This study explores three works in which the protagonist undertakes to fashion a literary artwork out of himself: Ovid's -Ars Amatoria-, Kierkegaard's -Diary of the Seducer-, and Thomas Mann's -Felix Krull-. For each work, particular attention is paid to the self-conscious interplay between the author's project of book-making and the character's project of self-making, as well as to the effect of changing notions of self-identity on the protagonist's attempt at life as literature. For -Felix Krull-, this includes a sustained analysis of Mann's incorporation and problematization of various Nietzschean models of aesthestics, reality, and self-identity. In Ovid and Kierkegaard, this study also considers a related project, the attempt to fashion a literary artwork out of another, namely out of a woman."
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