"Autobiographical Fiction: Where does the author's life belong in fiction and in criticism?"

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 12:00pm
Philosophy Hall 612
Event Category: 

May 4 - In the last century or so the author has largely disappeared from literary criticism. Since the second half of the 20th century psychocriticism and biographical readings have withered in academia. Considering the author in interpretation can certainly limit and reduce criticism, but perhaps it can also expand it. There are new forms of storytelling today—including digital—that may let us see how psychocriticism, and the explicit presence of an author in a work of fiction, may be less restrictive than we once thought. Who are the writers whose lives and whose presence in their own work do not constrain but rather multiply our understanding of that literary work? Some writers we will discuss include contemporary authors such as Karl Ove Knausgaard, Sheila Heti, and Rachel Cusk, as well as the less contemporary authors William Maxwell and W.H. Auden.

Presentations by Professor Edward Mendelson, Professor Nicholas Dames, and Anna Krauthamer. Moderated by Professor Dennis Tenen with an introduction by Professor Bernard E. Harcourt. 

This event is sponsored by the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought.