Inscribed Identities : Life Writing as Self-Realization book cover
1st Edition

Inscribed Identities
Life Writing as Self-Realization

Edited By

Joan Ramon Resina

ISBN 9780367662691
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
242 Pages

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Book Description

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


Joan Ramon Resina

Jean Améry: Between Critical Reason and Despair

Enzo Traverso

The Novel as Life Writing: Fiction and Testimony in Jorge Semprún and Imre Kertész

Antonio Monegal

Life – Death – Writing: Robert Walser’s Snow Images

Martin Roussel

Assumed Identity: Writing and Reading Testimony through and as Anne Frank

Laurie McNeill

Autobiographical Inscription and the Identity Assemblage

Sidonie Smith

Lines of Flight: Self-Writing and the Assembled Body in Kirmen Uribe’s Bilbao-New York-Bilbao

William Viestenz

How to Stay Alive in Your Own Story – Ulysses in Dante and Homer

Jan Söffner

Life in the Dream: Freud’s Self-Display through Screen Cultural Memories

Joan Ramon Resina

Writing Oneself as Another – Writing Another as Oneself: Julia Kristeva and Teresa of Ávila

Jenny Haase

Painting Faces: A Swedish Portraitist and his Native American Subjects in 18th-century North America

Linda Haverty Rugg

The Afterlife of a Disaster: Everest 1996 Memoirs as Gendered Testimony

Julie Rak

Self-Writings and Egodocuments: Personal memoirs in Catalonia (16th-19th centuries)

Oscar Jané

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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.