Author: Charles Reeve

Artists and their Autobiographies from Today to the Renaissance and Back

Routledge, 2022

Reading life writing that runs from Tracey Emin, Faith Ringgold and Judy Chicago to Marie Bashkirtseff, Benvenuto Cellini and beyond, Artists and Their Autobiographies from Today to the Renaissance and Back investigates the intriguing doubled truths of artists’ autobiographies: truth in life and truth in art; authorial truth/s and the truth of their art as they saw it. However, this book focuses specifically on the truth of sincerity, which here—following classic discussions by Reindert Dhondt, Philippe Lejeune and Lionel Trilling—appears as a truth to self that floats free from facts to link avowal and feeling. From there, this volume merges autobiography studies with a history of ideas approach to art to trace sincerity’s constancy and variability across times and cultures. Through this pre-disciplinary dialogue, this book shows that recent and historical artists’ autobiographies differ in how, not if, they intertwine sincerity in life and art. Along the way, this volume leverages the foregrounding of sincerity caused by this doubling to explore such key issues of autobiography studies as autobiography’s relation to fiction, serial autobiography, “as-told-to” narrative and what happens when liars claim to tell all.

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