Post# 1 on Autobiography by Linda Anderson

 

The passage that I chose from Autobiography by Linda Anderson states:

As a recent critic of autobiography, Laura Marcus, has noted, the concept of ‘intention’ has persistently threaded its way through discussions of autobiography (Marcus 1994: 3). Attacked by the New Critics of the 1930s and 1940s as a fallacy, ‘intentionality’ signals the belief that the author is behind the text, controlling its meaning; the author becomes the guarantor of the ‘intentional’ meaning or truth of the text, and reading a text therefore leads back to the author as origin. Within critical discussions of autobiography, ‘intention’ has had a necessary and often unquestioned role in providing the crucial link between author, narrator, and protagonist. Intention, however, is further defined as a particular kind of ‘honest’ intention which then guarantees the ‘truth’ of writing. Trust the author, this rather circular argument goes, if s/he seems to be trustworthy. Hence for Roy Pascal, an early critic of the genre, autobiography depends on ‘the seriousness of the author, the seriousness of his personality and his intention in writing’ (Pascal 1960:60) (Anderson, 2-3).

In this passage, we see that Anderson is referring that it is author’s intention of writing to be considered as the major factor in autobiographical writings. It is this intentionality that helps to make connection between the author and protagonist character in that particular text. It is extremely important to know author’s intention since it will help you figure out if the author is trustworthy or not. If you are accepting or reading autobiography then you are simply trusting what author is saying. It is impossible to ignore author’s intention since if we have no knowledge of his intent, we can’t take his words as truth.

When I think about autobiography, I feel that authors have the need to write and share their experiences with the world. For me, intention is to give the reader truth. It will definitely have certain aspects that will make us believe that this is the truth. Author won’t humiliate himself by saying it is the truth while none of the incidents are true. So I feel that whoever will write an autobiography, it should be dealing with the truth. For example, as we read any autobiography, our intention as we read is that they are telling the truth. We will have questions in our minds such as: Is the author’s motives is to tell the truth? Is the author trustworthy? So the author should attempt to save himself from humiliation by saying that it is the truth. If we feel like the author isn’t telling the truth, then therefore, we simply can’t trust the author. After you discover that author wasn’t trustworthy, you will ask yourself why was I reading this book anyways if it didn’t have any kind of truth.

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3 Responses to Post# 1 on Autobiography by Linda Anderson

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