“Just to Delve into One Life…”: Life Writing as a Hermeneutic Challenge Cover Image
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"Wystarczy mocno i wytrwale zastanawiać się nad jednym życiem…" Biografistyka jako hermeneutyczne wyzwanie
“Just to Delve into One Life…”: Life Writing as a Hermeneutic Challenge

Author(s): Anna Legeżyńska
Subject(s): Theoretical Linguistics, Studies of Literature
Published by: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: hermeneutic situation; creative personality; biographical intention; imagined biography

Summary/Abstract: There is more than a formal difference between autobiography and biography understood as a text or process of describing another person’s life. Biography has a distinct modal framework that depends on three factors: the biographer’s fascination, empathy and imagination. These three, Legeżyńska argues, have a hermeneutic role, for they determine how the biographer interprets not just facts but the whole meaning of the subject’s life and work. Legeżyńska recalls how formalist and structuralist theories attempted to discredit the notion of (the real author’s) personality, then reviews representations of biography in personalism and in modernist aesthetic of portraiture – representations that anticipate her own concept of life writing. Her own experience of writing a biography (of the poet Julia Hartwig) is positioned in the movement of what Ryszard Nycz has called “personal literary scholarship”. She proposes the notion of “imagined biography” to describe her own preferred convention of describing a creative personality.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 13-27
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish