Published inSpectrum Hungarologicum
In my book, I have attempted the elaboration of a system for rereading 20th-century Hungarian autobiographies, by way of putting the emphasis on theoretical considerations. (From the “Death of the Author” to the Resurrection of the Author, Stereotypes in Autobiographical Reading) The major analytical aspects of the Autobiographical Reading focuses on the language based means of the representation of the Self. (Language and Subject, Staging the Self, Inter-Replacing Play of Image and Representation, Relationship between the Narrating and the Narrated Autobiographical Self, Memory and Identity) The choice of this subject matter is justified first of all by the fact that the conditions for the interpretation of autobiographical texts of belletristic value went through a fundamental change at the turn of the millennium. This development was due partly to the deliberating of language and subject aspectual insights prompted by a turn in interpretation possibilities in literary scholarship, and partly to the postmodern rewriting of the self-interpreting genre. In this context, it is the destruction and re-creation of binary concepts related to the genre that prescribes the aspectual framework for the reading of autobiographies. The legitimacy of the contraposition in literary works between the factual and the fictitious, between recollection and imagination, between denominations and the denominated, between language and reality, between image and representation, and between the intratextual and extratextual worlds has become questionable. The theoretical insights of the meaning of autobiography serve, in this book, as the starting point for the analysis of autobiographical texts. I will focus upon four paradigmatic personality constructions of Hungarian autobiography in the 20th century. The choice of Zsigmond Móricz, Gyula Illyés, Sándor Márai and László Németh as examples is due to the fact, that their works are representatives, but since their rhetorical strategies are quite different, make them particularly resistant to a reading that not follows the stereotypes in interpretations of autobiographical 6 works, I could argue, that the analytical aspects of my reading approach would be true for adhere writers. I wrote the main part of the book during the period when I was invited as a visiting professor at the University of Jyväskylä by Prof. Lahdelma Tuomo. I wish to thank his support and I’m indebted to Gergely Dusnoki and Kristóf Fenyvesi for copyediting ...