Inscribed Identities: Life Writing as Self-Realization, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Inscribed Identities

Life Writing as Self-Realization, 1st Edition

Edited by Joan Ramon Resina


232 pages

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Hardback: 9780367077082
pub: 2019-01-17
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Autobiography is a long-established literary modality of self-exposure with commanding works such as Augustine’s Confessions, Rousseau’s book of the same title, and Salvador Dalí’s paradoxical reformulation of that title in his Unspeakable Confessions. Like all genres with a distinguished career, autobiography has elicited a fair amount of critical and theoretical reflection. Classic works by Käte Hamburger and Philippe Lejeune in the 1960s and 70s articulated distinctions and similarities between fiction and the genre of personal declaration. Especially since Foucault’s seminal essay on "Self Writing," self-production through writing has become more versatile, gaining a broader range of expression, diversifying its social function, and colonizing new media of representation. For this reason, it seems appropriate to speak of life-writing as a concept that includes but is not limited to classic autobiography. Awareness of language’s performativity permits us to read life-writing texts not as a record but as the space where the self is realized, or in some instances de-realized. Such texts can build identity, but they can also contest ascribed identity by producing alternative or disjointed scenarios of identification. And they not only relate to the present, but may also act upon the past by virtue of their retrospective effects in the confluence of narrator and witness.

Table of Contents


About the Editor

Joan Ramon Resina teaches in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, where he directs the Iberian Studies Program at the Europe Center. Visiting appointments in Berlin, Mexico D.F., Valencia, and New York. Awards include the Donald Andrews Whittier Fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Fulbright fellowship, the Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship, a Wien International Scholarship, a DAAD grant, fellowships at the Simon Dubnow Institute in Leipzig and at the Internationales Kolleg Morphomata in Cologne, the Serra d’Or prize for literary criticism, the Omnium Cultural award (Ex Aequo with the European TV channel Arte), and the Literary Criticism Award of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes. He has published extensively in professional journals and collective volumes. Between 1998 and 2004 he was general editor of Diacritics. Select books include: The Ghost in the Constitution: Historical Memory and Denial in Spanish Society (Liverpool UP, 2017), Josep Pla: The World Seen in the Form of Articles (Toronto UP, 2017), Barcelona’s Vocation of Modernity: Rise and Decline of an Urban Image (Stanford UP, 2008), Del Hispanismo a los Estudios Ibéricos. Una propuesta federativa para el ámbito cultural (2009), El postnacionalisme en el mapa global (Angle Editorial, 2005), El cadáver en la cocina: La novela policiaca en la cultura del desencanto (Anthropos, 1997), Los usos del clásico (Anthropos, 1991), Un sueño de piedra: Ensayos sobre la literatura del modernismo europeo (Anthropos, 1990). He is the editor of ten other essay collections.

About the Series

Routledge Auto/Biography Studies

The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies book series publishes outstanding new work from preeminent scholars and emerging voices in autobiography, biography, life writing, life narrative, and identity studies. This series is an interdisciplinary project that maintains interest in all forms of auto/biographical narrative analysis related to understanding varied constructions of the self. While centered in literary studies and the larger field of the humanities, books in this series engage with scholars and theories from such disciplines as anthropology, biology, linguistics, pedagogy, psychology, and sociology, among others. The emphasis on exploring the innovative authors, genres, and methodologies of auto/biographical narratives appeals to scholars, students, and practitioners alike. Emerging from Routledge’s longstanding commitment to auto/biography studies, this series makes a substantial contribution to the burgeoning global study of lives and life stories. 

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