Textual Intimacy: Autobiography and Religious Identities

Textual Intimacy: Autobiography and Religious Identities

by Wesley A. Kort
     
 

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Given its affinity with questions of identity, autobiography offers a way into the interior space between author and reader, especially when writers define themselves in terms of religion. In his exploration of this "textual intimacy," Wesley Kort begins with a theorization of what it means to say who one is and how one's self-account as a religious person stands

Overview

Given its affinity with questions of identity, autobiography offers a way into the interior space between author and reader, especially when writers define themselves in terms of religion. In his exploration of this "textual intimacy," Wesley Kort begins with a theorization of what it means to say who one is and how one's self-account as a religious person stands in relation to other forms of self-identification. He then provides a critical analysis of autobiographical texts by nine contemporary American writers—including Maya Angelou, Philip Roth, and Anne Lamott—who give religion a positive place in their accounts of who they are. Finally, in disclosing his own religious identity, Kort concludes with a meditation on several meanings of the word assumption.

Editorial Reviews

John D. Barbour

Textual Intimacy is a fine book. It weaves together in a unique and creative way theories of religion and life writing, criticism of recent memoirs and autobiographies, and the author’s narrative of his still-evolving religious identity.

Giles Gunn

In this humane and gracious study, Wesley Kort writes with an unusual and attractive openness, not to say candor, that invites his reader into the processes of his own deliberation and evaluation. This is a splendid book.

CHOICE

This innovative work of religion and literature by Kort (Duke Univ.) provides a careful analysis of different types of American religious identities that emerge from autobiographical narratives. Impressively, this ambitious thesis buids coherently out of three very different parts of the text, each of which offers insightful distinctions that expand the scope of the book beyond its stated range without overwhelming it.... Accessible, innovative, and challenging.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813932767
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press
Publication date:
05/23/2012
Series:
Studies in Religion and Culture Series
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Wesley A. Kort, Professor of Religion at Duke University, is the author of Place and Space in Modern Fiction.

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