Writing Selves: Understanding Autobiography ~2,500-3,000 Word Essay [70%, 2007]

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“1. ‘All serious work in fiction is autobiography.’ (Thomas Wolfe) Is all autobiography, then, a form of fiction? Consider one work of ‘autobiography’ and one work of ‘fiction’ in the light of Wolfe’s statement.” (2,500-3,000 words)

{Essay CONTENTS: Introduction; Distinction between ‘fiction’ and ‘autobiography’; Definition of ‘fiction’; Definition of ‘autobiography’, creation of ‘autobiography’/’fiction’ and ‘truth’/’untruth’ binary oppositions; Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘truthful’ autobiography [Confessions]; Rousseau’s emphasis on autobiographical truth; Rousseau’s description of his textual productions; Provisional conclusion one: Confessions as an exemplar of ‘autobiography’; Philip K. Dick’s ‘fictional’ Valis; Narratological events in Valis; Disconnect between quest element of Valis’ narrative and Dick’s life; Provisional conclusion two: Valis as a paragon of ‘fiction’; Post-structuralist ‘unpicking’ of an episode in Rousseau’s Confessions: ‘shame’ as vehicle excusing episode’s relation; Further post-structuralist unpicking: ‘forgetting’ as ‘performative’ aspect of autobiography ~ revision of conclusion one: ‘autobiography’ contaminated by ‘fictional’ form; ‘Autobiographical’ elements of Dick’s Valis – marriage breakdown, suicide attempt, benevolence towards female; Dick’s real-life ‘exegesis’; Dick’s allusion to own published works; Revision of conclusion two: ‘fiction’ contaminated by ‘autobiography’; Deconstruction of key terms; Definition of ‘fiction’, showing etymological contamination by ‘truthful’ elements; Unsuitability of term ‘autobiography’ for strict denotation of “rigidly rooted in reality”; Mutual etymological contamination of ‘fiction’ and ‘autobiography’; Historical interplay of ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’; Verisimilitude ~ ‘false document’; Albert Camus’ The First Man as the epitome of ‘semi-autobiography’; Fight between Jacques Cormery [Camus’ fictionalized self] and Munoz; Application of Cormery-Munoz to Zidane-Materazzi [2006 World Cup Final]; Zidane compared to Camus’ ‘fictional’ characters Meursault and Sisyphus; Usefulness of ‘autobiographical’ form in scientific studies of personality; Paul de Man ~ ‘autobiography’ as a figure of reading or understanding; ‘Fiction’-‘autobiography’ interplay, and ‘autobiography’ as a figure of reading, demonstrated in V For Vendetta; Conclusion.}

In this essay I will ultimately confirm Thomas Wolfe’s statement, concluding that all serious work in literature is a product of ‘fictional’ and ‘autobiographical’ elements. In order to arrive at this conclusion, I will firstly establish a provisional opposition in the form ‘autobiography’/ ‘fiction’ that corresponds to the distinction between the ‘truth’/ ‘untruth’ of the textual substance of serious literary works. Having thus distinguished the terms ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’, I will show that aspects of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions are undeniably rooted in reality, and highlight components of the narrative related in Philip K. Dick’s Valis that are founded purely on imagination – thus offering evidence that apparently refutes Wolfe’s statement. From a post-structuralist perspective, I will deconstruct the argument that these two texts are uncorrupted representatives of ‘two’ literary genres by highlighting the ‘fictional’ elements of the Confessions with reference to Paul de Man, and shedding light on the ‘autobiographical’ basis of Valis. A further deconstruction of the terms ‘fiction’ and ‘autobiography’ will demonstrate that these terms cannot guarantee the (un-/)truthfulness of a literary text, as they are contaminated by one another at the etymological level. I will illustrate the ‘fictional’ technique of verisimilitude that further blurs the boundaries between ‘truth’/ ‘untruth’, before using a scene from the film V For Vendetta to exemplify Paul de Man’s belief that ‘autobiography’ is not a distinct literary genre, but, rather, a figure of reading or understanding literary texts, and that, therefore, all texts are at once both ‘autobiographical’ and ‘fictional’.[^]

