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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521090504, Paperback)In this unique collection of essays, ten distinguished critics and biographers consider what it means to narrate a life. Their illustrative texts are largely taken from nineteenth-century biography, autobiography, and the novel, but narrative is the broader genre that unites their various inquiries. The principal issues are framed by Margaret Atwood, J. Hillis Miller, and Phyllis Rose. Atwood compares and contrasts the biographer and the novelist as creators of narratives, emphasizing that the difference is in the "ground rules". Determining what these ground rules are is a recurring theme in these essays. Some of the subjects discussed are the boundaries of fact and fiction, the professed power of the narrator, and the figurative underpinnings of autobiography. Many of these pieces are delightful and provocative biographical and autobiographical excursions in themselves. Atwood describes her early fear of biography, Morton Cohen narrates an exciting bit of detective work he conducted into the life of Lewis Carroll, and John Rosenberg gives a vivid and frequently revisionary reading of many aspects of Darwin's life. Other critics--Carl Woodring, Richard Altick, Norman Kelvin, Margaret Stetz and Robert Kiely--consider related topics. The contributors, as well as the editors, have all been colleagues or students of the eminent critic and biographer, Jerome Hamilton Buckley, in whose honor these essays have been written.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:50 -0400)
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