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Biofictions: The Rewriting of Romantic Lives in Contemporary Fiction and Drama

Overview

The starting point for this collection of essays is the observation that as a literary subject, fictionalized and dramatized "lives" in the form of fictional biographies/biographical fiction, bio-dramas, and bio-pics are very much in evidence on the contemporary scene. And it appears that the lives of the British Romantics and the myths surrounding them have a special appeal for contemporary writers. Biofictions sets out to explore this renewed interest in Romantic artist-figures in the context of the current ...
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Overview

The starting point for this collection of essays is the observation that as a literary subject, fictionalized and dramatized "lives" in the form of fictional biographies/biographical fiction, bio-dramas, and bio-pics are very much in evidence on the contemporary scene. And it appears that the lives of the British Romantics and the myths surrounding them have a special appeal for contemporary writers. Biofictions sets out to explore this renewed interest in Romantic artist-figures in the context of the current renaissance of "life-writing." The essays collected here deal with Romantic "biofictions" by such authors as Peter Ackroyd, Adrian Mitchell, Ann Jellicoe, Liz Lochhead, Judith Chernaik, Amanda Prantera, Robert Nye, Tom Stoppard, Howard Brenton, Edward Bond, and others. Thomas Chatterton, William Blake, James Hogg, Sir Walter Scott, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, John Polidori, John Clare, and -- most prominently -- Lord Byron feature as the "biographical subjects" in the words discussed.

Martin Middeke is Professor of English Literature at Augsburg University and Werner Huber is Professor of English and American Language and Literature at the University of Vienna.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This collection brings together a wide range of appraoches to a topic of much current interest. It is recommended not only for students of contemporary British Literature, but also for those interested in the posthumous cultural reverberations of the Romantic poets....' ENGLISH STUDIES
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
An Intertextual Quest for Thomas Chatterton: The Deconstruction of the Romantic Cult of Originality and the Paradoxes of Life-Writing in Peter Ackroyd's Fictional Metabiography Chatterton 27
Dangerous Enthusiasm: The Appropriation of William Blake in Adrian Mitchell's Tyger 50
Auld Acquaintance: New Lives of Scott and Hogg 64
Ann Jellicoe's and Howard Brenton's Shelley 77
The Dramatist as Reader: Liz Lochhead's Play Blood and Ice 96
The Truth of Fiction - The Fiction of Truth: Judith Chernaik's Mab's Daughters 106
The Triumph of Analogous Text over Digital Truth: Biography, Differance, and Deconstructive Play in Amanda Prantera's Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 163 Years after his Lordship's Death 120
"The Life We Imagine": Byron's and Polidori's Memoirs as Character Construction 138
In Arcadia Nemo: The Pastoral of Romanticism 152
"A Playful Desire of Imitation": The Ghost Stories at Diodati and A Single Summer With L. B. 162
Poetry and Cyberpunk: Science Fiction and Romantic Biography 175
Elemental, My Dear Clare: The Case of the Missing Poet 187
Biodepictions of Mary Shelley: The Romantic Woman Artist as Mother of Monsters 201
Notes on Contributors 215
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