New PDF release: Narrative and Identity: Studies in Autobiography, Self and

By Jens Brockmeier, Donal A. Carbaugh

ISBN-10: 1588110567

ISBN-13: 9781588110565

ISBN-10: 9027226415

ISBN-13: 9789027226419

ISBN-10: 902729805X

ISBN-13: 9789027298058

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Extra info for Narrative and Identity: Studies in Autobiography, Self and Culture (Studies in Narative, Volume 1)

Sample text

But the negotiations in question, it soon appeared, were not, as it were, ex nihilo. Rather, they were patterned into something that I can only call genres — fairly easily recognizable literary genres. There must, then, be some deep sense in which Henry James was right when he said that adventures happen to people who know how to tell about them. If he is correct, he must be profoundly so. To what degree is one impelled, once one launches on a genre account of oneself, to stay with it forevermore?

When I was born, they called the obstetrician. The obstetrician, finding that I was having difficulty breathing, raised me by my heels, slapped me on the back, and broke two ribs. You see, I had osteoporosis. ” He never returned to that episode again or even repeated those terms. Yet, each of the turning points in his life (I shall return to turning points later) contained a variant of that same metaphoric theme: harm coming to him by dint of another’s good intentions. And so we began asking what role a genre or a metaphoric theme serves in a life account.

They boast that there is nothing they cannot discuss around the Sunday dinner table when they come together. And that is the tribunal where they try out their changing versions of their selfimage and their autobiographies. Right now, for example, Mr. Goodhertz is thinking about retiring. He likes his work, and it gives him a needed sense of autonomy and self-reliance. Besides, he feels that he lacks intimacy in his life. It is interesting to see him shaping a new turning point in his life, from which the past will look different.

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Narrative and Identity: Studies in Autobiography, Self and Culture (Studies in Narative, Volume 1) by Jens Brockmeier, Donal A. Carbaugh


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