The introduction starts from comments by Wilde and Nietzsche arguing that criticism and philosophy — and by extension all writing — can be read as autobiographical; and argues that such a move simultaneously puts autobiography into question. It considers how recent theoretical accounts of autobiography have had little to say about the difference between ‘autobiography’ and an ‘autobiographical’ work. It introduces key terms for this study, especially life-writing and autobiografiction. It argues that most critical discussions of modernism have failed to take account of its complex formal engagements with life-writing. It discusses the methodological implications of such terminology.
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