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p. 1108. Autobiographies, autobiographical novels, and autofictionslocked

  • Laura Marcus


Few of the great modernist writers produced explicit or fully fledged autobiographies, but the expansion of the ‘life-writing’ category has made visible the prevalence of autobiographical novels, including works by Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Dorothy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf. ‘Autobiographies, autobiographical novels, and autofictions’ explains that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries there was an increasingly ‘aesthetic’ approach to autobiography. New genres arose that blended life-writing and fiction, such as the personal essay, the ‘imaginary portrait’, and novels which incorporated authentic letters and journal entries. Since the 1980s, it is argued, the novel has been eclipsed by autobiographical narrative, reversing the earlier sense that autobiographical writing was of secondary importance.

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