than Twain's hand right into a paintings of immeasurable richness and complexity.

Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters by Anne Sexton PDF

A revealing choice of letters from Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Anne Sexton

whereas confessional poet Anne Sexton incorporated info of her existence and conflict with psychological disorder in her released paintings, her letters to relations, neighbors, and fellow poets offer a fair extra intimate glimpse into her inner most international. chosen from hundreds of thousands of letters and edited by way of Linda grey Sexton, the poet’s daughter, and Lois Ames, certainly one of her closest pals, this assortment exposes Sexton’s internal existence from her boarding tuition days via her years of becoming repute and eventually to the months prime as much as her suicide.
 
Correspondence with writers like W. D. Snodgrass, Robert Lowell, and will Swenson unearths Sexton’s becoming self belief in her id as a poet as she discusses her craft, courses, and instructing appointments. Her deepest letters chart her marriage to Alfred “Kayo” Sexton, from the giddy pleasure following their elopement to their eventual divorce; her grief over the demise of her mom and dad; her nice love for her daughters balanced along with her frustration with the unending projects of being a housewife; and her power fight with melancholy.

Going past the angst and neuroses of her poetry, those letters painting the entire complexities of the lady in the back of the artwork: passionate, anguished, bold, and craving for connection.

Get Hartford Puritanism : Thomas Hooker, Samuel Stone, and their PDF

"Hartford Puritanism argues for a brand new paradigm on New England Puritianism. Hartford's founding ministers, Baird Tipson indicates, either absolutely embraced--and even harshened--Calvin's double predestination. Tipson explores the contributions of the lesser-known William Perkins, Alexander Richardson, and John Rogers to Thomas Hooker's suggestion and perform: the paintings and content material of his preaching, in addition to his decision to outline and impose a particular proposal of conversion on his hearers.

Extra resources for Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography

Example text

By means of the Constitution of 1787. . did it by an additional fiction. "12 Morgan argues that all government depends on fictions, the willing suspension of disbelief in ruling ideas or myths—whether the idea of popular sovereignty or that of the divine right of kings. In America, the idea of representation is the crucial conceit that sustains the larger fiction of popular sovereignty. In any case, this critical pronomial gesture erases potentially problematic differences between speaker and audience, or between past, present, and future Americans—between "the people" and their government.

Not only my meaning, indeed, but me: since language is something I am made out of, rather than a convenient tool I use, the whole idea that I am a stable, unified entity must also be a fiction. Not only can I never be present to you, but I can never be fully present to myself either. I still need to use signs when I look into my mind or search my soul, and this means that I will never experience any "full communion" with myself. It is not that I can have a pure, unblemished meaning, intention, or experience which then gets distorted and refracted by the flawed medium of language: because language is the very air I breathe, I can never have a pure, unblemished meaning or experience at all (129-30).

In any case, this critical pronomial gesture erases potentially problematic differences between speaker and audience, or between past, present, and future Americans—between "the people" and their government. ) Of course, a similar illusion is crucial to autobiography, in which the integral first-person pronoun gives the impression of "representing" a whole, coherent, pre-existent self and minimizes differences between the author and subject—or within either. ) In both cases, the first-person shifters are, at best, makeshift—at worst, they are shifty.

Download PDF sample

Altered Egos: Authority in American Autobiography by G. Thomas Couser


by Charles
4.5

Rated 4.79 of 5 – based on 48 votes