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The Dawn of Catalan Autobiography as Chronicle

The Dawn of Catalan Autobiography as Chronicle

(p.133) 7 The Dawn of Catalan Autobiography as Chronicle
Authoring the Past
University of Chicago Press

This chapter develops a more contextualized idea of medieval autobiography, challenging the atemporal, formalist, idealist, and prescriptive definitions of autobiography, deploying current critical frames that help to approach texts in useful ways. King James I's Llibre dels fets verified that secular autobiography emerged slowly within the context of spiritual autobiography, just as autobiography itself developed from confessional practice. Ramon Muntaner's account may be classified as “relational autobiography,” since his life story was primarily articulated through the prism of other people's lives. The use of the first person was not a novelty for Muntaner, whose “I” in the text specified his epistemological orientation or relation to truth. King Peter's autobiographical voice developed the same “effect of the real” as King James' and Muntaner's. Each of these three chroniclers utilized the “I” to reshape history through personal stories.

Keywords:   medieval autobiography, King James I, Llibre dels fets, Ramon Muntaner, King Peter, spiritual autobiography, relational autobiography

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