Self-writing as a Narrative Model

Keywords: writing, subject, homo scribens, “self”, story, narrative model.


Introduction. The research presented in the article elucidates the specificity of the narrative model formed by the writing of an individual about himself. The semantics of the categories that form the concept of “self-writing” (“I”, “-self”, “writing as an aesthetic activity”) are revealed by using the psycholinguistic code. The influence of writing as a process on a subject has been detected.

Aim. Describe all the parameters of a self-writing as a narrative option due to which the subject gets closer to a self-cognition.

Methods. The article applies to a (post)structuralist, narratological approach. The concepts and ideas of J. Lacan, J. Güssdorf, R. Bart, P. Ricker, and J. Jeanette form the theoretical and methodological basis of the study.

Results. The distinguished main points of the leading French researchers’ works concerning personal writing allowed to describe the narrative features of a self-writing which were confirmed and specified within the field of fiction. The linguistic code of the various French options for the definition of a personal writing helped to explicate the sphere of the unconscious that takes place in self-writing process. In terms of the psychoanalytic code it is clarified that self-writing reveals the individual inner “self” which is usually implicit/hidden. The beginning of a self-writing piece evidences a person’s sense of emptiness and the desire to fulfill it, but the escalation of the writing detects gaps in the field of mental needs. By turning the personal memory chaos during writing into a reflection of events and experiences, the individual thus takes a position of disdain to his former state: in the status of a narrator, he is given an opportunity to look critically at his “self” sidewise. At the same time, the writing as a narrative acts out by ordering the impulses of the individual's inner world, which, after being structured, acquires objectivity as a trace.

Conclusions. Becoming the subject of the writing, the hero is involved in a process of developing the senses of experienced events. The identity of the narrator transforms the individual into the subject of formation. The described parameters of self-writing as a narrative model open the horizon of further studies of a writing as a story with a special communicative framework in a virtual space, offered to a modern man by new technologies.


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Pavlenko , Y., & Kunytska , I. (2020). Self-writing as a Narrative Model. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 28(2), 128-147.