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Fictional and Factual Autobiography from the Perspective of Speech Act Theory

Organon F, 2012, vol. 19, Supplementary Issue 2, pp. 179-185.
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The study considers the pertinence of Searle’s speech act theory to literary studies, more specifically to the definition of fictional and factual autobiography. Searle’s conception of fictional discourse as a pretended assertion influenced Gérard Genette in his definition of the necessary condition of factual autobiography, which he sees in the identity of the author with the narrator, meaning that in autobiography, the author bears full responsibility for what he or she asserts. According to Genette, if the narrator and the author are not identical, the autobiography is fictional. These theoretical arguments are then applied to the interpretation of Bohumil Hrabal’s trilogy In-House Weddings, Vita Nuova and Gaps and the fictional autobiography Boyhood, Youth and Summertime by John Maxwell Coetzee.

Kľúčové slová

Bohumil Hrabal, fictional autobiography, John Maxwell Coetzee, John Searle, speech act theory

*Príspevok je chránený zákonom o autorskom práve a právach súvisiacich s autorským právom (autorský zákon).