Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Coming to Terms: Life Writing – from Genre to Critical Practice

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

This chapter follows a progressive three-part presentation and exploration of the term Life Writing alongside a suggestion that it represents both genre and a critical practice. Life Writing may be viewed strictly as a limited and limiting genre, as it was in the eighteenth century. Leonore Hoffman makes the point that women's personal narratives have been wrongly labelled 'nontraditional' literature, because they are only nontraditional 'in the sense of their exclusion from the literary canon'. Even though Life Writing claims to represent women, 'feminist' conclusions are not always the appropriate conclusions in consideration of women's Life Writing. At the most extreme end of the spectrum, Life Writing is a way of looking at more or less autobiographical literature as long as one understands that 'autobiographical' is a loaded word, the 'real' accuracy of which cannot be proved and does not equate with either 'objective' or 'subjective' truth.

Keywords: autobiographical literature; feminist literary critics; Leonore Hoffman; Life Writing; women's personal narratives



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Theoretical Discussions of Biography — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation