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Lecture 5

EN 3070 Lecture 5: Filming Literature: Winter

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EN 3070
Ian Balfour

EN 3070 03.07.17 Malcolm X • Autobiography – no predetermined shape, principle has to correspond to the life; lives don’t come in literary shapes • Can’t be an ending to one’s own autobiography because you can’t write your own death; radically doesn’t correspond to other literary forms • To compensate for that, internally and in advance of the ending, there are ways of shaping and making sense of the life in advance of the end • Figurative or symbolic death is usually inserted which they then survive and write about in retrospect; written from “beyond the grave” of symbolic death, looking back on former self • Pg. 128; almost dies by shooting, first time he’s pleased to see cops o “mentally dead” just didn’t know that I was o thinks that his former self was dead, that he’s now survived it and is writing from beyond that • Anticipates a violent death for himself early on; pg. 141 o I was slightly out of my mind, expect to die at any time o Looking back and forwards shapes the text in advance of his actual death • Retro-actively making sense of the text of his life as providential o Allah was watching over him, protecting him; that’s what he uses to justify events in his life o After he’s converted to Muslim, he’s got a more biblical sense of his life; pg. 170 o Starts to slot his own life into a macro-historical narrative provided by scripture Filmic version of Autobiography • Lee thought of filming the text of the life rather than the life straight out • Singularity o Presupposes an identity of a person over time, thought to be indicated in a minimal way by the name of the person; the theory is that every individual has a name that distinguishes them from other individ
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