Fiction and Autobiography

Modes and Models of Interaction

by Sabine Coelsch-Foisner (Volume editor) Wolfgang Görtschacher (Volume editor)
©2006 Conference proceedings XII, 330 Pages


Both the postmodern debate about the «death of the author» and cultural debates about constructing identities (national, socio-political, cultural, ethnic, sexual, etc.) have led to multiple attempts at redefining autobiography, traditionally predicated on concepts of identity and truth. By bringing together twenty-seven case studies of autobiographical texts from over four centuries and from a variety of cultural (mainly Anglophone) backgrounds, this book demonstrates how fruitful a critical focus on the interaction between autobiography and fiction proves for understanding the complex strategies by which subject positions are established and communicated. The texts examined include: De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater, Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes, Anaïs Nin’s diaries, General Sherman’s Memoirs, Abdelkébir Khatibi’s L’Amour bilingue, Nirad Chaudhuri’s Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, Helene Deutsch’s Confrontations with Myself, Sky Lee’s Disappearing Moon Cafe, Mary McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, Graham Swift’s The Light of Day, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, A.S. Byatt’s The Biographer’s Tale, Richard Wright’s Black Boy, and Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road.


XII, 330
ISBN (Softcover)
Kongress Autobiographische Literatur Fiktion Wahrheit Theory of Autobiography Anglophone Letter Construction of Identity Concept Salzburg (2004)
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2006. XII, 330 pp.

Biographical notes

Sabine Coelsch-Foisner (Volume editor) Wolfgang Görtschacher (Volume editor)

The Editors: Sabine Coelsch-Foisner is Professor of English Literature and Cultural Theory and coordinates the Interdisciplinary Research Centre Metamorphic Changes in the Arts at the University of Salzburg. She is the author of several books. Her main fields of research are cultural/critical theory, poetry, Romantic and Victorian culture and literature, the fantastic, literature and the arts. Wolfgang Görtschacher, born in Linz (Austria) in 1960, is Assistant Professor at the University of Salzburg teaching literary criticism and translation studies and the author of various books. He is the owner-director of the press Poetry Salzburg, and edits the magazine Poetry Salzburg Review. Current projects include a book on the impact of (Non-Shakespearean) Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama on later dramatists.


Title: Fiction and Autobiography