Prompt #3: Research overlaps

It looks like my topic (practice elevator pitch: “The excluded self and the anti-narrative impulse in the gay memoir”? Needs work) has some overlap with both Berni’s (identification/empathy between the reader’s self and the selves of fictional characters) and Mari’s (narrative psychology). So, I’ve noted Susanne Keen’s Empathy and the Novel, Blakey Vermeule’s Why Do We Care About Literary Characters?, and Lisa Zunshine’s Why We Read Fiction as possible sources with applications that might extend from fiction into memoir, and Jerome Bruner and Janos Lazlo as sources that might be good to look at on general principle. If I run across something else that might be useful to you two, I’ll post it here.

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1 Response to Prompt #3: Research overlaps

  1. A focus on “anti-narrative impulses” in gay memoir will make a great project. If you’re looking for texts, a few come to mind: Joe Brainard’s I Remember, David Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives, Reinaldo Arenas’s Before Night Falls, and Renaud Camus’s Tricks. If you want to include lesbian memoirs, you might include Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoirs, Fun Home and Are You My Mother?–and maybe even Gertrude Stein’s Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

    Of course, you don’t want to tackle too many texts, but in a project like this it would be a good idea to devote a paragraph or two to surveying a range of memoirs that use anti-narrative forms to tell first-person stories about sexuality. Then you can tell readers which you’ll focus on and why.

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