Self-Same Songs: Autobiographical Performances and Reflections

Self-Same Songs: Autobiographical Performances and Reflections

by Roger J. Porter
     
 

Self-Same Songs constitutes a major contribution to the growing literary study of autobiography. Using a range of authors, including Homer, Edward Gibbon, Benjamin Franklin, Somerset Maugham, Franz Kafka, and Eugène Delacroix, Roger J. Porter offers a broad-based examination of the autobiography and the varied techniques used by its practitioners over

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Overview

Self-Same Songs constitutes a major contribution to the growing literary study of autobiography. Using a range of authors, including Homer, Edward Gibbon, Benjamin Franklin, Somerset Maugham, Franz Kafka, and Eugène Delacroix, Roger J. Porter offers a broad-based examination of the autobiography and the varied techniques used by its practitioners over time. In a style that is both graceful and erudite, Porter focuses on the diverse motivations and rhetorical functions that the act of self-writing serves for particular writers. He reflects on the texts not only as an exploration of self-identity but also as the writers' attempts to modify the life in the act of writing about it. Then, stepping out of his critical role, Porter ends each chapter with an autobiographical discussion of his professional and personal engagement with the autobiographer under discussion, creating an intriguing and absorbing literary autobiography within the critical text.

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Editorial Reviews

Biography

“An aesthetic book, an autobiography formed as much by others’ autobiographies as by one’s own life, raw life transformed through autobiographical literature.”—Regenia Gagnier, Biography

— Regenia Gagnier

James Olney
"Roger Porter both shows and tells us much about the act of autobiography in his excellent Self-Same Songs. Illuminating studies of the performances are wonderfully balanced and sharpened by reflections on Porter's own rich, diverse, and always astonishing life. A critical and imaginative triumph."—James Olney, author of Memory and Narrative: The Weave of Life-Writing
John Eakin
"Roger Porter reads and writes autobiography with subtlety and passion. These adventurous essays offer a splendid introduction to the riches of the form."—John Eakin, author of How Our Lives Become Stories: Making Selves
Biography - Regenia Gagnier
“An aesthetic book, an autobiography formed as much by others’ autobiographies as by one’s own life, raw life transformed through autobiographical literature.”—Regenia Gagnier, Biography
Julia Watson
"Self-Same Songs offers engaging, subtle, accessible, and insightful readings of an eclectic range of autobiographical texts. And Roger Porter's lively interweaving of personal narrative with each chapter extends critical inquiry into a dialogic conversation that is provocative for the reader's own self-reflection."—Julia Watson, coauthor of Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803287679
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
07/28/2002
Series:
Jewish Writing in the Contemporary World Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Roger J. Porter is a professor of English at Reed College and one of the pioneering scholars in the literary study of autobiography. He is the coauthor (with Howard Wolf) of The Voice Within: Reading and Writing Autobiography and the coauthor (with Lisa Shara Hall) of A Food Lover's Companion to Portland.

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