10x Bonus! “Exit Zero” and Life Writing

Helena DeBres had so many brilliant insights about the ethics and the future of life writing that  the final third of our discussion overflowed the bounds of our ordinary format. So we present that final conversation to you here as a bonus episode–well, episodelette.


Elizabeth, John and Helena here discuss Christine J. Walley’s “autoethnography” Exit Zero: Family and Class in Postindustrial Chicago. They talk about the relation of an autoethnography to life writing a la Woolf or Cusk, the capacity of stories to both empower and to constrain, the semiological differences between Marxist philosophers and ministers, and when and how to use scare quotes.

Please point your friends towards it if you think they’ll enjoy what you hear. Oh, and here’s a thought: have we asked you lately to subscribe, and to rate and review us on iTunes or where ever else you get podcasts? If you’ve heeded the call, you’re a peach!

Discussed in this episodelette:

Exit Zero: Family and Class in Postindustrial Chicago, Christine J. Walley

The Uses of LiteracyRichard Hoggart

Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School, Shamus Khan

The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self, Dan P. McAdams

Breaking Away, dir. Peter Yates

Listen to the bonus episode here:


(episode transcript available here: Episode 10x Helena De Bres 5.19 )

Author: plotznik

I teach English (mainly the novel and Victorian literature) at Brandeis University, and live in Brookline.

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