In order to refute Thomas Wolfe’s statement, a distinction between ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’ must be established, before it can be provisionally demonstrated that all serious work in ‘fiction’ is untainted by ‘autobiography’. The two following definitions of ‘fiction’ help to conceptualise this term in a simple manner:[^]

fiction n an invented story; any literary work with imaginary characters and events […].1
fiction n. 1.a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.2[^]

Therefore, if ‘autobiography’ is to be entirely distinct from ‘fiction’, ‘autobiography’ must represent that which ‘fiction’ does not; ‘autobiography’ must represent actuality, truth, “that which is true, factual or genuine”3. Thus, a rudimentary structuralist binary opposition may be created in the form ‘autobiography’/’fiction’, which conforms to the binary opposition of ‘truth’/’untruth’ with regard to the textual substance of these ‘two’ literary genres.[^]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau is seen by many “as the originator of modern autobiography”4 following the posthumous publication of his Confessions. From the outset of this work, Rousseau is keen to stress the singularity and truth of the text he has produced:[^]

I am resolved on an undertaking that has no model and will have no imitator. I want to show my fellow-men a man in all the truth of nature; and this man is to be myself, […] I have concealed nothing that was ill, added nothing that was good, […] I have disclosed my innermost self as you alone know it to be.5[^]

As befits a self-taught philosophical and literary man, Rousseau describes his various textual productions, detailing the circumstances surrounding his completion of the Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts, the Discourse on Inequality, Julie, or the New Héloise, and the Social Contract, among others:

I went about writing this essay [the Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts] in a very singular fashion and one that I have almost always followed in my other works. I devoted to it the nights when I was sleepless […].6[^]

The works which Rousseau describes are still available today7. Taking into consideration the fact that Rousseau elaborates on his literary production of texts which undeniably came into existence through his inscription, it would appear logical to assume that his Confessions is a work of ‘autobiography’ based strictly upon truth, without any ‘fictional’ interference.[^]

Philip K. Dick’s Valis is a text that has been categorized as ‘science fiction’. Valis is ostensibly narrated by Horselover Fat “in the third person to gain much-needed objectivity”8, and is a ‘fictional’ account of the events that conspire to shake Fat’s grip on reality. An analysis of these events will serve to provide the bedrock from which a judgment can be made as to whether this work of ‘fiction’ is tainted by ‘autobiography’.[^]

Following the suicide of Fat’s close friend, Gloria Knudson, Fat “did so much dope that he had to buy from every source available to him.”9 Through this decline into dope-smoking dependency, Fat meets Stephanie, a high-school girl who becomes his dealer. Fat buys Stephanie a kickwheel for her eighteenth birthday, and Stephanie gives Fat one of the first pots she throws on her new machine. This pot proves to be the catalyst for what Fat believes is an encounter with a God-like entity that he provisionally names ‘zebra’. Following this rendezvous with ‘zebra’, Fat becomes obsessed with understanding the ‘messages’ that were transmitted to him during this period, spending hours writing seemingly-insane theories in his journal, or, as Fat terms it, his “exegesis”10. Fat’s descent in ‘exegesis’-scribbling madness proves to be too much for his wife, Beth, who decides to terminate their relationship, taking their son Christopher with her. As a result of the split, Fat winds up in a psychiatric hospital following an unsuccessful suicide attempt. After his release from hospital, Fat’s friend Sherri succumbs to cancer, Kevin sees a film called ‘Valis’, and the quest for the ‘Saviour’ – a two-year-old girl named Sophia – begins.[^]

At no time in his life did Philip K. Dick see a film entitled ‘Valis’ and begin an expedition with his friends in search of a living incarnation of God:

The character of Kevin sees a film called VALIS, and the friends go to see […] a girl, who is the reincarnation of VALIS, or the current version of Christ […] Did Dick see a film like this and then roam the world in search of the saviour? Well, no.11[^]

