Avtobiografija in kočljivost zvrstnih opredelitev: Moje življenje med tekstom in žanrom

TitleAvtobiografija in kočljivost zvrstnih opredelitev: Moje življenje med tekstom in žanrom
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJuvan, Marko
JournalSlavistična revija
Keywordsautobiography, Cankar I., genre theory, Rousseau J. J., singularity

The goal of writing and speaking about one’s own life is to articulate and show the singularity of an individual’s experience. In its verbal expression, this tendency agrees with the principle of textuality as a one-time, never entirely repeatable event of meaning. However, the singularity of text is not possible without repeatable signs and symbols and their structures of expression that can be imitated, hence writing about “my life”– even if in the name of confession and affirmation of the irreplaceable “self” – succumbs to “the law of genre”. It is not only writing or speaking about one’s own life as a unique cultural product that becomes entangled in the network of genres: the “self” that is memorialized, interpreted, constituted, and affirmed by this writing does the same. However, the aforementioned opposition ends up caught in a different paradox: the individual’s experience, verbally expressed in autobiographical genres, particularly in autobiography, is – because it is unique, incomplete, and unable to be recapitulated – repeatedly a latent and manifest interruption, disbanding genre categories and their systems, i.e., the autobiography escapes genre classification of discourses (literary vs. non-literary, private vs. public, etc.) and floats among them as a genological monad sui generis. This issue is also brought forth with a new reading of Cankar’s Moje življenje [My life] in relation to Rousseau’s Confessions.