Controlling Time and Shaping the Self

Developments in Auto­biographical Writing since the Sixteenth Century


This book explores new questions and approaches to the rise of autobiographical writing since the early modern period. What motivated more and more men and women to write records of their private life? How could private writing grow into a bestselling genre? How was this rapidly expanding genre influenced by new ideas about history that emerged around 1800? How do we explain the paradox of the apparent privacy of publicity in many autobiographies? Such questions are addressed with reference to well-known autobiographies and an abundance of newfound works by persons hitherto unknown, not only from Europe, but also the Near East, and Japan. This volume features new views of the complex field of historical autobiography studies, and is the first to put the genre in a global perspective.
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Biographical Note

Arianne Baggerman studied history at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has published various books and articles in the fields of book history and cultural history. Professor Baggerman previously taught at the Utrecht University, and is now teaching history at Erasmus and is Professor of Book History at the University of Amsterdam. Rudolf Dekker studied history at the University of Amster¬dam. He has published a number of books and articles on social and cultural history. Recently, he published a survey of the History of the Netherlands. Michael Mascuch read Modern History at Cambridge University. His research has focused on early modern English culture and society. He now teaches in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley.

Editorial Board

Advisory Board James Amelang, Universidad Autónoma Madrid Peter Burke, Emmanuel College Cambridge Philippe Lejeune, Emeritus, Université de Paris-Nord Claudia Ulbrich, Freie Universität Berlin

Review Quote

"Der vorliegende Band verdeutlicht insgesamt das überaus reiche und anregende Spektrum gegenwärtiger Selbstzeugnisforschung. Außerdem zu loben ist das sorgfältige Lektorat, mit welchem der Band vorbereitet wurde. Überaus hilfreich sind auch die passend ausgewählten Illustrationen und Ausschnitte aus Originalquellen mit Übersetzungen (zum Beispiel S. 45f.). Der Sammelband vermag neue Impulse für weitere Projekte zu geben, die sich mit Selbstzeugnissen aus verschiedenen Jahrhunderten und Ländern beschäftigen." Julia Hildt,

Table of contents

List of Illustrations Notes on Contributors Introduction, Arianne Baggerman, Rudolf Dekker and Michael Mascuch PART ONE: HISTORICIZNG THE SELF Historicizing the Self, 1770-1830, Peter Burke Tracing Lives: The Spanish Inquisition and the Act of Autobiography, James S. Amelang Autobiographical Memory in the Making: Wilhelmina of Prussia’s Childhood Memoirs , Lotte van de Pol Drastic History and the Production of Autobiography, Peter Fritsche Marc-Antoine Jullien: Controlling Time, Philippe Lejeune The Diary and the Pocket Watch: Rethinking Time in Nineteenth-Century America, Molly McCarthy Writing and Measuring Time: Nineteenth-Century French Teenagers’ Diaries, Marilyn Himmesoëte Marking Time: Australian Women’s Diaries of the 1920s and 1930s, Katie Holmes The Second World War and Autobiography in Japan. Tales of War and the “Movement for One’s Own History” (Jibunshi), Petra Buchholz Can There Be a Collective Egodocument? The Case of the Hashomer Hatzair Kehiliyatenu Collection in Palestine, 1922, Ofer Nordheimer Nur PART TWO: AUTOBIOGRAPHY, SELF-PRESENTATION AND COMMERCIAL PUBLISHING The Economy of Narrative Identity, Paul John Eakin Behind the Mask of Civility: Physiognomy and Unmasking in the Early Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic, Eveline Koolhaas-Grosfeld John Wesley, Superstar: Periodicity, Celebrity, and the Sensibility of Methodist Society in Wesley’s Journal (1740-91), Michael Mascuch Self-made Men and the Civic: Time, Space and Narrative in Late Nineteenth-Century Autobiography, Donna Loftus Life Writing, Marketing and the Construction of Cinema History: On the Ghostwritten Autobiography of Dutch Film Entrepreneur Abraham Tuschinski, André van der Velden “Reading The Body”: Authors’ Portraits and their Significance for the Nineteenth-Century Reading Public, Lisa Kuitert Dutch Matrimonial Advertisements from 1825 until 1925: Changing Self-Portraits and Partner Profiles, Pieter R.D. Stokvis Autobiography and Contemporary History: The Dutch Reception of Autobiographies, 1850-1918, Marijke Huisman The Politics of Nostalgia or the Janus-Face of Modern Society, Henri Beunders PART THREE: CONTROLLING TIME AND SHAPING THE SELF Lost Time: Temporal Discipline and Historical Awareness in Nineteenth-Century Dutch Egodocuments, Arianne Baggerman


All those interested in the history of autobiographical writing, and in cultural history in general.