Farewell to the Self: Between the Letter and the Self-Portrait
Tamboukou, M. 2013. Farewell to the Self: Between the Letter and the Self-Portrait. Life Writing.
In this paper I consider interfaces between visual and textual representations of the female self in art. I am looking in particular at Gwen John’s self-portraits and the letters revolving around them. In this context, there are three thematic areas that I explore: a) questions around portraiture in general and the self-portrait in particular, b) connections between visual images and textual narratives in life-writing research and c) genealogical lines in John’s self-representation through her paintings and letters. What I suggest is that John’s self-portraits become events for playing with different modalities of self-representation and experimenting with other ways of painting the self, while her letters become texts destabilizing and interrogating conventions of reading the visual. What I finally argue is that the visual turn in narrative research needs to consider carefully discourses and debates in the field of art histories, while the latter have to become more informed in the nuances of life narrative research.
|self-portraits; letters; life narratives; Gwen John; visual turn
|Accepted author manuscript
|Web address (URL)
|25 Jun 2013
|Publication process dates
|17 Mar 2014
|"This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Life Writing [publication online 25 June 2013] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14484528.2013.810242."
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