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Getting Personal: Feminist Occasions and Other Autobiographical Acts

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415903240
ISBN-10: 0415903246
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What does it mean to speak as a feminist? How does the assumption of that role intersect with one's life history? These two questions are at the heart of Miller's ( Changing the Subject ) new collection of essays and occasional pieces, mainly engendered by "the spectacle of a significant number of critics getting personal in their writing . . . a sign of a turning point in the history of critical practices." The writings that ensue are, for the most part, an engaging reply to the anti-feminist backlash in the academy and the ongoing war over the place of critical theory. Miller asks, "Do you have to turn your back on theory in order to speak with a non-academic voice?" She manages to balance the two here; most of the works are accessible to the general reader. (The piece on why she gave up teaching French is very funny and will strike a responsive chord in many ex-Francophiles.) Miller is particularly eloquent when addressing the question of what feminist scholars "need to master" to survive in the patriarchal institutions of the academy, concluding with an acknowledgment of the contradiction inherent in considering the impact of a writer's gender in an era that proclaims "the Death of the Author."p. 47
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

..."an engaging reply to the anti-feminist backlash in the academy and the ongoing war over the place of critical theory."
-"Publisher's Weekly
"see cloth file: A4600."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (July 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415903246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415903240
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,732,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The first chapter of this book, "Getting Personal: Autobiography as Cultural Criticism" is worth the whole book. This is a manifesto for personal criticism, that both gives an overview of the kinds of writing that can be called personal criticism and the problematics of the concept. Some feminist theory is densely theoretical, while other feminists argue that we must "turn our back on theory". Miller disagrees with the latter, while arguing for a personally grounded criticism that is not necessarily overtly autobiographical but that is always *intense*. I also found this chapter valuable in finding other examples of personal criticism as well as references to other discussions of this method.
The other essays in this collection are sometimes inspiring as examples of personal criticism, but I have to admit I'm more interested in the technique of writing (and writing seriously) than in the topics she writes about. You may find the opposite.
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Format: Paperback
The first chapter of this book, "Getting Personal: Autobiography as Cultural Criticism" is worth the whole book. This is a manifesto for personal criticism, that both gives an overview of the kinds of writing that can be called personal criticism and the problematics of the concept. Some feminist theory is densely theoretical, while other feminists argue that we must "turn our back on theory". Miller disagrees with the latter, while arguing for a personally grounded criticism that is not necessarily overtly autobiographical but that is always *intense*. I also found this chapter valuable in finding other examples of personal criticism as well as references to other discussions of this method.
The other essays in this collection are sometimes inspiring as examples of personal criticism, but I have to admit I'm more interested in the technique of writing (and writing seriously) than in the topics she writes about. You may find the opposite.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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