Between Autohagiography and Confession: Generic Concerns and the Question of Female Self-Representation in Anna Maria Marchocka's Mystical Autobiography

Liliana Sikorska


The seventeenth-century Polish nun Anna Maria Marchocka was counselled by her confessor to confess all her sins in a work which came to be regarded as her Mystical Autobiography. As an unskilled writer obeying her spiritual counsellor, Marchocka was struggling with the manner of self-representation. While she emulated hagiographic models, her confession is anchored in the political situation of Poland, making her text akin to hagiographic discourse fused with auto/biographical information. The similarity of Marchocka's writings to those of late medieval mystical writers makes her an epigone of the mystical tradition.

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