Reflections of the present and past self in life writing : the case of you-narratives

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Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The first part of the paper focuses on the ways in which different types of life narratives work with the perceived divide between the present and the past self. The second part of the paper explores second-person narration in life writing, its forms and effects. Drawing on narratological research into second-person narration in fiction, such as typologies of you-narratives or discussions of the potential corelation of you-narration with readerly involvement, I briefly discuss examples of auto/biographical texts using the second person pronoun for various purposes. The last part of the paper analyses the representation of the present and past self in Mary Karr’s Cherry (2000), which uses the second person primarily to refer to the autobiographical protagonist in the past and combines this technique with figural perspective and the historical present tense to enhance the reader’s immersion and emotional involvement. However, you-narration in this text also serves as a means of communicating hindsight.
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