If biofictions and biographical novels can be considered as – among other things - fictional interrogations of past history which inevitably engage with the elusive nature of any retrieval of the ‘truth of the past’, we can envisage the derivativeness of this kind of literary writing sub specie of a discourse of authenticity. It is, rather, the notion of a “post-authentic” perspective which affords a comprehensive critical potential in the appraisal of the aesthetic strengths and ethical inflections of that growing number of novels which, over the past forty years, have foregrounded the role of biography, the author-figure and the rewriting of other literary works, as will be argued in the context of Neo-Victorian fiction. The article considers the notion of post-authenticy and Neo-Victorian biofictions of writers/artists’s figures surveying the crucial implications that entangle biofictions, biography, the ontological join between history and the novel, “cumulative biography” and the construction of cultural memory. It then briefly considers some biofictions featuring the lives of real Victorian authors and artists and focusses on Julian Barnes’ Arthur & George(2005) as one of the most accomplished and subtle neo-Victorian biofictions of the latest decades.

Biofictional Author-Figures and post-authentic truths

Gefter Wondrich Roberta
2020-01-01

Abstract

If biofictions and biographical novels can be considered as – among other things - fictional interrogations of past history which inevitably engage with the elusive nature of any retrieval of the ‘truth of the past’, we can envisage the derivativeness of this kind of literary writing sub specie of a discourse of authenticity. It is, rather, the notion of a “post-authentic” perspective which affords a comprehensive critical potential in the appraisal of the aesthetic strengths and ethical inflections of that growing number of novels which, over the past forty years, have foregrounded the role of biography, the author-figure and the rewriting of other literary works, as will be argued in the context of Neo-Victorian fiction. The article considers the notion of post-authenticy and Neo-Victorian biofictions of writers/artists’s figures surveying the crucial implications that entangle biofictions, biography, the ontological join between history and the novel, “cumulative biography” and the construction of cultural memory. It then briefly considers some biofictions featuring the lives of real Victorian authors and artists and focusses on Julian Barnes’ Arthur & George(2005) as one of the most accomplished and subtle neo-Victorian biofictions of the latest decades.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2966884
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