’, trans. Eric Prenowitz, in Reading Cixous Writing , special issue of Oxford Literary Review , 24 (2003), 17–42: here, 17.
14 Derrida, ‘Ants’, 20.
15 Hélène Cixous, Death Shall Be Dethroned: Los, A Chapter , the Journal , trans. Beverley Bie Brahic (Cambridge: Polity, 2016), 60.
16 See Hélène Cixous, in Hélène Cixous and Mireille Calle-Gruber, Rootprints: Memory and LifeWriting , trans. Eric Prenowitz (London: Routledge, 1997), 100.
17 Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing , 51.
18 Cixous and Calle
‘Passing’ fads?: recent controversies of authenticity and authorship
in fraudulent authorial behaviour. Novelist William Gass observes:
[a] memoir is usually the recollection of another place or personality, and its primary focus is outward bound … Even when the main attention of the memoir is inward, the scope of the memory tends to be limited (how I felt at the first fainting of the queen), and not wide enough to take in a life. 10
This does shed more light on the issue, but only in distinguishing the memoir from other forms of lifewriting – diary, notebook, journal – rather
part of the novel brutally satirises
Victorian conventions, mores, and values, laying the blame for the
war and attitudes which supported it firmly at the feet of the antecedents. Max Saunders sees satirical life-writing as a distinctively
modern form, and notes D. H. Lawrence’s influence on Aldington’s
transformation from Imagist poet to satirical novelist.42 Death of a
Hero is even more vituperative than most of Lawrence’s harangues,
and this is its point: anger at the war must now be given full rein.
Aldington did not enter the army until almost two years into
and Principles by Timothy and Philautus, than from the Grand Authour
It is rare to find in a work as conventional and conservative as Penton’s
instructions to educators such an unbiased discussion of the potential
ability of narrative prose fiction to include important aspects from real
life in a productive manner.
Mary Davys’s The Fugitive (1705) also teeters on the brink between
truth and fiction, drawing heavily on the author’s personal experience and, at the same time, drawing substantially on various traditions of lifewriting and
Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle
form of literature. See Morris, David B. ‘Narrative, Ethics, and Pain:
Thinking With Stories.’ Narrative, 9, 1 (January 2001): 58. For a discussion
of some of the issues involved in contemporary lifewriting and the seeming
requirement for intellectualized tabloid material see Eakin, Paul. How Our
Lives Become Stories: Making Selves (Ithaca; London: Cornell University
Press, 1999) 142–86.
Prendergast, Catherine. ‘On the Rhetorics of Mental
The London Jilt is told in the first person but hardly ever draws on
the temporal distance between the experiencing I and the narrating I. For the most part it narrates the events as if they were written up immediately afterwards, yet the consistency in tone belies
this approach and suggests that the whole piece was written subsequently. Given that there were no clear conventions for this sort of lifewriting, one might just as easily argue that the author of this novel
simply did not reflect sufficiently on the different intellectual stages
the protagonist went
‘boring’ themes and writers – tea on the lawn
or surreptitious middle-class affairs – as uninspiring literature. But these were
selections from a vast array of work, and a complete break between bourgeois
and working-class culture was not easily sustained.
Nevertheless, classed relations would continue to foster feelings of separateness. Fed publications constituted a form of lifewriting that could not easily be
assigned to neat categories but rather cut across disciplinary boundaries. While
Fed writing often revealed a strong ‘materialist aesthetic’ and a desire to
, ‘Manipulating Reputations: Sir Thomas More,
Sir Thomas Elyot, and the Conclusion of William Roper’s Lyfe of
Sir Thomas Moore, Knighte’, in Thomas F. Mayer and D.R. Woolf
(eds), The Rhetorics of Life-Writing in Early Modern Europe: Forms of
Biography from Cassandra Fedele to Louis XIV (Ann Arbor, MI: The
University of Michigan Press, 1995), pp. 133–61.
24 Regrettably, there is no room here to discuss in depth the explicit rhetorical and ‘literary’ techniques exploited by the Lives’ authors, or the
effect of More’s own texts on the Lives’ structure and style. The few
discourses intertwine within them, and previous analyses of women’s travel
writing have powerfully argued that the discourses they feature are not
simple expressions of an author’s feelings or opinions, but a configuration of diverse structures with which the author negotiates.49 Texts such
as diaries are considered part of the genre of lifewriting, which, it is
argued, virtually invites authors to create textual personas that do not
reflect their actual personalities. The diarist constructs a fictional persona
on the page, however unconsciously.50 Women journeyers
Professional spinsters, older
women and widowed heroines
in the 1930s
This chapter compares representations of single and widowed women
in 1930s novels and life-writing in the context of concerns about
promiscuity, maternity and ageing. A new interest in cross-generational
bonding had ushered the obscurer figure of the widow into the
spotlight. Virginia Woolf ’s polemic Three Guineas (1938) welcomed
the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919, which ‘unbarred
the professions’ to women, as a moment of ‘excitement’ and ‘pride’,
allowing the educated