Literature, Language and Culture
Michèle Roberts, the novelist This first chapter will analyse the novel as a literary genre. The novel has been the preferred and more exploited written form chosen by women writers such as Michèle Roberts or Charlotte Brontë, for instance. The nineteenth century was a remarkable time for the beginning of the woman novelist. It is by means of initial readings that Roberts starts rewriting and reinterpreting her historical protagonists’ lives. At the Bath Literature Festival in 2005, Roberts stressed that ‘factorial information can become myth at the same time.’ Based on the argument of this quote, Roberts not only looks into real facts to create a fictional text but an autobiographical text can also take the shape of a novel as it will be demonstrated with Paper Houses. Fact and fiction are linked in Roberts’s work. Lucasta Miller has also suggested that biographical texts, inspired by Charlotte Brontë, have similar characteristics typical of a work of fiction: All life-writing (as Virginia Woolf called it) is a paradoxical process whereby the fragmentary business of lived experience is moulded into a formal literary structure and given an artificial sense of direction. Etymologically, even the word “biography” – life-writing – is an oxymoron. At some level, all bio- graphers borrow some of their narrative techniques from fictional storytelling. (Miller 64) Likewise, I will also deal with pastiche and l’écriture féminine as forms that shape Roberts’s style. The writer participates in different explorations when writing her works of fiction. Roberts highlights the...
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