seductions of literature: in the ‘Autobiographical Fragment’, which he composed in 1808 and revised in 1826, he described his continuing delight in
Did Mark Twain bring down the temple?
the ballads of chivalry, the ‘Delilahs of [his] imagination’ guiltily enjoyed
in secret beyond boyhood.4
In Life on the Mississippi, published a little over sixty years after Ivanhoe
in 1883, Mark Twain delivered an indictment of sorcery on Scott himself,
via the literary seduction his novels had wrought on the imagination of
the American South:
Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his
his modest autobiography is a mere essay. This has left the record of his opinions of personal
encounters somewhat sketchy. For Whitehead on Whitehead see
‘Autobiographical Notes’, in The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, ed.
Paul Arthur Schilpp, The Library of Living Philosopher, New York, Tudor
Publishing Company, 1951, pp. 1–14.
Stein, Toklas, pp. 167, 165, 166, 167.
Stein, Everybody’s Autobiography, p. 89.
Stein, Toklas, pp. 206–8.
Wagner-Martin, ‘Favored Strangers’, pp. 123.
Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World, London, Macmillan,
story of the shipwrecked Alexander
Selkirk. Most critics, however, have identified a different and more
More than a game
complex relationship with the real in Robinson Crusoe than that
location in simple autobiographical or biographical reference. This
has never been a text read solely as ‘about’ one individual, whether
that individual is defined as Defoe, Crusoe, or Selkirk, but as a text
that says much about the cultural moment of its production –
whether in terms of faith, individualism, or capitalism. When Karl
La Motte and Mary Borden
in her autobiographical account: Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of
Alice B. Toklas (London: Penguin, 2001 ): 172, 184–5. On the deliberately challenging nature of Stein’s writing, see: Sidonie Smith and Julia
Watson, Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives
(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010): 36. On the nature
of early-twentieth-century literary modernism, see: Lawrence Rainey,
Modernism: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005): xix–xxix;
Howard Booth and Nigel Rigby
brief account of Kate Luard’s
early experiences of the First World War, see: Christine E. Hallett, Veiled
Warriors: Allied Nurses of the First World War (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2014): Chapter 1.
25 Anon., Diary of a Nursing Sister: 52–3. On nursing work on hospital trains,
see: Hallett, Veiled Warriors: Chapter 1.
26 Anon., Diary of a Nursing Sister: 88–90.
27 Anon., Diary of a Nursing Sister: 206.
28 Anon., Diary of a Nursing Sister: 212.
29 Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth: An Autobiographical Study of the Years
1900–1925 (London: Virago Press, 2004
Nursing work and nurses’ space in the Second World War: a gendered construction
Canadian nursing sisters therefore had any significant experience of
acute hospital practice post-registration.
Finally, it is worth noting the value of those novels that explore
nursing in the Second World War. Ian McEwan’s Atonement,
Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and Monica Dickens’ semi-
autobiographical One Pair of Feet44 do not form a major part of the
analysis in this book, but their focus on the work of nurses supports
our understanding of the war and the nurse’s place in it. In the introduction to the 1937 edition of A General Textbook of
nationalist self and other is sharpest in the most openly autobiographical discourse of Plaatje’s text, the chapter devoted to the death of his infant son
which is directly lifted from Du Bois’s own chapter on the passing of his
first-born. Du Bois never tells us his child’s name. This suggests that the
child is to be viewed not as an individual but as an anonymous representative of his race. His name is, effectively, ‘Negro and a Negro’s son’ (p.
170). Since the son is an abstraction for the race, his loss comes to represent the losses experienced by the race as a whole
path of St Vincent’s first Chief
Minister, Ebenezer Joshua, prior to the country’s attainment of
Associate Statehood with Britain, on the way to full political
independence in 1979. The novel suggests that the politician’s
interest in enhancing Hiroona’s ‘civilisation’
through nation-building is a smoke-screen for a self-seeking career in
politics, and its autobiographical form lays out the strategies
by vested interests.
But my argument is not just that Hesse’s humanism is untenable and unpersuasive
Art in time of war
now, ‘after Auschwitz’, but that it was already so at the time in which he proposed it.
In fact, I believe it hardly survived the insight of autobiographical works of his own
like Steppenwolf. Without doubting Hesse’s sincerity, I’ve often wondered whether
other artists haven’t always paid lip service to the humanist defence of art by way of
licensing an aesthetic vision which they knew contravened it. One is reminded in this
The tragedy (and comedy) of accelerated modernisation
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling
, shopfronts, farm animals and country folk.
20 For a full account of Dublin’s developer culture see F. McDonald, The
Construction of Dublin (Dublin: Grandon, 2000).
Keohane & Kuhling
21 Louis Walsh, ‘The starmaker’, interview, RTE Guide, 21 April 2001.
22 W. Benjamin, ‘Paris: capital of the nineteenth century’, in Reflections:
Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writing (New York: Harcourt, Brace
& Co., 1978).
23 W. Benjamin, ‘The interior, the trace’, in The Arcades Project (Cambridge,
MA: Belknap/Harvard University Press, 1999