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Ekphrasis as an Analytical Mode in Biography: Finding Vida Lahey’s Romantic “Character”

From: a/b: Auto/Biography Studies
Volume 28, Number 2, Winter 2013
pp. 272-295 | 10.1353/abs.2013.0017

Abstract

Abstract:

This paper studies the earliest known extant work by Vida Lahey, Souvenir of the West Coast, as a means for the biographer to imagine how her character may be better understood through it. After outlining biography’s epistemological terrain, I argue that the hybridity of biographical narrative lends itself to ekphrasis as biographical method. With a keen awareness of W. J. Mitchell’s recognition that ekphrasis is a relationship of power, knowledge, and desire in the field of representation, an image from Souvenir is then used to test the method-related argument and demonstrate Lahey’s Romantic character.



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