Download Autobiography (The New Critical Idiom) by Linda Anderson PDF

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By Linda Anderson

This can be a high-quality technique to get what's going with autobiography as a style and an method.

Especially powerful in bringing the reader during the ancients and into the postmoderns.

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For Bunyan, like Augustine, therefore, it is the spiritual implications of the events of his life that are significant. Retrospectively he picks out those which reveal a providential design – how, for instance, he was spared from various accidents and survived the war – or illustrate his extreme sinfulness, later to be redeemed by ‘the merciful working of God upon my Soul’ (Bunyan 1962: 5). One of these early stories, his playing of a game of Cat (bat and ball but played with pieces of wood) is not unlike Augustine’s stealing of pears, in that the spiritual significance that he reads into it seems to far exceed the seriousness of the exploit itself.

You were there before my own eyes, but I had deserted even my own self. I could not find myself, much less find you’ (Augustine 1961: 92). The outward journey is a false journey, becoming meaningful only in retrospect by being realized as a return: it is a tortuous journey back to God. The narrative thus merely defers a resolution which, from another perspective, is already known. This historians of the self other perspective, of course, could be God’s. 215); memory is the container of his experiences, necessarily lived in time, but memory also exists beyond time and comprehension: it is greater than what it contains.

God did not play in convincing of me; the Devil did not play in tempting of me . . wherefore I may not play in my relating of them, but be plain and simple, and lay down the thing as it was’ (Bunyan 1962: 3–4). More ingenuously, he later remarks how ‘I never endeavoured to, nor durst make use of other men’s lines . . 87–8). The extent to which Bunyan’s text is conventional, drawing both on patterns and formulations of experience which he shared with other writers of the period, as well as echoing, in particular, Martin Luther’s writing, has been widely commented on (Haskin 1981: 302–3; Tindall 1934: 30).

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