The Phenomenology of Autobiography: Making it Real
Taking a fresh look at the state of autobiography as a genre,The Phenomenology of Autobiography: Making it Real takes a deepdive into the experience of the reader. Dr. Schmitt argues thatcurrent trends in the field of life writing have taken the focusaway from the text and the initial purpose of autobiography as ameans for the author to communicate with a reader and narrate anexperience. The study puts autobiography back into acommunicational context, and putting forth the notion that one ofthe reasons why life writing can so often be aestheticallyunsatisfactory, or difficult to distinguish from novels, is becauseit should not be considered as a literary genre, but as a modalitywith radically different rules and means of evaluation. In otherwords, not only is autobiography radically different from fictiondue to its referentiality, but, first and foremost, it should beread differently.