en5/2/1 | Activities / Symposia / Mirror and Mask
Mirror and Mask
Constructions of Biographical Truth
'Biographical truth is not attainable, and even if it were, it would be of little use' (Sigmund Freud)
The symposium focused on the processes of manipulation, stylization and (un)masking used to construct life stories, looking also at the suppression and destruction of biography. What kinds of contradictions and gaps are created by biographical constructions, and what rhetorical and aesthetic strategies are involved? What political and ideological assumptions lie behind biographies?
The concept of 'auto/biographical truth' was central to the debate: work on both the sources and the reception history of biographical narratives causes diverse biographical 'truths' to enter into competition with one another.
An edited volume of extended conference papers has been published.