The Third Trope: The Autobiographical

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3.3. The Third Trope: The Autobiographical
A theory of literary journalism has to go beyond the surface news stories and to conduct in-depth exploration of real lives through the unique combination of history, novel, and autobiography. It delves deeply into further issues than a standard news story could, and endows the stories with a form that appropriated tools and techniques previously confined to fiction. By so doing, literary journalism challenges the traditional journalistic convention with its emphasis on rejecting style in order for a story to be considered realistic. The literary journalists, on the contrary, adopt literary style with fictional elements merged with a journalist’s eye. Therefore, it is an alternate way of conveying
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One of the tenets of literary journalism is to represent “a response to and rejection of traditional journalistic objectivity” (Stull 3). In order to achieve this principle, literary journalists have fused the objective with the fictional by endowing the historical event with subjective autobiographical inclinations. Therefore, the autobiographical trope of literary journalistic narrative establishes itself as a textual metaphor that brings forth the imaginative intersubjective experience side by side with the objective historical event of reference as sources for meaning-making of the narrative. Nevertheless, literary journalists, usually, omit the explicit projection of the authorial subjectivity through the use of fictional point of view to ensure a sense of historical objectivity. They overcome the borderlines between public events and their intersubjective experiences by approaching “public fact through a frank, obtrusive, liberated assertion of their private consciousness” (Hellmann, “Postmodern Journalism” 52). In other words, literary journalists indulge themselves in an intersubjective experience of narrating public historical facts from an individual perspective that problematizes the dichotomy between the public and private, between the historical and the personal, and consequently between the journalistic and …show more content…
Mailer frequently uses this act of doubling in the text. So, the narrative is doubled as a novel and as a history; the author’s own self is doubled as a narrator and as a character; even the story of the event undergoes this act of doubling from the perspective of the Time reporter and that of the narrator. Such a doubling of the autobiographical act traces the inward and outward movement of the self into history in a way that "all experience except that limited to a meaningless surface inquiry, all knowledge which goes beyond mere gathering of data is inherently fictional" (Hellmann, Fables of Fact 42). Furthermore, the act of doubling of the self, the genre, the personae, the plot, and even the reading process grants Mailer the freedom to play with the epistemological and aesthetic concerns of his own narrative. Thus, the implicit autobiographical traces in the narrative “attempt to move closer to the reality of an event by examining the lens through which that event is viewed” (Kraus 292). By narrating “the personal history” and communicating his own intersubjective experience of the historical event of the March, Mailer seeks to subvert the sense of objectivity and to foreground his subjective point of view. By so doing, Mailer skillfully interweaves all autobiographical, historical, journalistic, and novelistic elements into a hybrid narrative that blurs

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