representation she or he creates. In the
opening quotation from the preface above, Ro:Ba: stresses
‘care’ and ‘fidelitie’ in life-writing, but
he seems uneasy with this obligation. Although keen to emphasise the
value of the labour of life-writing (p. 10), he is equally keen to
confess his unoriginality as a writer, claiming that: ‘the
most part of this booke is none of my owne; I onely
of ennui.21 In 1919 this became the source of a neurasthenic condition known
as ‘barbed-wire disease’ and, as a result, it has often encouraged a mode of
life-writing that tries to circumvent such afflictions.22 As S.A. Kinnier Wilson
has noted, much of the writing about life behind the wire tends to prioritise ‘the
amusing trifles of camp life and their power to detract materially from the searing and depressing monotony of camp existence’.23 The example of internment
in Northern Ireland differs little in this respect. ‘Prison is meant to depress
: Syrens, 1994).
24 Hélène Cixous and Mireille Calle-Gruber, Rootprints: Memory and LifeWriting , trans. Eric Prenowitz (London: Routledge, 1997), 18.
25 Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing , 124–5.
26 Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing , 81.
27 Cixous, ‘Writing Blind’, 144.
28 Gilles Deleuze, ‘Hélène Cixous or Stroboscopic Writing’, trans. Martin McQuillan, in Reading Cixous Writing , ed. Martin McQuillan, special issue of Oxford Literary Review , 24 (2002), 204.
29 Jacques Derrida, H.C. for
the nuns’ own writings reveal, in beautiful and nuanced detail.
1 Katrien Daemen-de Gelder (ed.), LifeWriting II, vol. 4, in Caroline
Bowden (ed.), English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013), pp. xiv-xv.
2 I would like to thank Sister Benedict, at St Mary’s Abbey, Colwich, for
her insights on this subject.
3 James Kelly (ed.), Convent Management, vol. 5, in Caroline Bowden
(ed.), English Convents in Exile, 1600–1800 (London: Pickering and
Chatto, 2013), pp. 411–21.
4 James Kelly, ‘Essex girls abroad: family patronage
, who ended fiftyone Muslim lives as though he was playing a first-person
shooter. It is written for the people who I think of first when
violence is unleased against Muslims: my nieces and my
nephews. It is a howl against the inheritance bestowed upon
them and from which we, those who have come before,
cannot seem to protect them. But more importantly it is a
manifesto of resistance for how to live in and challenge a
world which despises, domesticates, incarcerates, and kills
QURESHI PRINT.indd 161
Resisting the personal
Muslim life. ‘Writing
peu comme un ermite, et ne s’est pas tellement
occupé de la diffusion de son œuvre. Il avait le souci de ses lecteurs qu’il adorait
rencontrer lors de salons du livre. Mais nous avons un peu l’impression d’être face à
un trésor caché à faire découvrir au plus grand nombre. (Hoffner 2017)
(My father spent his lifewriting, a bit like a hermit, and he didn’t really take much
interest in disseminating his work. He was interested in his readers who he loved
Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
meeting at book fairs. But we have
affiliation. By blurring
distinctions between historical narrative, lifewriting, and literary convention, these
fictional texts adopt representational strategies similar to those of what might be
termed ‘foundational’ texts (e.g., Emilio Lussu’s La catena, Francesco Fausto Nitti’s
Le nostre prigioni e la nostra evasione, Carlo Rosselli’s Fuga in quattro tempi), which
established thematic parameters of confinement narratives. Internal exile was not
a homogenous experience, so some writings (e.g., Giovanni Ansaldo’s L’antifascista
riluttante, Camilla Ravera’s Vita in carcere
the feminist politics of realism, to the confessional life-writing
of the 1960s or the super-realism of the 1970s. However, it seems
that these typical negativities of gothic contextualising suggest
the potential for another ‘habit change’ that I hope to
show in the transition to neo-gothic writing. In terms of
‘experience’, Alice Munro’s texts maybe show most
not expect any regular correspondence in return: ‘it would be
very foolish, not to say sinful, for me to be sent all the way to
India, to spend my lifewriting to my friends at home’. 48
In the flow of information, therefore, John Roberts
played a crucial role, and the correspondence was intimate and
everyday, as well as part of an official genre. 49 As a personal friend, he
Anarchism, militarism and the lessons of the First World War
Matthew S. Adams
Autobiographical memories are constructed […] This does not mean
that they are either accurate or inaccurate, but they are not encoded,
stored, and retrieved as wholes but rather are created at retrieval
using components like […] narrative, imagery, emotion.43
That there is a tendency for ‘the inevitable infiltrations of the
fictionalizing process’ in life-writing similarly demonstrates the
value of thinking about Read’s acts of remembrance contextually.44
Rather than his war experiences bequeathing a defined political
position, both his understanding of these experiences and