Writing Styles in Existentialism

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Persona

Many existential works employ a persona who is a stand-in for the author, with similar life experiences and views. The word persona is a Latin term meaning "mask." Authors in fiction tend to hide behind characters like masks, to get their ideas across in the context of their stories, but this is even more common than usual in existential literature. One can draw strong correlations between characters in Sartre's Nausea, for instance, and the people of his early life, and between most of the protagonists in Simone de Beauvoir's novels and her own thoughts. Terry Keefe concluded in his essay "Beauvoir's Memoirs, Diary and Letters" that "in spite of obvious difficulties involved, autobiographical material in Beauvoir's fiction must sometimes be acknowledged to be as telling, or as 'accurate,' as material presented in non-fictional form." The main reason that so many literary works by existential writers feature thinly...

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This section contains 1,008 words
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Buy the Existentialism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Existentialism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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