In light of the fact that Dick wrote about an apparently absurd quest that did not take place during his lifetime, it seems reasonable to propose that Valis is a serious work of ‘fiction’ that is not contaminated by ‘autobiography’.[^]

From a post-structuralist perspective, however, it is questionable whether ‘autobiography’ can be the guarantor of literary ‘truth’. In his Confessions, Rousseau relates an episode in which, following the death of Mme de Vercellis, he steals a “little ribbon, silver and rose-coloured and already quite old”12, with the intention of offering it as a gift to Marion, “a young girl from the Maurienne, […] virtuous and totally loyal.”13 When he is caught with the stolen ribbon, however, Rousseau “hesitated, stammered, and finally said, blushing, that Marion had given it to me.”14 In summarising his motives for this lie – a lie which led to the dismissal of both Marion and Rousseau from the household – he declares that it was his sense of ‘shame’ that forced him to act in the manner he did:

When she appeared shortly afterwards I was stricken with remorse, […] I feared shame more than death, more than crime, more than anything in the world. […] It was shame alone, unconquerable shame, that prevailed over everything […].15

The post-structuralist Paul de Man argues that, unlike the actual theft, there is no factual evidence to support Rousseau’s stated motives concerning this episode, “we must […] simply take Rousseau’s word for his feelings; there is no other available proof.”16 De Man theorized that the ‘shame’ to which Rousseau ‘confesses’ is not a ‘cognitive’ aspect of his ‘autobiography’, experienced in the face of the potential revelation of his sexual desire for Marion, but, rather, a ‘performative’ aspect of his ‘autobiography’, an “‘excuse’ for exposure, a ‘ruse’ which sanctions his confession.”17 Rousseau’s ‘shame’, de Man argues, is a vehicle that generates the excuse for the episode to be related at all.[^]

In the absence of any concrete, external evidence for the feelings to which Rousseau ‘confesses’, the Confessions can be read in a new, wary light – in a manner that is more suspicious of the ‘authenticity’ that can only be ‘guaranteed’ by Rousseau himself. For example, Rousseau claims that, having submitted his first Discourse – the essay responding to “these words [in the Mercure de France, through which] I saw another universe and I became another man”18 – he had disremembered the whole enterprise within a year:

During the course of the following year […] when I had forgotten all about my Discourse, I learned that it had carried off the prize at Dijon.19

When one considers the style in which Rousseau writes – a style of sustained self-obsession – it is unlikely that he would forget a text that he himself, his uniquely-important self, had invested time and energy in producing. It could be argued that his ‘forgetting’ is a ‘performative’ aspect of his ‘autobiography’, showing the reader how busy his mind and life had been throughout that year. Therefore, the feelings and ‘facts’ that cannot be verified by any source external to Rousseau himself cannot be said to represent truth unequivocally; a seemingly cut-and-dried ‘autobiography’ is rife with ‘fictional’ elements.[^]

In parallel, the sequence of events narrated by Horselover Fat in Valis, which precede the friends’ invented search for the ‘Saviour’, can be seen to have a truthful, ‘autobiographical’ referent in Philip K. Dick’s life:

VALIS begins with many events as they did indeed happen in Dick’s life, albeit thinly disguised. […] In real life, Dick’s wife, Tessa, left him, taking their son Christopher with her. Dick’s subsequent suicide attempt matches the details […]. Fat helps a woman named Sherri, […] whereas Dick helped out her real life counterpart, Doris Sauter.20[^]

Dick also began writing an ‘exegesis’ during his lifetime, and new material is slowly being released from his unpublished scribblings by the official Philip K. Dick website:

[…] there remain thousands of unpublished pages from this mostly handwritten journal. It contains autobiographical material, philosophical speculation and analysis of his own fiction.21[^]

Like Rousseau, Dick also alludes to his own published works in Valis, and the reference is made more explicit by his quoting (and footnoting) a passage from A Scanner Darkly which helps Horselover Fat to narrate his encounter with ‘zebra’:

In my novel A Scanner Darkly, published in 1977, I ripped off Fat’s account of his eight hours of lurid phosphene activity.

