• Victoria Lipina
Keywords: de-facement, anti-autobiography, subject, author, poststructuralism, postmodernism, John Barth, Roland Barthes, Paul de Man


The paper illuminates one of the most vexed problems of American postmodernist autobiography that is usually viewed through the lenses of poststructuralist theory of the death of the subject and the theory of de-facement. The paper shifts the focus by accentuating the problem of autobiographical re-facement as a mode of contemporary postmodernist prose that proceeds with multiplying experimental “realistic” techniques, challenging the concept of autobiographical de-facement advocated by Paul De Man. The field of contemporary American fiction, where autobiographical replenishment is the core of its poetics, offers many avenues of exploration. The analysis of autobiographical writings reveals the difference between poststructuralist tenet of impossibility to create autobiography as life-writing and the art of the writers who restored the author as a man and as an artist in their autobiographical texts. John Barth, who was the ardent advocate of the literature of replenishment, created autobiographical texts with a recognizable author’s presence, rendering his personal experience directly. John Barth transgresses from the biographical author to the hero of the text as if questioning Roland Barthes’s belief articulated in his anti-autobiography “Rolland Barthes par Roland Barthes” that “in the field of the subject there is no referent”. If Roland Barthes starts with declaring the impossibility to describe himself, John Barth, on the contrary, provocatively implements his project, creating «lifein-letters» as innovative postmodernist autobiographical replenishment.


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How to Cite
Lipina, V. (2017). JOHN BARTH VS. ROLAND BARTHES: THE POETICS OF REPLENISHMENT IN AMERICAN POSTMODERNIST AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Anglistics and Americanistics, (14), 145-151. Retrieved from