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Literary Criticism General

“My Own Portrait in Writing”

Self-Fashioning in the Letters of Vincent van Gogh

by (author) Patrick Grant

Athabasca University Press
Initial publish date
May 2015
General, General, Semiotics & Theory
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2015
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A reading of Van Gogh’s collected correspondence by way of a set of ideas about dialogue and self-fashioning derived especially from Mikhail Bakhtin. Patrick Grant’s central claim is that Van Gogh’s letters raise from within themselves questions and issues to which they also respond dialogically, thereby thematizing the process of self-fashioning within their own discourse. The manner in which they do so is a marker of the specifically literary dimension of Van Gogh’s writing. Complementing Grant’s earlier critical analysis, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh: A Critical Study (AU Press, 2014), this study brings Van Gogh’s collected correspondence fully into the domain of modern literary studies, both critical and theoretical—as is long overdue.


About the author

Patrick Grant, professor emeritus of English at the University of Victoria, is best known for his studies on literature and religion. He is the author of Imperfection, which was short-listed for the Canada Prize, and of Literature, Rhetoric, and Violence in Northern Ireland, 1968-98.

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