He had, a few years ago, been experimenting […].22[^]

Thus, Valis, a serious work in ‘fiction’, can be seen in some respects to remain true to real events that occurred during Dick’s lifetime, ‘autobiographical’.[^]

Having shown that the term ‘autobiography’ does not guarantee the truthfulness of a serious literary work, and that the term ‘fiction’ does not preclude a basis within – or reference to – reality, a further deconstruction of these terms will highlight why this is the case at the etymological level. Wikipedia offers the following, online definition of the term ‘fiction’:[^]

Fiction […] is the genre of imaginative prose literature, including novels and short stories. […] Works of fiction need not be entirely imaginary, and may include or reference real people, places, and events.23[^]

The emboldened segment of this definition neatly encapsulates the literary content of Philip K. Dick’s Valis. Furthermore, the following definitions highlight the fact that ‘autobiography’ cannot be the definitive term used to describe a work that remains rigidly rooted in reality:

Definition of autobiography (noun)
form: autobiographies
the story of one’s life written by himself24

Noun story (plural stories)
An account of real or fictional events.25[^]

Therefore, by definition, ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’ are not distinct concepts, but contaminate one another. ‘Autobiography’ may include elements that are invented, ‘fictional’ (in concession to which the terms ‘fictionalized autobiography’, ‘autobiographical novel’, and ‘semi-autobiographical’ have been invented), and ‘fiction’ can include elements based on factual truth, ‘autobiographical’ elements.[^]

As Rudd has noted, the inextricable interplay between the terms ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’ is well-established in literature, with the rise in popularity of the ‘autobiographical’ form throughout the nineteenth century highlighting the usage of “the techniques of fiction to shape it and bring it to life, whilst novels themselves used the device of the ‘life story’ to give them verisimilitude.”26[^]

One form of verisimilitude, “the state or quality of something that exhibits the appearance of truth or reality”27, which is particularly prevalent in ‘fictional’ literature is the “false document”28, whereby an author of ‘fiction’ invents a text and continually refers to it as if it were an actual work. This well-established literary technique blurs the boundaries between truth and untruth, and two examples of ‘fictional’ false documents can be seen in the case of Robinson Crusoe (which purported to be Crusoe’s autobiography, but was in fact written by Daniel Defoe) and Gulliver’s Travels (which “was originally attributed to ‘Lemuel Gulliver’ […] It even includes a rather irate bogus note from Gulliver to his publisher”29, but was in reality inscribed by Jonathan Swift).[^]

Albert Camus’ The First Man, published posthumously in 1994, is a recent example of a ‘semi-autobiography’ that employs the techniques of ‘fiction’ in vividly recalling the renowned philosopher’s Algerian childhood. Between Camus’ bestowal of ‘fictional’ names upon the characters who influenced his formative years, and the factually-verifiable people, places, and events he describes, The First Man can be seen to exemplify the ‘autobiographical’-‘fictional’ interplay that pervades all serious work in literature.[^]

In one memorable episode, Camus relates the manner in which his fictional ‘self’, Jacques Cormery, initiates an after-school fight with Munoz – “a big blond boy, rather flabby and insipid”30 who had labelled him “‘Teacher’s pet'”31 – by insulting his taunter’s mother:

‘All right,’ said Jacques. ‘Then your mother’s a whore.’ That too was a ritual insult that led immediately to battle, for to insult mothers […] had been from time immemorial the most serious of affronts known to the shores of the Mediterranean.32

Cormery and Munoz battle on the ‘green field’, “a sort of waste ground, not far from the school”33, and Cormery gives his opponent a black eye with a series of blows that bewilder and defeat his classroom tormentor. The young Camus/Cormery is the victor.[^]

