Relational Narratives: Autobiography and the Portrait
Tamboukou, M. 2010. Relational Narratives: Autobiography and the Portrait. Women Studies International Forum. 33 (3), pp. 170-179.
In Cavarero's (2000) philosophical conceptualization of the narratable self, narration, both biographical and autobiographical, is a political act in its capacity to expose the fragile uniqueness of the self in its constitutive relation with others. Drawing on the notions of the narratable self and the relational character of stories, in this paper I am sketching out a genealogy of relating narratives by focusing on an early twentieth century document of life: Rosa Bonheur's auto/biography written by her companion Anna Klumpke. This rare blend of biography and autobiography brings forward in a unique way what Cavarero has defined as the desire of the narratable self to listen to her story being told by others. It further highlights the political and ethical responsibility of the listener to retell and rewrite the story disclosed to her. What I suggest is that there is an urgent need for narrative driven researchers not only to bend over the timely necessity of listening to stories being told by others, but also to problematize their listening and dig deeper into the political and ethical effects of the stories they write and tell.
|narration; biography; autobiography; storytelling
|Women Studies International Forum
|33 (3), pp. 170-179
|Accepted author manuscript
|Web address (URL)
|Publication process dates
|07 Jul 2010
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