Unpicked and Remade: Creative Imperatives in John Burnside’s Autofictions

  • Ricarda Menn
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Life Writing book series (PSLW)


In investigating John Burnside’s three autofictional texts, this chapter draws attention to serial modes of self-narrative, which challenge conceptions of a linear, autobiographical subject. Responding to cultural demands of creativity and self-invention, autofiction in this context relates to a form of recollection, which necessarily links the epistemological status of the self to the act of writing and narrativizing. Through writing and rewriting, the narrated self is thus not definable by conventional truth claims, but is instead subject to fictive strategies of self-representation. In combining seriality and autofiction, John Burnside’s texts reframe personal, recollective stories via inherently different narrative and formal means. The act of serial repetition and rewriting thus impacts on autofiction itself by creating a multifaceted view of the narrated self.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricarda Menn
    • 1
  1. 1.Goethe UniversityFrankfurtGermany

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