Faculty Publications

Title

Autobiography as performative identity construction: The fragmented subjectivities of charlotte salomon

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Autobiography, Charlotte Salomon, Intertextuality, Postmodern Feminism, Subjectivity

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Text and Performance Quarterly

Volume

21

Issue

2

First Page

77

Last Page

94

Abstract

Written in the form of a play, and constructed around a series of over 700 small paintings, Life? or Theater? is a remarkable autobiography. Completed by Charlotte Salomon within the atmosphere of a family history of depression and suicide, the autobiography is evidence of the extraordinary power of women’s life writing to articulate a version of subjectivity that is mobile and multiple. Grounding analysis of Life? or Theater? in theories of identity as performatively constituted and ostmodern feminist perspectives on subjectivity, this essay examines how the intertextual verbal and visual aspects of Life? or Theater? assist in the staging of Salomon’s performance of multiple subjectivities. The autobiographical occasion (whether performance or text) becomes a site on which cultural ideologies intersect and dissect one another, in contradiction, consonance, and adjacency. (Smith and Watson xix). © 2001 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2001

DOI of published version

10.1080/10462930128125

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