Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001
Subject: Re: Hannah's visions [Watten: "AUTOBIOGRAPHY SIMPLEX"]

Barrett Watten wrote:

>>It's not a simple either/or question, but not asking it, I think, gets a
lot simpler result in terms of reading or responding to Hannah's work and

Reminiscent perhaps, Camille/Barrett, of 'the distinction drawn by James Olney
between "autobiography simplex" and "autobiography duplex,"' cited by Robert
(Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997, p. 16) . . . somewhat
ontological/metaphysical in its phrasing:

'"One might say," he writes, "that autobiography is simple when . . . one can
detach the style from the substance and can handle and dissect it to see what it
reveals about its maker." Rather than seeing that style "as turn[ing] back on
itself with self-criticism, there is the felt assumption . . . that this is
the way the thing is said, that there is no other way." . . . In contrast, the
act of duplex autobiography, "both as creation and as recreation constitute[s] a
bringing to consciousness of the nature of one's own existence, transforming the
mere face of existence into a realized quality and a possible meaning," a
"definition of the writer's self . . . in the present, at the time of writing,"
an awareness "of himself describing himself in the past" coupled with an
awareness "that this awareness is his present view on reality" (Olney, 44)."
[Olney, James, Metaphors of Self: The Meaning of Autobiography (Princeton
University Press, 1972)]