Interfaces in narrative research: letters as technologies of the self and as traces of social forces
Tamboukou, M. 2011. Interfaces in narrative research: letters as technologies of the self and as traces of social forces. Qualitative Research. 11 (5), pp. 625-641.
Abstract: In this paper I explore the use of letters in narrative research in the social sciences. Taking Gwen John’s love letters to Auguste Rodin as an exemplar of epistolary analysis, I raise questions around the ontological and epistemological nature of epistolary narratives, particularly focusing on openness as a force generating meaning, challenging conventions in classical narratology and destabilizing discourses around the constitution of the social and the subject. Further drawing on Kristeva’s notion of intertextuality I propose an analysis of epistolary narratives along the axes of subject-addressee and text-context. In this light I trace connections between ‘real life letters’ and the genre of the amorous epistolary novel, highlighting the need for interdisciplinary approaches in the analysis of letters in narrative research.
|Keywords||amorous discourse; desire; epistolary narratives; Gwen John; dialogism; intertextuality; love letters; technologies of the self|
|Journal citation||11 (5), pp. 625-641|
|Web address (URL)||http://qrj.sagepub.com/content/11/5/625.short|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||15 Feb 2013|
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