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Writing/reading a life : the rhetorical practice of autobiography

Halse, Christine 2006, Writing/reading a life : the rhetorical practice of autobiography, Auto/biography, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 95-115.

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Title Writing/reading a life : the rhetorical practice of autobiography
Author(s) Halse, Christine
Journal name Auto/biography
Volume number 14
Issue number 2
Start page 95
End page 115
Publisher Edward Arnold
Place of publication Manchester, England
Publication date 2006-06
ISSN 0967-5507
Summary This essay examines how the introduction/preface to a non-fiction text is constructed as autobiographical practice – a sort of ‘introduction-as-memoir’. The use and autobiographical effects of rhetorical tropes (stake inoculation, metaphor and binary oppositions) are examined in the introduction that prefaces Massacre myth (Moran, 1999), a polemic account of the 1926 police massacre of Aborigines that was the catalyst for Australia’s ‘History Wars’. Using the analytical methods of deconstruction, I tease out how language, structure and a (seemingly) objective account of historical virtues are recruited to the project of autobiography, and illuminate the role of language in the construction of the authorial subject (and Others), and show how these are entangled with broader social, political and epistemological issues. The analysis underlines the dialogic relationship between text, reader and society, and the instability of truth claims and the authorial subject of autobiography.
Language eng
Field of Research 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Sage Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30035161

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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