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"Marlow's Autobiografiction: Revisiting Joseph Conrad's Porte Parole"
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The role of Charles Marlow has often been misinterpreted in terms of its relation to Joseph Conrad’s life. Previous research rendered this connection misleading and schematic. Bearing in mind the impressionistic qualities of Marlow’s narrative, the aim of this essay is to prove that Marlow’s stories in Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness are self-reflective, which means that they possess an autobiographical quality. To provide reference I will bring in recent a discussion on modernists’ autobiographies by Max Saunders. Contributing to the dispute on life-writing between 1870 and 1930, Saunders argues that the autobiographies of Conrad, Ford, James and others can be read as part of their fictional oeuvre. This argument provides the theoretical background for reading Marlow’s stories as autobiographical or, as proposed by Saunders, autobiografictional, which points to the malleability of the genre of autobiography. Furthermore, I will use the work of John G. Peters concerned with literary impressionism and self-reflectiveness in order to widen the scope of my analysis. The main purpose of such interpretation is to elevate Marlow’s role as a self-reflective character whose narrative shares the impressionistic qualities of self-reflectiveness, thus enabling for an analysis that pertains to Saunders’ autobiografiction. 

Keywords: autobiography (autobiografiction), Charles Marlow, Max Saunders, literary impressionism, self-reflectiveness

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm studies in English, ISSN 0346-6272
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118413OAI: diva2:822510
Available from: 2015-06-16 Created: 2015-06-16 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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