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第01巻 (1995) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10087/2209

Title: 秩序の背後で : 18世紀英国の知的情況と近代的自伝の誕生
Other Titles: Behind the System of Order : Eighteenth-Century England's Intellectual Situations and the Birth of Modern Autobiography
Authors: 小林, 徹
Issue Date: 31-Mar-1995
Publisher: 群馬大学社会情報学部
Citation: 群馬大学社会情報学部研究論集. 1, 145-161 (1995)
Abstract: As Michel Foucault says, Western intellectual activities changed drastically around the end of the eighteenth century. Many scholars suggest that a literary genre, autobiography, can be included as an example which illustrates this phenomenon clearly. In the past people wrote about their own lives for the purpose of self-defence or self-praise, but for the Romantics, the genre was to function as an effectual means of recognition, or construction, of their own identities. It is such an argument that is reconsidered in this paper. At least in England, certain eighteenth-century intellectual situations prepared the way for the birth of modern autobiography. It is well known that the eighteenth century in Britain was an age where the system of order was the governing principle or ideology in many areas, including the fields of socio-politics and literature, and one of its main intentions was the suppression of individuality, both within and without. However, this century was also concerned with the idea of the individual and the inner self of man, especially in its epistemological aspects, and it is these subversive interests that mainly composed the intellectual milieu from which modern or Romantic autobiography would later emerge. Then, there is another aspect which illustrates the eighteenth century's contribution to the appearance of this genre. In the Romantic period, after the collapse of the former age's ethical and social reasons for human existence, people were made to feel the fraility of their own identities, or inner selves. For the Romantics, writing an autobiography became a means of recognizing their identities, and it is through personal memories that they searched for the origin, or the basis, of themselves. However, memory is the inner place that was discovered by the eighteenth-century intellectuals, not by the Romantics. Thus, the modern English autobiography was not realized under the conditions of intellectual division between those two ages. The eighteenth century's concerns for the individual and the inner self, and the Romantics' use of memory indicate the continuity of these periods. And in 1799 William Wordsworth, a Romantic poet, started to write his own history in The Prelude, which could be regarded as one of the first modern autobiographies in England.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10087/2209
ISSN: 1346-8812
Appears in Collections:第01巻 (1995)

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