The use of memoirs and recollections in the research of the writer's biography.

Шовкопляс, Галина Євгенівна (2016) The use of memoirs and recollections in the research of the writer's biography. Українська мова й література в школах України (7-8). pp. 36-43.

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Researching the biography of a writer presents certain difficulties both for the author of a lecture course and textbook, and for the school teacher directly involved in acquainting the students with the works of a specific writer. Hardly anyone can avoid these difficulties, even if they do not associate the work of the writer with his life’s path, due to the fact that research of the writer’s literary contributions is intrinsically linked to encountering facts from his biography. Besides the so called “sensationalist biographies”, the authors of which often use questionable sources for fact-gathering, there exist biographies of another sort, which canonize the image of the writer and create a concrete “schematic” of his life’s journey. During the Soviet era, such “schematization” of biographies was connected to the creation of a certain image of the writer which corresponded to the ideological course of the ruling party. To clear up the misconceptions and inaccuracies contained in such USSR-influenced biographies, one could turn to the memoirs and recollections of the writer’s contemporaries: such sources provide fresh facts which supply the researcher with the details necessary to see the full picture of the individual’s life and work. However, the raw material of memoirs and recollections carries with it its own dangers for the researcher. One of such undisputed dangers is the so-called “subjective factor”: the author of the memoirs may interpret events in accordance with his personal views, may distort facts and supply subjective evaluations of various phenomena. While working with such source material, the researcher should take into account both the knowledge of the personality of the memoir’s author and the knowledge of the historical facts of the relevant period. Even such a vague category as the “atmosphere of the era” or zeitgeist can be useful in analyzing personal recollections.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biographical data on the writer; “sensationalist biographies”; sources for researching the writer’s biography; stereotypes of canonical writers’ biographies; materials of memoirs and recollections; the danger of the “subjective factor”.
Subjects: Статті у журналах > Фахові (входять до переліку фахових, затверджений МОН)
Divisions: Інститути > Гуманітарний інститут > Кафедра світової літератури
Depositing User: доцент Галина Євгенівна Шовкопляс
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2016 07:40
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 07:40

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