The creative remembering of the self: Spatial and temporal characteristics of Will Self’s “Walking to Hollywood: Memories of before the fall” and Ben Lerner’s “10:04”


  • Мария Александровна Яловенко Российский государственный педагогический университет им. А. И. Герцена


Ключевые слова:

autobiographical pact, autofiction, narrative transgressions, impossible worlds, unnatural temporalities


In the present paper we make an attempt to define the phenomenon of autofiction as opposed to the well-established notion of autobiography, that over the last number of years has sparked off considerable debate about factual and fictional in life-writing, with the latter becoming of a major interest to literary researchers and cognitive linguists.

The purpose of the analysis of the above-mentioned texts is to compare and possibly contrast them, while investigating the self-centered, individualized nature of autofiction, as it manifests itself in these long and exhausting trips through time and space.

Since the texts in question proved to demonstrate a certain ontological instability, we argue for the existence of the “impossible worlds” within the autofictional text, that is, not only it signals the confrontation between the actual (“real”) world and fictional world, but also between the fictional world and the “impossible world” as part of a broader concept of “unnatural narrative”. “Unnatural narrative”, in turn, allows for further investigation of “unnatural temporalities” and “antimimetic spaces” which has become the focal point of the present research.

The results summed up in this paper confirm the importance of techniques and strategies employed by the authors in constituting the alternative type of self-narration, with the fictional prevailing over the factual.

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Лингвистика и междисциплинарные исследования языка и речи