Undergraduate English Courses

351:341 Autobiography

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In A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf speculated that “the impulse toward autobiography may be spent.” When we walk into a bookstore today we can see that Woolf was clearly wrong, but the question is, why this new genre now? Some comparison with the “rise of the novel” will serve as a jumping off point for an examination of first person writing by both men and women in a historical context. We will look at autobiographical writing not as an absolute dependent on a special relationship to “the truth” but rather as an element that is present in varying degrees in many writers, asking whether of not an absolute line can be drawn between writing that claims to be true and writing that claims to fictional.

Attendance is required.

One Autobiographical and two analytical papers.