Mother–daughter relations in Paule Constant’s fiction
however, that Tiﬀany, Chrétienne and Aurore are one and the same character; nor can they be read autobiographically, and related in a straightforward way to Constant herself, despite the fact that obviously
autobiographical elements are included in her work: as a child, Constant
lived in turn in Africa and Cayenne with her parents, and she makes no
secret of the fact that Conﬁdence pour conﬁdence has its roots in her own US
experiences. Rather, the metaﬁctional aspects of Conﬁdence pour conﬁdence throw into relief the complex relationship between ﬁction and
Sylvie Germain and the generic problems of the Christian novel
). Inasmuch as Germain could be
said to have female precursors these are to be found not in the genre of the
novel, but in the ﬁeld of devotional and mystical literature, often autobiographical in form, which ﬂourished in France especially in the seventeenth
century (represented by, for example, Madame Acarie, Marie Guyard,
Marguerite-Marie Alacoque and Madame Guyon). Notable later ﬁgures
include Thérèse de Lisieux (–) and Simone Weil (–), with
both of whose work Germain engages in her Les Echos du silence ().4
Many of the above ﬁgures departed, often quite
Memories of cinema-going in the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).
Joseph Fitzgerald, ‘Reminiscence in Adult
Development’, in David C. Rubin (ed.) Remembering Our Past:
Studies in Autobiographical Memory (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1995), p. 370.
Manifesto of the N.C.F. (London, 1915). See UL,LC, file of J. Sadler, CO/FAU section.
UL,LC, file of Frank Shackleton, ‘All My Tomorrows’ (manuscript of unpublished autobiographical novel), p. 81.
Ibid., Shackleton, ‘Tomorrows’, p. 145.
Ibid., p. 154.
Ibid., pp. 207–8.
Imperial War Museum, Sound Archive, file of H.C. Marten, 383/6, p. 31.
Ibid., pp. 2–3.
Marten also identified this ‘artistic’ element in his description of the various categories of
objector that he had witnessed at a prison/work centre at Princetown on Dartmoor, supplied
to J.W. Graham for
well as bringing ourselves back into our work, it
means seeing our interlocutors as complex, grounded people too, with
histories and relations. Back notes that in the wards of the hospital in
Croydon where his father died, ‘people just disappeared, they were
not remarked upon, they were mostly working-class people and – like
my father – they simply vanished’.19 The desire to hold on to those
whose lives would otherwise vanish without trace motivates his work.
My autobiographical accounts in Chapters 1 and 10 clearly have
something of the same purpose, but my accounts
-text and William
I suggest that the former illustrates episodes in
Marlowe’s and Nashe’s careers while the latter is
autobiographical. Scene 3.3 shows us a spying Jaques-Marlowe
overhearing Touchstone-Nashe’s ‘great reckoning’
lines, and Clown-Nashe brought face to face with a Mar-text. Below I
will suggest that 5.1 functions to introduce a
ambitions. Case writing
gave voice to a crisis of expression that had accompanied Wulffen through
his legal studies, glimpses of which are expressed in his 1913 roman-àclef Frau Justitias Walpurgisnacht (The Walpurgis Night of Mrs Justice).
Publication of this novel saw Wulffen demoted from his post as State
Prosecutor for Criminal Affairs in Dresden to the status of Councillor
for Civil Affairs at the Magistrate’s Court in provincial Zwickau.20 An
unpublished autobiographical sketch dating to 1932 likewise reveals that
Wulffen’s first inclination had been to study not
Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves as a reparative fantasy
someone having been there –and
someone bearing witness –testifying in the present moment. Second, while
not autobiographical, Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves reiterates
many familiar themes of Gardell’s writing and stage performances since the
late 1980s: growing up as a queer child in a religious home, being harassed
at school, bearing social stigma, and experiencing and living with the threat
of violence. These topics as well as the use of the autobiographical self are
the very core of Gardell’s oeuvre. Third, in interviews on Don’t Ever Wipe
accounts of Marechera may also be found in: Robert Fraser, Ben Okri:
Towards the Invisible City (Tavistock, Devon: Northcote House, 2002), pp. 45–7;
Flora Veit-Wild, ‘Introduction’ in Marechera, The Black Insider, pp. 5–22. For his
internal struggles with language, see also The House of Hunger, pp. 30–1. For a discussion of Marechera’s work as self-critically autobiographical, see: Melissa Levin
and Laurice Taitz, ‘Fictional autobiographies/autobiographical ﬁctions’, Journal of
Commonwealth Literature, 32:1 (1997), pp. 103–15.
For an insightful account of Marechera as a
De-scribing Imperial identity from alien to migrant
also impinges on other ‘Indian’ writers growing up in Britain. Meera
Syal describes how her semi-autobiographical character Anita came to
this realisation that she had no home that she had ever visited:
Papa’s singing always unleashed these emotions which were unfamiliar
and instinctive at the same time, in a language I could not recognise but
felt I could speak in my sleep, in my dreams, evocative of a country I
had never visited but which sounded like the only home I had ever
known. The songs made me realise that there was a corner of me that
would be forever not