Cermák, Ivo and Chrz, Vladimir (2005) What is Life Story Genre? In: Narrative, Memory & Everyday Life. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 49-57.

This paper is an attempt to examine the concept of “genre” and its usefulness in
the analysis of life stories. The present analysis is based on narrative interviews
focused on the line of a participant’s life, which he or she was asked to draw.
Inspired by the terms agon, pathos and anagnorisis, borrowed from the theory
of literature, three levels of genre are brought in: action, experiencing and
reflection. The life story genre is also discussed as a kind of configuration,
which means storytelling in an intelligible way that expresses continuity, shape
and purpose in human life. The psychological meaning of Northrop Fry’s
generic plots (mythoi) typology is also examined. Some aspects of life story
genres are illustrated by research examples.

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