Some aspects of the nature and content of autobiography, with particular reference to the 20th Century autobiography of childhood

Huish, Mabel Rose (1987) Some aspects of the nature and content of autobiography, with particular reference to the 20th Century autobiography of childhood. Masters thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic. [Thesis]

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Discussion of some critics' definitions and views of
autobiography is followed by examination of the nature of its
truth and selectivity. Attention is given to the roles of memory,
motivation and intention and the part played by the unconscious. Part I concludes with some critical and authorial suggestions for sub-dividing the very large genre of autobiography to facilitate study, noting the difficulties this presents. There is also discussion of the ways in which the autobiographer's choice of form and style can enhance or limit self-revelation.

The special features of the autobiography of childhood as a
sub-division of the genre are discussed, with further examination of the complexities of memory, motivation and intention in relation to the difficulties of interpreting and presenting the child protagonist. The significance and presentation of memories and researched material at all stages of childhood is examined in conjunction with the psychological needs of the autobiographer and the formal
requirements of literature. The universal nature of the areas of
childhood commonly recalled is noted, but the subjective individual use and presentation of the material is stressed.
The work is illustrated throughout by extracts from appropriate
texts. The autobiographical extracts are drawn from approximately forty-five texts by a variety of authors, some of established literary repute and others of a more popular nature. This indicates a departure from many other studies of autobiography, which tend to concentrate on material by renowned literary figures, and suggests an area for wider study of ths genre. Reference has also been made to a number of critical texts and relevant radio programmes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13459
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2015 16:30
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 03:34

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