Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Portraying the self in modern auto/biography : Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’ and Gertrude Stein’s ‘The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas’
Authors: Bajada, Jasmine Alexa
Keywords: Self in literature
Modernism (Literature)
Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. Orlando -- Criticism and interpretation
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Bajada, J.A. (2018). Portraying the self in modern auto/biography : Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’ and Gertrude Stein’s ‘The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas’ (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: This dissertation invites a revisiting of the early twentieth-century conception of selfhood through the lens of auto/biography as a literary genre by engaging with the portrayal of the self in two subversive auto/biographies: Virginia Woolf’s 'Orlando' (1928) and Gertrude Stein’s 'The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas' (1933). In the introduction, the modernist writers’ profound interest in depicting the complexity of selfhood, and the context of Modernism more broadly, are established in order to frame the main objective of the dissertation, followed by an outline of the trajectory. The first chapter explores how Woolf and Stein among other modernist auto/biographers refracted the humanist self as depicted in Victorian biography into a multiplicity of selves, reflecting the emerging notion of intersubjectivity and the disbelief in stability of previously unquestioned core essences such as gender. The ways in which the auto/biographical genre and self are rendered dialogic is discussed in the second chapter, with a particular focus on how Woolf and Stein rupture a patriarchal genre by decentring the egotistical ‘I’ to inscribe a queer, female Other. The androgynous hero/ine in Orlando and the synecdochic genius-wife relationship in The Autobiography are analysed. The final chapter considers the textualisation of the self as a literary composition in relation to the overarching modernist concern with form and the transformation of life into literature. The conclusion brings the dissertation to a close by reflecting on the achievements of modernist auto/biography and its intimations of contemporary experiments with life-writing.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2018

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
746.23 kBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.