Auto/biography: translations

ATKINSON, P. / SILVERMAN, D. (1998): Kunderova Nesmrtelnost: Interview society a vynalézání Já [Kundera's Immortality: The interview society and the invention of the self]. Biograf, (13): 1-25 - translated by Lukáš Gjurič and Zdeněk Konopásek


Milan Kundera[a]s novel Immortality bears a dose relation to con temporary social science debates about the production of the self. Commentators like Kleinman and Mishler seem to have introduced a new version of authenticity based on a reinvention of the Romantic subject with the interview (as the medium) and the narrative (as the content) portrayed as the means for constructing and sharing biographical experience. Unlike such contemporary Romantics, Kundera examines how the subject is constructed in literary biography and mass media "imagology". The authors show how Kundera[a]s work leads in two possible directions: an analysis of the interview society and a concern with strategies for the invention of the self. By locating styles of the self, the authors reveal lively and skillful biographical work, overlooked by cultural critique and not reducible to any structural determinism.

ATKINSON, P. / SILVERMAN, D. (1997): Kundera's Immortality: The interview society and the invention of the self, Qualitative Inquiry, 3 (3): 304-325

FISCHER-ROSENTHAL, W. (1997): Problémy s identitou: biografie jako řešení některých (post)moderních dilemat [The problem with identity: Biography as solution to some (post)modernist dilemmas]. Biograf, (12): 1-18 - translated by Zdeněk Konopásek


 Translated from the original article: FISCHER-ROSENTHAL, W. (1995): The problem with identity: Biography as solution to some (post)modernist dilemmas. Comenius, (15): 250-265

ANDRLE, V. (1996): Muži na svém místě: legitimizační témata v autobiografickém vyprávění elitních podnikatelů s minulostí "starých struktur" [Men in the right place: Legitimation themes in the autobiographical talk of elite businessmen with 'old structure' pasts]. Biograf Bulletin, (6): 17-27 - translated by Zdeněk Konopásek


Based on a business élite subsample of biographical interviews, the article explores the ways in which respondents who had had high executive positions in the communist state sought to imbue that fact as well as their post-revolutionary wealth acquisition with a sense of post-revolutionary legitimacy. a) They dissociated themselves from the communist regime by claiming that oppressive power was located in other offices than the ones they occupied; b) they presented their careers as ones which enabled them to accumulate expertise relevant to doing well in the market economy; c) they presented themselves as ancestrally linked to the first-republic bourgoisie and personally connected with the current (supposedly liberal-democratic) government; d) they drew on the collective memory of previous revolutions to dismiss their militant critics.

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