This interdisciplinary symposium on biography will focus on the processes of manipulation, stylisation and (un)masking used to construct life stories, looking also at the suppression and annihilation of biography as an extreme or limit case. What kinds of contradictions and gaps are created by biographical construction or by competing biographical constructions? What rhetorical and aesthetic strategies are involved and what role do politics and ideology play? The relevance of autobiographical material for ‘biographical truth’ will also be considered. Presentations at the symposium will deal with the full range of biographical writing, from fact-oriented biographical record to more self-consciously literary approaches. Particular emphasis will be given to the often contested reception and influence of biographical texts.
Venue: Austrian National Library, Vienna & Austrian Society for Literature, Vienna.
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