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👤 Hélène Cixous (1937-), French novelist

Published November 2007

Consuming Autobiographies: Reading and Writing the Self in Post-War France
Claire Boyle
Legenda (General Series)

  • ‘Perhaps the most effective chapter is on Genet’s Miracle de la rose, Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs, and Journal du voleur, where resistance to a subjectification threatened by both social and literar y institutions (the prison and the confessional mode, respectively) is sought by tactics of abjection geared (not entirely successfully, Boyle argues) towards thwarting readerly identification.’ — Ian Maclachlan, Modern Language Review 104.4 (2009), 1154-55 (full text online)
  • ‘Attempts at writing autobiographies in the second half of the twentieth century, Claire Boyle shows in her concise, precise and deftly argued essay, have been subject to a curious paradox... The discrediting of autobiographical attempts has been paralleled by an increasing demand for first-person testimony narratives.’ — Karlis Racevskis, French Review 82.5, April 2009, 1065
  • ‘Une épreuve de force: le moi autobiographique, est-il contrôlé par l'autobiographe estimant que ce moi ne peut pas être entièrement connu, ou par le lecteur qui le 'consomme' afin de pouvoir s'identifier avec une personne supposée réelle?’ — Jeanette den Toonder, French Studies 65.2, April 2011, 269
  • ‘Boyle’s thoughtful and sophisticated study of autobiography brings an original focus on the role of the reader, and on the ways in which readers are interpellated and caricatured by, or even excluded from, certain forms of autobiographical writing... If we had thought that autobiography had had its day, Boyle demonstrates both that the genre itself is dynamic in ways we might not have previously imagined, and that the theory of autobiography continues to evolve in challenging and provocative ways.’ — Jane Hiddleston, Biography 31.4, Fall 2008, 763-65
  • ‘This is a well researched and broad-ranging work, and is a useful discussion of the survival of the autobiographical impulse despite the critical death of traditional autobiography... a stimulating study, which lucidly applies key theoretical concepts of 20th century French thought.’ — Dervila Cooke, Modern and Contemporary France 17.1, 2009, 83-121