Favourite Quotes 8


The “rightness” of any autobiographical version is relative to the intentions and conventions that govern its construction or its interpretation.  But that is a statement that obviously needs further explanation.  By the “intentions and conventions” of an autobiography I mean something roughly corresponding to a genre in fiction because it is authorial intentions embodied in a conventional form and style that constitute a genre.  In autobiography these provide more or less canonical ways of organizing the account of a life.  The conventional form and style that constitute a genre.  The conventional autobiographical genres, of course, reflect idealized cultural patterns.  Many are familiar: the selfless seeker after the public interest, the sacrificing family man, the Bildungsroman with its assurance of learning from experience, the ironic and detached observer of the absurdities of the contemporary human condition (in any age), the guardian mother shielding the young, the seeker after spontaneous self-expression, the forgiving victim of society’s outrages, the apologia of the misunderstood public man, and so on. Each contains a conception of human agency, a view of the vicissitudes that beset it, an account of the protagonist’s location in a “virtual” culture, and a theory or a story of how the narrator’s protagonist managed to get there and then to here and [-p41] now. [1]

[1] Pp40-41 – Pp38 -56 Jerome Bruner  The Autobiographical Process  – in Culture of autobiography??


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s