Turning her life into fiction : autobiography, narrative perspectives and memory in Doris Lessing’s The Memoirs of a Survivor.
In this thesis Doris Lessing’s experimental autobiography The Memoirs of a Survival is explored, and I aim to show that Lessing has experimented with the combination of autobiography and fiction in a rather complicated manner; by testing of the relationship between identities and characters, by reconstructing her childhood memories as if experienced by someone else, by exploring possible consequences of authentic and invented catastrophes, and by mixing her own opinions of different matters with her narrator’s opinions in Memoirs. Furthermore I will argue that the world behind the wall in Memoirs represents the process of reconstructing memory, and that by focusing on the narrator as the internal focalizer and as the writer of her “memoirs” rather than the spiritual and psychological aspects of the novel, the reader may be able to grasp the narrator’s intentions for writing her “memoirs”, which may be to warn against the matters of history repeating itself and fixed social patterns, and reconstruct her identity through the reconstruction of her repressed childhood memories.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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