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The Life Effect. Literary Studies and the Biographical Perspective

Abstract : This is an article commissioned by Hans Renders for his second book contribution to the theory of biography, The Biographical Turn (2016), following up on Theoretical Discussions of Biography (2014). I remark that contemporary fiction is currently undergoing a strong tropism towards non-fiction: a sort of “biographization”, comparable to what Mikhail Bakhtin called “novelization” nearly one century ago. The concept of “biofiction” proposed by Alain Buisine proves essential. Revising the notion of “effet de vécu” that Dominique Viart derives from Roland Barthes “reality effect” (“effet de réel”), I propose to inflect it further towards the notion of “life effect”, which I define as a heuristic process, considering that a life is always itself a form of writing, and that consequently biography is a writing of a writing, that is to say a writing of deciphering, which today I call “investigation”. Finally, I underline the importance of the works of Gérard Genette, especially of his book Fiction & Diction (1979), for the generic study of biography.
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Contributor : Joanny Moulin <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 11, 2016 - 10:26:09 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, December 17, 2017 - 9:08:02 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01395616, version 1

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Joanny Moulin. The Life Effect. Literary Studies and the Biographical Perspective. Hans Renders. The Biographical Turn. Lives in History, 2016, 9781138939714. ⟨hal-01395616⟩

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