Towards a Poetics of Literary Biography, Hardback Book

Towards a Poetics of Literary Biography Hardback


Drawing upon a wide range of biographies of literary subjects, from Shakespeare and Wordsworth to William Golding and V.S.

Naipaul, this book develops a poetics of literary biography based on the triangular relationships of lives, works and times and how narrative operates in holding them together.

Biography is seen as a hybrid genre in which historical and fictional elements are imaginatively combined.

It considers the roles of story-telling, factual data in the art of life-writing, and the literariness of its language.

It includes a case study of the biography of Ellen Terry, discussion of the controversial relationship between a subject's life and works, 'biographical criticism' and, through the issue of gender, the social and cultural changes biographies reflect.

It frames a poetics on the basis of its strategy and tactics and demonstrates how the literal truth of verifiable data and the poetic truth of what is narrated are interdependent.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 165 pages, XI, 165 p.
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: general
  • ISBN: 9781137549570

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