The self-chosen place of the autobiographical mode, the point of real reference, is the act and the situation of writing, which provides a sense of coherence. Coherence can be obtained in many ways in life. But, for me, the autobiographical mode, the situation of writing and its products are an important aid. The recent increase of writings in the autobiographical mode, perhaps as far back as the early 1960s, seems to represent both a reaction to the so-called crisis of the novel and a possible artistic solution to the fragmentary nature of human experience. Yet at the same time the autobiographical turn reveals the paradox inherent in this form insofar as it reflects a nostalgia for stability, continuity, the past experiences and its memories as well as life’s vacuous, empty, semblances of reality, absurdities and vanities.

If conventional autobiographies could be regarded as the proper medium for the realistic representation of a self and for the narrative recovery of past events from the perspective of the present, contemporary autobiographical texts stress the illusory nature of such mythopoetic endeavours. Due to the breakdown of a clear demarcation between reality and fiction or reality and imagination, the traditional conception of the autobiographical genre has lost its degree of certainty and truth. Any sense of perfection, of completeness, of comprehensiveness cannot be achieved in written works and most certainly not in these kinds of writings composed of thousands and thousands of potential scraps of recollection. Memory follows exactly the course of events and chronology, but that which emerges from it is totally different from the actual happening.” –Ron Price with thanks to Alfred Hornung, “Fantasies of the Autobiographical Self: Thomas Bernhard, Raymond Federman, Samuel Beckett,” Journal of Beckett Studies, 1989.