This childhood drama can be used to shed light on an event which indisputably occurred in reality, before the disbelieving eyes of millions of spectators worldwide. Zinedine Zidane’s aggressive headbutting of Marco Materazzi’s chest during the final minutes of extra-time in the World Cup 2006 Final, a match which marked the retirement of the French-Algerian genius who had graced the game for over a decade, may be explained with reference to the aforementioned insult that Camus/Cormery declares is guaranteed to provoke individuals of Mediterranean descent into battle:

[…] the French football star only partly explained what caused him to react in fury and head-butt an Italian opponent: repeated harsh insults about his mother and sister.34[^]

Zidane’s ‘partial’ explanation for his violent outburst becomes more complete when read in the light of Jacques Cormery’s after-school fight in Camus’ The First Man. Zidane has been likened to Camus’ ‘fictional’ characters Meursault and Sisyphus:

The call to compare Zidane to someone other than Camus’s Meursault has been heard and answered – […] Jason Solomons compares Zinedine Zidane to…Sisyphus!

One thinks of the footballing philosopher Albert Camus, like Zidane, a son of Algeria and France. […] The Myth of Sisyphus […]. Zidane […] spent much of that final against Italy carrying the ball towards the opposition penalty area only to see it repelled.35[^]

However, it is surely the after-school fight between Jacques Cormery and Munoz that best explains the violent images that will, unfortunately, linger at least as long in the memory of football fans as the sublime skills that earned him the accolade “Best European player of the past 50 years”36 in 2004.

The popularity of the ‘autobiographical’ form increased in the period following the publication of Rousseau’s Confessions, as people were “keen to learn more about the elevated and famous – what, for instance, made the man of genius?”37 This interest is still one of the key factors underlying the universal engrossment with ‘autobiography’, and the fact that Camus’ The First Man can help to explain a recent controversy that shook the sporting world, twelve years after the publication of his work, illustrates the potential insight and relevance of the late nineteenth-century attempts to use the ‘autobiographical’ form “in scientific studies of personality, genius, madness […] to find common patterns associated with particular types.”38[^]

In a further deconstruction of the term ‘autobiography’, Paul de Man argues that – in light of the fact that ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’ are not mutually exclusive terms, but, rather, contaminate each other with overlapping signification – “autobiography, then, is not a genre or a mode, but a figure of reading or of understanding that occurs, to some degree, in all texts.”39 Owing to the undecidable distinction between ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’, “all texts are autobiographical […] [but] by the same token, none of them is or can be.”40 From a post-structuralist perspective, all language is metaphorical, in the sense that a word is merely the signifier of whatever it seeks to signify; language can be used to describe a football match, for example, but cannot ever literally be a football match. De Man argues that all writers, because of the metaphorical status of language, give a text a ‘face’, which the reader then interprets, ‘de-faces’. Thus, ‘autobiography’ is not a distinct genre, but a figure of reading or of understanding that occurs on the part of the reader; if all ‘autobiography’ is written using language – “the written symbols for speech”41 – that can only ever be, by definition, metaphorical, then all ‘autobiography’ is indeed inextricably linked with ‘fiction’.[^]

De Man’s belief that ‘autobiography’ is merely a figure of reading or understanding is exemplified in the ‘fictional’ film V For Vendetta, a film set in the near-future, for which Guy Fawkes’ arson attempt on Westminster Palace serves as the reference point for the Guy-Fawkes-mask-wearing anti-hero V’s government-overthrowing endeavours. V succeeds in enlisting the help of Evey in his attempt to liberate society from the dominant clutches of the oppressive totalitarian regime in power. Following the capture and torture of Dietrich, a friend of Evey and a man who openly embraces V’s philosophy in the face of government interdictions, Evey is captured by what she believes to be government agents for her role in helping V. While she is being held in a cell and subjected to intermittent torture, she discovers an ‘autobiographical’ letter written on a roll of toilet paper, hidden in a mousehole in her prison chamber. Reading this ‘autobiography’ by a person who signs off as ‘Valerie’ – in which the importance of retaining one’s dignity is stressed – gives Evey the strength to prefer what she believes will be certain death at the hands of her torturers to the prospect of surrendering information to them. When she accepts her imminent death, stoically refusing to release the aforementioned information, her ‘captor’ says she can leave. Escaping from her cell, she realizes that she is in V’s house, and that her ‘torture’ has been a ploy on V’s part to set her free. Evey tells V that she feels daft because she believed the ‘autobiography’ was real, whereas now she realizes it must have been part of V’s game:

