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Life Writing from the Colorful Margins

Life Writing from the Colorful Margins

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter 1 Life Writing from the Colorful Margins
Source:
Autobiographical Comics
Author(s):
Elisabeth El Refaie
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617036132.003.0002

This chapter shows that there has been a shift in the perceptions of who may legitimately be regarded as an “autobiographer” and of what forms autobiographical writing can and should take. Recent definitions of the genre have expanded to include a broad range of narrative forms that document the lives of men and women from all kinds of colorful and often marginalized backgrounds. Many commentators conclude it is impossible to draw strict boundaries between factual and fictional accounts of someone’s life, since memory is always incomplete and the act of telling one’s life story necessarily involves selection and artful construction. This realization is reflected in the terms now commonly used to refer to the genre, with many scholars preferring to talk about life writing, autofiction, or periautography, which translates as “writing about or around the self.”

Keywords:   autobiographer, artful construction, life writing, autofiction, periautography

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