Revealing Lives: Autobiography, Biography, and Gender
In this book gender is the lens through which autobiography and biography are scrutinized. The authors show what is revealed when they magnify the gendered aspects of both men's and women's writing. The eternal questions of identity, choice, responsibility, happiness, tragedy, and even death are interpreted in terms of gender analysis.
The book presents a sequence of studies from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century that includes individuals such as American poet Anne Sexton and German writers Christa Wolf and Paul Celan, and groups such as nineteenth-century Mexican women and members of the British working class. It extends the paradigm of "self-reflexive" literature to include and highlight the overlap between autobiography and biography, especially in the case of women who often wrote their lives obliquely through the biographies of their famous male relatives, e. g., Ad le Hugo and Anne Thackeray Ritchie.
The authors refuse to accept a monolithic conception of gender. The studies of Charles and Mary Lamb, Nadezhda Durova, and John Stuart Mill demonstrate that even in the nineteenth century, a binary gender system is inadequate as a mode of approach to actual life stories.
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Adele's Anne Sexton Anne Thackeray Anne Thackeray Ritchie autobiography Bancroft Bettina von Arnim biography California Cavalry Maiden Chapter Charles Charlotte Salomon Charlotte's child childhood Christa Wolf Clara Foltz Clara Shortridge Foltz Co-Operativists creative critics cultural daughter domestic Durova early edition English essay example experience father female feminine feminist fiction gender German Giinderode grandmother Gunderode Harriet husband Ibid identity John John Felstiner Lamb language letters literary lives Lorenzana Lorine Niedecker Louis Zukofsky male Marilyn Yalom marriage Mary Mary Shelley Mary's masculine memoirs memory middle-class Mill Mill's mother narrative narrator Nazi never Niedecker's nineteenth-century patriarchal Paul Celan poems poet political postmodern published reader reading relationship reveals Ritchie Ritchie's role romantic sense social story suicide Thackeray's tion tive translation University Press Victor Hugo Victorian voice wife woman women Women's Autobiography words working-class writing wrote York young Zukofsky