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Title: Constructed selves : the manipulation of authorial identity in selected works of Christopher Isherwood
Author: Gordon, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 6337
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores the multiplicity of the versions of self to be found in the writings of Christopher Isherwood.  Using stories of autobiography and psychoanalysis, the thesis argues that Isherwood depicts various identities within his writing in which the act of composition is in fact an act of constructing the self.  This is a study of the intellectual strategies adopted by Isherwood in a life of continuous self-creation.  This thesis aims to reposition Isherwood not just as a minor member of a literary generation, but as an individual writer who repays study. This thesis focuses on works by Isherwood that could be said to provide an autobiographical presentation of self up to 1939; although his autobiographical habit does not end in 1939, this study is limited to an analysis of ‘early Christopher’.  This thesis does, however, include certain works published post-1939 that deal with Christopher’s life prior to his move to America in order to investigate the manner in which Isherwood revisited and reinterpreted his previously presented mythologies of self. The works being analysed are not treated in order of composition: looking at various themes, my thesis investigates the various methods of self-composition and self-analysis in Isherwood’s writing.  The emphasis of this research is not biographical: it is his constructs of self that are being examined.  The variability in the characters presented as ‘I’ shows an understanding of a self that is formed in reference to the time this life was written and the social expectations of this moment: Isherwood is engaging in a series of strategies linked to forms of autobiography and Freudian psychoanalysis for finding and presenting a self, a self that is under constant review by the author.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Authors ; Autobiographical fiction, English