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Palgrave Studies in Life Writing

Metabiography

Reflecting on Biography

Authors: Ní Dhúill, Caitríona

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  • Argues for a new approach to biography: not primarily as a source of knowledge about past lives, but as a resource for thinking through and beyond the very idea of life’s narratability 
    Covers a variety of texts from the eighteenth century to the present day
    Uncovers the prehistory of the burgeoning field of enquiry now known as metabiography  

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  • ISBN 978-3-030-34663-8
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About this book

This book explores the contradictions of biography. It charts shifting approaches to the writing and reading of biographies, from post-hagiographical attitudes of the Enlightenment, heroic biographies of Romanticism and irreverent modernist portraits through to contemporary experiments in politically committed and hybrid forms of life writing. The book shows how biographical texts in fact destabilise the models of historical visibility, cultural prominence and narrative coherence that the genre itself seems to uphold. Addressing the fraught relationships between genre and gender, private and public, image and text, life and narrative that play out in the modern biographical tradition, Metabiography suggests new possibilities for reading, writing and thinking about this enduringly popular genre. 

About the authors

Caitríona Ní Dhúill is professor in German at University College Cork and the author of Sex in Imagined Spaces: Gender and Utopia from More to Bloch (2010). She has worked at the universities of St Andrews, Vienna, and Durham, and at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography, Vienna.

Reviews

“Metabiography: Reflecting on Biography is an intelligent, carefully argued, and substantial contribution to biographical criticism and theory. The comparative range, the easy yet thorough familiarity with existing scholarship, and the remarkable degree to which Caitríona Ní Dhúill anticipates and answers objections or responses to her argument, combine to produce an exciting, thoughtful, suggestive, and valuable intervention into the production and study of biography.” (Craig Howes, Director, Center for Biographical Research, Univerity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Introducing Metabiography

    Pages 1-10

    Ní Dhúill, Caitríona

  • Approaching the Master: Gender, Genre, and Biographical Tradition

    Pages 11-41

    Ní Dhúill, Caitríona

  • Reading the Hero: Biography and Self-Transformation from Carlyle’s On Heroes to Bertram’s Nietzsche

    Pages 43-70

    Ní Dhúill, Caitríona

  • Rethinking the Protagonist: Subaltern Narrators and Biographical Fictions

    Pages 71-92

    Ní Dhúill, Caitríona

  • Digesting the Material: Narrative’s Efforts to Assimilate Life

    Pages 93-113

    Ní Dhúill, Caitríona

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-34663-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-34662-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Metabiography
Book Subtitle
Reflecting on Biography
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Life Writing
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-34663-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-34663-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-34662-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 235
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics

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