2007 | 2 | 15
Article title

Distorted Autobiography: Self-portrayal and Self-censorship in Gay Memoirs

Title variants
Zaburzona autobiografia – autoportret i autocenzura w pamiętnikach gejowskich
Languages of publication
The article analyzes selected gay autobiographies and AIDS memoirs in order to discuss the change in the perception of the self, especially when faced with the hostile environment, such as the conservative family, school, workplace or governmental institutions. I demonstrate that many novelists rejected the victimized notion of the self and started to deploy self-preservation strategies in order to deal with the disease the "gay way.” I also present the larger social context in which these personal accounts of both self-development and loss were written and then examine the ways in which this context influenced the process of writing. Therefore, rather than give in and conform to the stereotype of either sad or dangerous "homosexual with AIDS” promoted by the mainstream media, contemporary gay writers appear to celebrate it and appropriate it for their purposes. Despite the fact that the recent writing emerges from the AIDS crisis, it is about the potentiality of a life in the shadow of the epidemic, a life that is not limited to grieving.
Artykuł analizuje wybrane gejowskie autobiografie i pamiętniki AIDS, po to by prześledzić zmianę w postrzeganiu samego siebie, zwłaszcza w obliczu wrogo nastawionego środowiska, takiego jak konserwatywna rodzina, szkoła, miejsce pracy czy instytucje rządowe. Dowodzę, że wielu pisarzy odrzucało postrzeganie się w roli ofiary i stosowało strategie przetrwania, po to by radzić sobie z chorobą „po gejowsku”. Prezentuję także szerszy kontekst społeczny, w którym powstawały te osobiste narracje o samorozwoju i stracie oraz zastanawiam się, w jaki sposób ów kontekst wpływał na proces twórczy. Zamiast poddać się i wpasować w stereotyp smutnego lub groźnego homoseksualisty chorego na AIDS, jaki promowały mainstreamowe media, współcześni pisarze gejowscy wydają się celebrować chorobę i wykorzystywać ją do własnych celów. Pomimo faktu, że najnowsza literatura wyrasta z kryzysu związanego z AIDS, mówi ona raczej o możliwościach, jakie daje życie w cieniu epidemii, życia nieograniczonego wyłącznie do żałoby.
Physical description
  • University of Warsaw
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Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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