AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Plath, Bachmann, and the Autobiographical Prose of the Ordinary

by Duygu Ergun

Institution: Leiden University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Autobiographical Writing; Sylvia Plath; Ingeborg Bachmann; Aesthetics of the Everyday; Philosophy of the Event
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065606
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/42625


The departure of this study was shaped by my attempt to answer how literature denies losing contact with the events. In other words, my concern was one’s state of getting used to their frequent appearance in the everyday: in conversations, in newspapers, in topics of discussion. This is because habituating oneself to any event, to any disaster, would bring an end to every possible response to life. Nothing meaningful can remain after the event, if there is none of its impacts to be sensed. Literature, on the other hand, has the aesthetic capacity to resist such idea. It has the capacity to be attentive to the sensation of events: to how every moment will, and should continue to make us startled, to make us disturbed, and provoked. This is also the very reason why Sylvia Plath and Ingeborg Bachmann, whose texts are central to this study, are writing for the sake of what comes, and should come after the event. By telling about this, they deny, in their own writing, to bring an end to the ability to response. Advisors/Committee Members: Horsman, Dr. Yasco (advisor).