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Self ImpressionLife-Writing, Autobiografiction, and the Forms of Modern Literature$
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Max Saunders

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579761

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579761.001.0001

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Im/personality: The Imaginary Portraits of Walter Pater

Im/personality: The Imaginary Portraits of Walter Pater

(p.29) 1 Im/personality: The Imaginary Portraits of Walter Pater
Self Impression

Max Saunders (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with Walter Pater as a key figure, representing a gateway from impressionism to modernism and beyond. It discusses the implications of Pater's impressionist aesthetics for autobiography and for modernist writers; and explores his investment in the form of the ‘Imaginary Portrait’ in literature, arguing that while Imaginary Portraits can be found in earlier writing, they become increasingly important for modernist engagements with life‐writing. The relation between Paterian subjectivity and Victorian subjectivism is discussed, together with his scepticism about the boundary between fact and imagination.

Keywords:   imaginary portraits, Walter Pater, impressionism, modernism, impersonality, im/personality, fact, imagination, self, subjectivity, subjectivism, autobiography, life‐writing, form

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