Lamb's Elia essays are not usually read under the sign of autobiography. However, now that a proper understanding of Romantic autobiography has been established and the central significance of self-writing's transactions with the literary public sphere have been demonstrated, the essays can be seen as an exemplary case of the production of a written subjectivity within the governing conditions of the genre at the time. Elian irony captures self-writing engaged with the ambivalences and uncertainties of publication.
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