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Describing the self through the photographic medium: the autobiographic fictions of John M. Coetzee, Roland Barthes and Edward Said

Sandra Lila Maya Rota

Abstract


The present study investigates the different approaches to autobiography of three writers – John M. Coetzee, Edward Said and Roland Barthes – who are divided by background and historical circumstances but share the terrain of postcolonial and postmodern theory. In particular, the focus is on the use they make of photographs – real or evoked – that accompany their personal accounts. Using photography as a counterpoint and a parallel to autobiography, they all try and come to terms with issues of subjectivity, representation and authenticity. As a result, their life-long convictions will be challenged by the power of memory, leaving way to a renewed sense of self.

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References


Anzaldúa, G.E. (1987), Borderlands/La Frontera – The New Mestiza, San Francisco, Aunt Lute Books.

Barthes, R.. (1975), Roland Barthes par Roland Barthes, Paris, Seuil, trans. Richard Howard as Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1994.

Barthes, R. (1977), Camera Lucida: reflections on photography, London, Cape.

Coetzee, J.M. (1998), Boyhood: scenes from provincial life, London, Vintage.

De Man, P. (1979), “Autobiography as De-facement”, MLN, XCIV, 5: 919-30.

Lejeune, P. (1975), Le Pacte Autobiographique, Paris, Seuil.

Rushdie, S. (1991), Imaginary Homelands, London, Granta.

Said, E. (1983), The World, the Text, and the Critic, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.

Said, E. (1999), Out of Place: a memoir, London, Granta.





Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952


Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo


Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca - Chiara Elefante - Richard Hillman - Stephen Knight - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche
Editorial Staff: 
Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi


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