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Global Conrad and the Fictions of Autobiography

CWL 441

The main objective of this course is to examine the ways in which the fictions in Joseph Conrad’s autobiographical texts work to complicate the reading experience, offering glimpses into the dynamics of the autobiographic genre as a constant struggle between strategies of self-concealment and self-revelation. Conrad, who famously wrote that the job of an author is to “make you see... the truth” was a spectacular confabulator of his own life story, frequently interpolating glamorous or tragic elements into his biography. While some of these adjustments were relatively minor (selling guns to pirates), others were fundamental (fake suicide attempt); yet none in any way diminish his importance as a public intellectual.