POSTMODERN BIOGRAPHY IN URS WIDMER’S NOVEL “MY FATHER’S BOOK”
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Abstract: The article considers the novel “My Father’s book” written by a Swiss German-speaking author Urs Widmer with the focus on the particularities of postmodern biography. As the basis of the analysis definite features of postmodern writing were chosen. Structuralism methods enable to consider the relevant poetological aspects of the novel, mainly the principle of its organization with the accent on the gist and its realization. The first characteristic of postmodern writing traced in the novel is the variety of narrative perspectives. There is the third-person narrative mode when the family biography and the complicated historical period are presented in a quite estranged way; the first-person narrative mode that adds the autobiographical dimension; and the protagonist’s mode when the Father expresses his own point of view in form of intertextual insertions – pages from his diary. Inconsistent and non-chronological narration, fragmentary structure and including of different type of text are the substantial features of this work. Changeable chronotopos, interknitting motives, intertextual references within the novel contribute to complicating of the text structure and make it similar to the structure of a polyphonic composition – the fuga. Another feature of postmodern text – blurring of the border between facts and fiction – is proved through Urs Widmer’s confession concerning the role of autobiographical elements in his works and his doubts about the objectivity of any memories. The article emphasizes that despite the postmodern features the novel can’t be defined as an anti-biography. Although the biographical time in this text is organized in a non-chronological way, the human life is presented as the whole complexity, the total of events and a definite story of individual existence. The article traces the ways for further poetological studies of the novel.
Key words: POSTMODERNISM; POSTMODERN TEXTS; AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ELEMENTS; BIOGRAPHIES; BIOGRAPHICAL DISCOURSE; DIARIES LITERARY MOTIVES; CHRONOTOPES; FUGUE; INTERTEXTUALITY, SWISS LITERATURE; SWISS WRITERS; NOVELS; LITERARY CREATION
Stikhina, I. A. Postmodern Biography in Urs Widmer’s Novel “My Father’s Book” / I. A. Stikhina. In Philological Class. 2019. №3 (57). P. 143-148. DOI 10.26170/FK19-03-20.