Female Journeys: Autobiographical Expressions by French and Italian Women

Female Journeys: Autobiographical Expressions by French and Italian Women

Female Journeys: Autobiographical Expressions by French and Italian Women

Female Journeys: Autobiographical Expressions by French and Italian Women

Synopsis

In this study of 19th- and 20th-century French and Italian women's autobiography, the author illustrates how the protagonists' development unfolds through separation from oppressive social and familial structures. Reading the selected life stories as bildungsromane and drawing on an array of both canonical and noncanonical texts in the various autobiographical subgenres, Marrone concludes that the heroines' movements away from oppressive structures are not limited to particular historical periods but are motivated by historical and cultural circumstances. She thoughtfully traces the reasons why a 19th-century protagonist might leave her country, a turn-of-the-century heroine might flee her family, and a modern female character might separate from her mother, carefully examining their motivations and their goals. In telling their stories, she concludes, women writers continually challenge existing autobiographical conventions. Marrone finds that postmodern texts prove that the journey toward selfhood may be an ongoing one, one that unfolds through the creation of multiple life stories.
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