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Living autobiographically : how we create identity in narrative / Paul John Eakin

McCooey, David 2009, Living autobiographically : how we create identity in narrative / Paul John Eakin, Biography, vol. 32, no. 2, Spring, pp. 344-348.

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Title Living autobiographically : how we create identity in narrative / Paul John Eakin
Alternative title Book review : Living autobiographically : how we create identity in narrative
Author(s) McCooey, David
Journal name Biography
Volume number 32
Issue number 2
Season Spring
Start page 344
End page 348
Publisher University of Hawaii Press
Place of publication Honolulu, Hawaii
Publication date 2009
ISSN 0162-4962
1529-1456
Summary Preview of the article : Ever since the publication of Fictions in Autobiography in 1985, Paul John Eakin has been a major presence in the field of autobiography studies. As with his other monographs, Eakin’s latest work, Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative, brings together elegance and range, as well as clarity and conceptual complexity. Like his other works, too, Living Autobiographically covers a wide range of theoretical and autobiographical texts. While not indifferent to literary theory per se, Eakin (as has been apparent for some time) is profoundly stimulated by theory that goes beyond not only the literary but also the humanities. Most notable in this monograph is Eakin’s use of recent research in neurobiology. With regard to his choice of autobiographical texts for discussion, most are American, though Eakin does discuss the Australian writer David Malouf (a long-time favorite of Eakin’s), as well as the Norwegian autobiographical narratives analyzed in Marianne Gullestad’s Everyday Life Philosophers: Modernity, Morality, and Autobiography in Norway (1996). Eakin’s interest in Gullestad’s work, which is based on a project that elicited autobiographical narratives from “ordinary” individuals, shows that he is not solely concerned with so-called “literary” texts, something also seen in his discussion of the “Portraits of Grief ” series that appeared in the New York Times in the wake of 9/11.

Bringing together such disparate texts, auto/biographical procedures, and theoretical concerns is an ambitious enterprise. Most ambitious of all is that Living Autobiographically brings “culturalist” and biological frameworks together as a way of answering the question

Notes Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner
Language eng
Field of Research 200525 Literary Theory
Socio Economic Objective 950203 Languages and Literature
HERDC Research category D1 Major review
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30022663

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.