University Of Tasmania
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Unveiling the female `I' : autobiographies by Australian women born in the 1920s

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posted on 2023-05-26, 21:21 authored by Holzer, Valarie
This study fulfils the need for research into autobiographies of writers who have a number ot common traits which will provide specific conclusions about the art of autobiography. Unveiling the Female ' I' ; Autobiographies by Australian Women Born in the 1920s looks at works by fourteen writers who share the same nationality, gender and decade of birth. The Introduction documents the elusiveness of women's autobiographies and briefly surveys the critical situation to date, noting the lack of consensus in just what an autobiography is. Criteria have been established for extracting women's autobiographies from the large range of female autobiographical writings and the validity of the linguistic devices used to examine these works is justified. Working from the proposition by Chodorow that women are defined through process and by \other\". Chapter 1 looks at character and style in four autobiographies of childhood to establish how this forms the identity ot Australian women born in the 1920s. Chapter 2 discusses two autobiographies of childhood which focus on other aspects of personal development: Spence's Another October Child presents a portrait of the development of a writer and Lindsay's Portrait of Pa is argued to be an autobiograpby of Jane rather than a biography or Norman Lindsay. The life stories of adults treated in Chapter 3 demonstrate the fallacy of the \"quest\" metaphor for female writers and offer other life metaphors as more appropriate for conveying their truths of identity. The position of women in Australian society has received close attention in recent years and the autobiographies by migrant and Aboriginal women which are the topic of Chapter 4 illustrate their alienation through their lack of cultural experience. Place becomes cultural as well as physical for these women. Dorothy Hewett's recently published Wild Card both confirms and confounds the pattern of Australian women's autobiography depicting the same period in a highly and elaborately patterned way. Chapter 5 examines its statement about the role of truth in autobiography. Chapter 6 continues this direction and breaks new ground by looking at the implications of \"naming\" and photographs in both the structural and metaphoric strands of the re-creation of identity. The Conclusion considers how Australian women born in the 1920s see their world and their values in comparison with the male view of history. The study draws together the threads of identity world and truth as represented in these self- life-writings."


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Copyright 1991 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1992

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