EVEY

It was a good backdrop. I believed
it. I really did. It's still a
bit hard for me to accept that it
wasn't real. That it was just you.
Especially the letter.
[She takes the letter from her pocket]
[...]
EVEY
I feel a bit foolish telling you
this. I know that you must have
written it and thought you should
have it back.
V
But I didn't write that letter,
Evey.
EVEY
What?
[...]
V
Yes. Valerie Page. She was the
woman in room four.
EVEY
She's beautiful.
V
She wrote the letter just before
she died. I delivered it to you as
it was delivered to me. The words
you wept over were the same words
that transformed me.42

This demonstrates the inextricable interplay between ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’, an interplay that is inherent in the very definition of the terms. Within the ‘fictional’ context of a film, Paul de Man’s belief that ‘autobiography’ is a figure of reading or understanding, rather than a distinct genre, is highlighted by Evey’s changing interpretation of the letter she finds in her cell, from an initial acceptance of the toilet roll ‘autobiography’ as genuine, to her presumption that it was an invention of V’s when she gains ‘understanding’ of her ‘torture’, before her final acceptance of the letter as authentic when V assures her that it is indeed the final letter written by V’s now-dead former cellmate; all serious work in ‘fiction’ is indeed ‘autobiographical’, and vice versa.[^]

In summary, this essay has deconstructed the rudimentary structuralist binary opposition of ‘autobiography’/ ‘fiction’ which had been provisionally established to conform to the ‘truth’/ ‘untruth’ of the textual substance of serious literary works. Through a demonstration that the two terms are not categorically exclusive, but, rather, contaminate each other at the etymological level, this undecidable ‘distinction’ between ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’ is the reason why Thomas Wolfe’s statement rings true, and, ultimately, justifies the conclusion of this essay that all serious work in literature is both ‘fictional’ and ‘autobiographical’ simultaneously.[^]

ENDNOTES [click relevant endnote to return to appropriate section of essay]

1English Dictionary. Scotland: Geddes & Grosset, 2005, p.166.
2Fiction. Answers.com. 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/women-s-fiction. [13 May 2007]
3English Dictionary. Scotland: Geddes & Grosset, 2005, p.437.
4David Rudd. A Brief History of Autobiography up to the Twentieth Century. Handout. Bolton: Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, 2006, p.4.
5Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Confessions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000, p.5.
[my emphasis in quoted passage]

