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Modernists and Modernism in the Biographical Novel

The biographical novel is unique in that it blends two seemingly contradictory activities, the non-fictional act of accurately representing the biographical subject and the fictional act of inventing characters and scenes. Before the 1980s, there were only a few significant biographical novels. But in the 1990s, there was a veritable explosion of this genre of fiction. A disproportionate number of contemporary biographical novels feature modernist writers, such as Virginia Woolf, Henry James, Frida Kahlo, Stephen Crane, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rainer Maria Rilke, Walter Benjamin, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Sergey Nabakov, to name just a notable few.
Is it significant that modernists and modernism figure so centrally in contemporary biographical novels? To what degree did modernist ideas give birth to the contemporary biographical novel? How is the biographical novel enabling us to re-imagine modernists and modernism? What prevented prominent modernists from authoring biographical novels? On this panel, we will define the nature of this genre of fiction, provide an overview of its evolution, clarify how it relates to modernists and modernism, and analyze a few biographical novels.
Please submit a 250-word abstract and a CV to Michael Lackey (lacke010@morris.umn.edu) by May 2nd.



Conference Location: Pittsburgh, USA
Conference Starts: November 06, 2014
Conference Ends: November 09, 2014

CFP Submission Deadline: May 02, 2014

For more information, contact: Michael Lackey

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