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Flaubert’s Parrot
Peter Childs

, chronology, criticism, dialogue, dictionary, essay, exam, guide, and manifesto. Flaubert’s Parrot is a novel at one remove: partly a novel about a novelist, partly a novel about a man obsessed with a novelist, and partly a novel about the business of novel-writing. It is also a strange kind of life-writing about the real Gustave Flaubert, a portrait of whose life becomes ever more complex as the identification of his parrot becomes more complicated, and the fictional Geoffrey Braithwaite, whose life-story slowly emerges in glimpses, but in a way that leaves the reader

in Julian Barnes
Charting the path from the ‘silent country’ to the séance
Amber Pouliot

commemoration prior to the publication of Gaskell’s Life. Writing commemorative poetry about dead authors, their final resting places and afterlives, was an established practice in nineteenth-​century literary culture. However, as Samantha Matthews observes, the reading public’s appetite for poetical remains (which included both the unpublished fragments of the poet’s corpus and the biographies and poems written to commemorate him or her) hinged on a sense of personal connection, ‘of participating, even in a diminished form, in a common emotional culture 103 104 Ghostly

in Charlotte Brontë
Contemporary texts, propaganda, and life writing
G. H. Bennett

The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the extent of women’s involvement in a theatre of the Second World War, the Battle of the Atlantic, which in the popular memory is an entirely masculine affair. It also aims to show the diversity of contemporary and life- writing texts produced for women, about women and by women in relation to their involvement in this

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
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Unconventionality and queerness in Katherine Everett’s life writing
Mo Moultonc

might be whispering to us about homosexuality. The second part of the chapter, by contrast, embarks on a queer critical history, arguing for the centrality, in Everett’s life-writing, of the strange-to-us category of unconventionality. While Everett is quiet on the subject of sexuality, she is clear about the importance of being unconventional, especially for women. Misfit women, Everett explains, saved her life, and rejecting conventions of gender, especially in regard to work, made her life rich and fulfilling. Ina Jephson is the female mystery at the heart of

in British queer history
Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake, and Dana Renga

fictional accounts of exile in terms of the space and of the position they occupy in this chapter, to drive home our convictions about the intimate relations between historical narrative, life writing, and literary convention. Lussu, Nitti, Jacometti, and Rosselli, whom we discuss in the section ‘Foundational texts’, have long been considered the standard bearers of the genre for the ways they established its thematic parameters, for the ways the mutual corroboration of their accounts lent them the weight of historical accuracy, and for their respective high political

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
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Sins, psyche, sex
Justin D. Livingstone

operandi , Jeal casts aside Livingstone’s sense of divine calling as little more than a shroud for naked ambition. These revisionist biographies, while productively challenging, and perhaps enlarging, our conception of Livingstone, should thus not be seen as definitive. They reflect a contemporary pathographic mentality dominated by an impulse towards unmasking, a trend in life-writing in which greatness is

in Livingstone’s ‘Lives’
Thinking infantile eroticism
Victoria Best and Martin Crowley

. Time and again abuse to young children crops up in the texts of Houellebecq and Despentes, while early sexual fantasies and experiences are essential to the artworks of Nimier and Breillat. The question of infantile sexuality has recently provoked in France a whole range of fictional and life writing texts that explore the troubled, damaged past of the central protagonist, subject to bewildering abuse and still seeking some form of redemption or

in The new pornographies
The Ishams of Lamport and their world
Isaac Stephens

most important females in Elizabeth Isham’s life – her mother and sister. The enormous role that Elizabeth Isham’s mother had on her life-writing prompts us to begin with her. With her marriage to Sir John Isham on 29 October 1607, Judith Lewin became Lady Isham and the leading maternal figure of the Ishams of Lamport. Over a year later in January 1609 she gave birth to her and Sir John’s first child, Elizabeth. Approximately a year after, Lady Isham bore their second child, a baby girl named Judith. Although likely a joyous occasion, the fact that Sir John and Lady

in The gentlewoman’s remembrance
Tissue transfer in literature, film, and medicine
Author: Sara Wasson

This book is a shadow cultural history of transplantation as mediated through medical writing, science fiction, life writing and visual arts in a Gothic mode, from the nineteenth century to the present. Works in these genres explore the experience of donors or suppliers, recipients and practitioners, and simultaneously express transfer-related suffering and are complicit in its erasure. Examining texts from Europe, North America and India, the book resists exoticising predatorial tissue economies and considers fantasies of harvest as both product and symbol of ‘slow violence’ (Rob Nixon), precarity and structural ruination under neoliberal capitalism. Gothic tropes, intertextualities and narrative conventions are used in life writing to express the affective and conceptual challenges of post-transplant being, and used in medical writing to manage the ambiguities of hybrid bodies, as a ‘clinical necropoetics’. In their efforts to articulate bioengineered hybridity, these works are not only anxious but speculative. Works discussed include nineteenth-century Gothic, early twentieth-century fiction and film, 1970s American hospital organ theft horror in literature and film, turn-of-the-millennium fiction and film of organ sale, postmillennial science fiction dystopias, life writing and scientific writing from the nineteenth century to the present. Throughout, Gothic representations engage contemporary debates around the management of chronic illness, the changing economics of healthcare and the biopolitics of organ procurement and transplantation – in sum, the strange times and weird spaces of tissue mobilities. The book will be of interest to academics and students researching Gothic studies, science fiction, critical medical humanities and cultural studies of transplantation.

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Haunted ‘history’ in The Night Watch
Natasha Alden

Explores the extension of postmemory from a generational model to one which might work across communities rather than families. Analysis of the relation of Sarah Waters’ novel ‘The Night Watch’ situates it in its literary and historical context as a 21st century queer novel, and one which explores queer ideas of belonging and of life-writing to give voice to a lost past.

in Reading behind the lines