There are so many reasons that Benjamin Franklin was chosen as the namesake for the Franklin College - and every one of them accrues to our benefit as well as feeds our ambitions for what the College should be. None of the noble epithets with which we connect Franklin demonstrates that more than the unfinished autobiography he worked on but purposefully left unfinished so as 'to immerse his reader in the formal and textual atmosphere of a deliberately "unfinished" life.'
A new book by the Sterling-Goodman Professor of English at UGA Douglas Anderson on the Franklin autobiography explores and elucidates this and other points about the great man's life, work and ideas on both:
In presenting Franklin's autobiography as an exemplary formal experiment in an era that its author once called the Age of Experiments, The Unfinished Life of Benjamin Franklin veers away from the familiar practices of traditional biographers, viewing history through the lens of literary imagination rather than the other way around. Anderson's carefully considered work makes a persuasive case for revisiting this celebrated book with a keener appreciation for the subtlety and beauty of Franklin's performance.