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Autobiographical Elements of Essays of Elia

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The most charming beauty of romantic literature is the trait of its being intensely autobiographical and subjective. Similarly, "Essays of Elia" unfold the life history and idiosyncratic mind of Charles Lamb in a semi-factual way. The real delight for the Romantic comes from his infusion of fact and fiction as, otherwise, his essays would have become mere boring and passionless statements about his personal and private life. Our charm and fascination do not grow less, for we are never too close to the reality or surrounded by totally imaginary details and accounts. Under the thin layer of mystified names and references, Lamb lays bare his entire existence.
In fact, it is not possible for readers to trace out a true history of Charles Lamb through his essays. He mystifies the details of his personal life by giving us false names and false kinship. Even the pseudonym of "Elia" is sufficient to blur our judgment. Without additional help in form of footnotes and comments, we cannot safely connect details given in the essays with Lamb's life. Sometimes, he may make a confessi...


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