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Title: Ante-Autobiography and the Archive of Childhood
Authors: Lynch, C
Keywords: Archive;Adulthood;Autobiography;Childhood;Memory;Power
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Prose Studies: history, theory, criticism, 35:1, pp. 97 - 112, 2013
Abstract: This essay examines the concept of children’s autobiography via several autobiographical extracts written by the author as a child. Although only a small proportion of people will compose and publish a full-length autobiography, almost everyone will, inadvertently, produce an archive of the self, made from public records and private documents. Here, such works are seen as providing access to writing both about and by children. The essay explores the ethics and poetics of children’s writing via the key debates in life writing; in particular, the dynamic relationship between adults and children, both as distinct stages of life and dual parts of one autobiographical identity. The term “ante-autobiography” is coined to refer to these texts which come before or instead of a full-length narrative. They are not read as less than or inadequate versions of autobiography, but rather as transgressive and challenging to chronological notions of the genre.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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