Modes of writing

(This page is a stub).

On this and the following pages I will discuss modes of writing of autobiography, including narration (story-telling), illustration/exemplification, description and exposition.

Most of the literature on autobiographical writing (also the literature that pertains to ageing studies) seems to take for granted that narration (story-telling) is the only relevant mode of life-writing.

However, based on my own experiences I am questioning the ubiquity of narration in writing about self. I believe other modes of writing, like exposition, description, illustration/examplification etc., can play an important role as well. In Real Autobiography (IRA) all these analytically distinct modes of writing are combined.

A closely related issue is modes of remembering of self. Is our inner understanding of ourself cast in narrative form (a narrative self), as some authors have claimed, or could the self also be understood in non-narrative terms, for example as an ‘episodic self’? I will discuss this question in relation to my own experiences from self-inspection and will also draw heavily on Galen Strawson’s seminal article “Against narrativity”, Ratio, 17: 428-52 (2004).

(I have not organised the subpages yet)

work in progress