6Ibid, p.342.
7Books. Amazon.co.uk. 2007. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Social-Contract-Classics-Jean-Jacques-Rousseau/dp/0140442014. [13 May 2007]
8Philip K. Dick. Valis. London: Orion Publishing Group, 2001, p.11.
9Ibid, p.19.
10Ibid, p.23.
11Science Fiction and Fantasy Reviews. Challenging Destiny. 1999. http://www.challengingdestiny.com/reviews/dick.htm. [13 May 2007]
12Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Confessions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000, p.82.
13Ibid.
14Ibid.
15Ibid, p.84.
16Linda Anderson. Autobiography. London: Routledge, 2004, p.49.
17Ibid, p.50.
18Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Confessions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000, p.342.
19Ibid, p.346.
20Science Fiction and Fantasy Reviews. Challenging Destiny. 1999. http://www.challengingdestiny.com/reviews/dick.htm. [13 May 2007]
21Exegesis. Philip K. Dick.com. 2007. http://www.philipkdick.com/new_exegesis.html. [13 May 2007]
22Philip K. Dick. Valis. London: Orion Publishing Group, 2001, p.120.
23Fiction. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiction. [13 May 2007] [my emphasis in quoted passage]
24Definitions. English-test.net. 2007. http://www.english-test.net/sat/vocabulary/words/347/sat-definitions.php. [13 May 2007] [my emphasis]
25Story. Wiktionary. 2007. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/story. [13 May 2007] [my emphasis]
26David Rudd. A Brief History of Autobiography up to the Twentieth Century. Handout. Bolton: Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, 2006, p.7.
27Verisimilitude. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verisimilitude. [13 May 2007]
28False document. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_document. [13 May 2007]
29Ibid.
30Albert Camus. The First Man. London: Penguin Classics, 2001, p.118.
31Ibid.
32Ibid, pp.118-119.
33Ibid, p,.119.
34Zinedine Zidane. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zidane#Out_of_retirement_to_Los_Angeles.3F. [13 May 2007]
35Meursault no! Zidane is Sisyphus! Albert Camus Society. 2006. http://camus-society.com/blog/?p=11. [13 May 2007] [italics in original]
36Zinedine Zidane. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zidane#Out_of_retirement_to_Los_Angeles.3F. [13 May 2007]
37David Rudd. A Brief History of Autobiography up to the Twentieth Century. Handout. Bolton: Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, 2006, p.5.
38Ibid, p.7.
39Paul de Man. Autobiography as De-facement. In MLN (volume 94). Maryland: John Hopkins University Press, 1979, p.921.
40Ibid, p.922.
41English Dictionary. Scotland: Geddes & Grosset, 2005, p.247. [my emphasis]
42V For Vendetta. The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb). 2007. http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/V-for-Vendetta.html. [13 May 2007]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anderson, Linda. Autobiography. London: Routledge, 2004

Books. Amazon.co.uk. 2007. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Social-Contract-Classics-Jean-Jacques-Rousseau/dp/0140442014. [13 May 2007]

Camus, Albert. The First Man. London: Penguin Classics, 2001

De Man, Paul. Autobiography as De-facement. In MLN (volume 94). Maryland: John Hopkins University Press, 1979

Definitions. English-test.net. 2007. http://www.english-test.net/sat/vocabulary/words/347/sat-definitions.php. [13 May 2007]

Dick, Philip K. Valis. London: Orion Publishing Group, 2001

English Dictionary. Scotland: Geddes & Grosset, 2005

Exegesis. Philip K. Dick.com. 2007. http://www.philipkdick.com/new_exegesis.html. [13 May 2007]

False document. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_document. [13 May 2007]

Fiction. Answers.com. 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/women-s-fiction. [13 May 2007]

Fiction. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiction. [13 May 2007]

Meursault no! Zidane is Sisyphus! Albert Camus Society. 2006. http://camus-society.com/blog/?p=11. [13 May 2007]

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Confessions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000

Rudd, David. A Brief History of Autobiography up to the Twentieth Century. Handout. Bolton: Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, 2006

Science Fiction and Fantasy Reviews. Challenging Destiny. 1999. http://www.challengingdestiny.com/reviews/dick.htm. [13 May 2007]

Story. Wiktionary. 2007. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/story. [13 May 2007]

V For Vendetta. The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb). 2007. http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/V-for-Vendetta.html. [13 May 2007]

Verisimilitude. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verisimilitude. [13 May 2007]

Zinedine Zidane. Wikipedia. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zidane#Out_of_retirement_to_Los_Angeles.3F. [13 May 2007]

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34-year-old father of three wonderful children [William, Seth, and Alyssa]. Works as an Assistant Technical Officer in the Sterile Services Department of Treliske Hospital, Cornwall. Enjoys jogging, web design, being a bit of a geek, and supporting Arsenal FC. Obtained a BA degree in English from the University of Bolton in 2008, and has continued to gain qualifications in a diverse range of subjects thereafter.

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