The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 7: Postwar to Contemporary, 1945-2020 (Hardcover)

The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 7: Postwar to Contemporary, 1945-2020 By Patrick Hayes Cover Image

The Oxford History of Life-Writing: Volume 7: Postwar to Contemporary, 1945-2020 (Hardcover)


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With the growing urgency of questions about how to claim identity and achieve authenticity, life-writing started to acquire an unprecedented cultural importance. A range of social and economic developments, from the publishing boom in memoir writing to the rise of the internet, transformed the possibilities for self-expression. By the end of the timespan covered in this book life-writing was no longer something done mainly by important individuals who wrote their autobiography, or by sensitive souls who kept a diary. It became a truly ubiquitous phenomenon, part and parcel of the everyday formation of selfhood.

Considering a diverse range of texts from across the English-speaking world, this volume places life-writing in relation to wider debates about the sociology and philosophy of modern identity, and the changing marketplace of publishing and bookselling. Yet in doing so it seeks above all to credit the extraordinary literary inventiveness which the pursuit of self-knowledge inspired in this period. Major subjects addressed include: the aftermath of World War II, including responses to the Holocaust; the impact of psychoanalysis on biography; autofiction, autrebiography, and changing ideas about authentic self-knowledge; coming out memoirs and the transformation of sexual identity; feminist exemplary writing and lyric poetry; multilingualism and intercultural life-writing; the memoir boom and the decline of intimacy; testimony narrative and memory culture; posthumanism in theory and practice; literary biography as an alternative to literary theory; literary celebrity and its consequences for literature; social media and digital life-writing.

Patrick Hayes, Associate Professor of English, Fellow of St John's College, University of Oxford Patrick Hayes is a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, where he teaches literature from the Romantic period to the present day. He specializes in modern fiction, poetry, and life-writing. Previous work includes J.M. Coetzee and the Novel (2010), Philip Roth: Fiction and Power (2014), and an edited collection about the relationship between literature and philosophy, entitled Beyond the Ancient Quarrel (2018).
Product Details ISBN: 9780198737339
ISBN-10: 0198737335
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: April 6th, 2022
Pages: 480
Language: English
Series: Oxford History of Life-Writing