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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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Reading the Writer

Reading the Writer

(p.176) Conclusion Reading the Writer
Writing Life: Early Twentieth-Century Autobiographies of the Artist-Hero

Mhairi Pooler

Liverpool University Press

The conclusion considers how it is that art reveals the artist, and why the literary form of creative autobiography is especially suited to this revelation. It is argued that for each of the authors discussed in the preceding chapters, the conception of the artist that they wish to convey is encoded into the style and form of the narrative they write about themselves. This does not mean the author has ‘become’ the text, as Roland Barthes would have it, but rather the text has become a means through which the reader can commune with the author inthe act of authoring. Emphasis is placed on active reading and the role of the reader in creating meaning. It is concluded that what we glean in reading these autobiographical texts is an impression of the artist and his or her art, quite distinct from a knowable persona.

Keywords:   Barthes, Art, Artist, Reading

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