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Writing Life: Early Twentieth-Century Autobiographies of the Artist-Hero$
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Mhairi Pooler

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381977

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781781381977.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 April 2021

The Writer Reading

The Writer Reading

(p.22) Chapter 1 The Writer Reading
Writing Life: Early Twentieth-Century Autobiographies of the Artist-Hero

Mhairi Pooler

Liverpool University Press

Chapter 1 provides a detailed discussion of the book’s key ideas, beginning with the importance of the author’s own literary apprenticeship as a reader for the writer s/he will become, starting with the ideas of Emerson on influence and reading. The section ‘Tradition and Inheritance: the Künstlerroman’ provides an in-depth history of the German Romantic genre and its relevance for the creative autobiographies studied in the following chapters. It compares the specific form of the artist novel with the Bildungsroman and discusses the meaning and relevance of the term Bildung and the idea of apprenticeship. The section ‘Influence (Inflowing)’ explores the idea of literary inheritances and Harold Bloom’s notion of the anxiety of influence. It examines how the German genre influenced British Romanticism and twentieth-century life-writing, highlighting the pliability of generic forms, and further how the author’s technical skill in genre mixing displays an understanding of their art form and the quality of their imagination.

Keywords:   Emerson, Künstlerroman, Bildungsroman, Bildung, Apprenticeship, Influence, Harold Bloom, Life-writing

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