I continue his [Sebald’s] walks in the world of ruins, of what is dead. I continue his contact with a stimulating tendency of the contemporary novel, a tendency that opens new ground in between essay, fiction and autobiography...
So writes Enrique Vila-Matas in his innovative text, Montano. In attempting to map this new ground, the processes and products of autobiographical fictions will be scrutinised with particular reference to questions of authenticity and voice, drawing examples from texts including James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, which problematise genre boundaries, question the relationship between reader and author, and demonstrate how life experience now, literally, has a price. The paper will conclude by proposing the first steps towards a reading and writing practice where, in the words of Goldberg, ‘every page trembles, vulnerable to manifold incursions - of prior texts, of future accidents, of reading and writing’.
Frey, James. A Million Little Pieces. (London, 2004)
Goldberg, Jonathan. Voice Terminal Echo. (New York, 1986) p.7
Vila – Matas, Enrique. Trans. Jonathan Dunne. Montano (London, 2007) p.191
|Keywords:||Autobiographical Fiction, Emergent Genres, Creative Processes, Creative Products, Authenticity and Voice|
Lecturer in Creative Writing, School of English, Sociology, Politics and Contemporary History, University of Salford, Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
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