Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative

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9780801447242: Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative

Autobiography is naturally regarded as an art of retrospect, but making autobiography is equally part of the fabric of our ongoing experience. We tell the stories of our lives piecemeal, and these stories are not merely about our selves but also an integral part of them. In this way we "live autobiographically"; we have narrative identities. In this book, noted life-writing scholar Paul John Eakin explores the intimate, dynamic connection between our selves and our stories, between narrative and identity in everyday life.

Eakin draws on a wide range of autobiographical writings, from work by Jonathan Franzen, Mary Karr, and André Aciman to the New York Times series "Portraits of Grief" memorializing the victims of 9/11, as well as the latest insights into identity formation from the fields of developmental psychology, cultural anthropology, and neurobiology. In his account, the self-fashioning in which we routinely, even automatically, engage is largely conditioned by social norms and biological necessities. We are taught by others how to say who we are, while at the same time our sense of self is shaped decisively by our lives in and as bodies. For Eakin, autobiography is always an act of self-determination, no matter what the circumstances, and he stresses its adaptive value as an art that helps to anchor our shifting selves in time.

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From the Back Cover:

"Living Autobiographically is a wide-ranging and compelling meditation on the grounds for believing that various registers of narrative are essential to our sense of who we are. As ever, Paul John Eakin is leading reflection on life writing into new places."--David Parker, Chinese University of Hong Kong, author of The Self in Moral Space: Life Narrative and the Good

"In this fascinating, lucid, and deeply humanistic extension of his earlier work on autobiography, Paul John Eakin illuminates the acts by which we become players in a dynamic narrative identity system that is fundamental to our sense of self. Eakin energetically pursues the broadest questions, deftly incorporating insights from neurobiology and anthropology to help us see the ways that autobiography is an integral, adaptive part of our experience as we live it, and of our creation of a future."--Jeffrey Wallen, Hampshire College, author of Closed Encounters: Literary Politics and Public Culture

About the Author:

Paul John Eakin is Ruth N. Halls Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University. He is the author of How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves, also from Cornell; The New England Girl: Cultural Ideals in Hawthorne, Stowe, Howells, and James; Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of Self-Invention; and Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography. He is the editor of The Ethics of Life Writing, also from Cornell; On Autobiography by Philippe Lejeune; and American Autobiography: Retrospect and Prospect.

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Eakin, Paul John
Editorial: Cornell University Press (2008)
ISBN 10: 0801447240 ISBN 13: 9780801447242
Usado Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Descripción Cornell University Press, 2008. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Used: Very Good. dust jacket is missing *** please read this *** no marks - 2-a-10. Nº de ref. de la librería 22098

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Paul John Eakin
Editorial: Cornell Univ Pr (2008)
ISBN 10: 0801447240 ISBN 13: 9780801447242
Usado Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Descripción Cornell Univ Pr, 2008. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Used: Good. Nº de ref. de la librería SONG0801447240

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