Biofiction: the worldwide rise of a rogue genre

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Alexandre Gefen


A provocative transgression under the pen of Marcel Schwob, who invented the genre in 1895 with his Vies imaginaires, a postmodern game in Borges or Bolaño, a challenge to literary theory in Hildesheimer or Nabokov, biofiction or biographical fiction has gone in a few decades from a marginal to a worldwide genre: countless are now the writers wishing to tell singular destinies, preferring the power of the imagination to the rationalism of scholarly biography. This globalization of biofiction is all the more striking as it affects a genre, often influenced by the philosopher Michel Foucault, which makes the existence of the marginalized, the criminals, the outcasts, the invisible, its central subject. It is this centrality of a rogue literary genre that I would like to reflect upon.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Theorizing Marginality