Originally published in 1960. Is there an art of autobiography? What are its origins and how has it come to acquire the form we know today? For what does the autobiographer seek, and why should it be so popular? This study suggests some of the answers to these questions. It takes the view that autobiography is one of the dominant and characteristic forms of literary self-expression and deserves examination for its own sake. This book outlines a definition of the form and traces its historical origins and development, analyses its ‘truth’ and talks about what sort of self-knowledge it investigates.
Preface 1. What is an Autobiography? 2. The Earlier History of Autobiography 3. The Classical Age of Autobiography 4. The Classical Achievement and Modern Developments 5. The Elusiveness of Truth 6. The Autobiography of Childhood 7. The Acquisition of an Outlook 8. The Story of a Calling 9. The Autobiography of the Poet 10. "Man in all the Truth of Nature" 11. The Autobiographical Novel 12. The Structure of Truth in Autobiography
Reissuing works originally published between 1960 and 1995, this varied set offers an outstanding collection of scholarship. It includes topics that touch on psychology, feminist criticism, philosophy and litrerary history as well as examinations of autobiography as genre.