Thursday, November 5, 2009

Booking through Biographies/Autobiographies

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Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?


Frankly I prefer autobiographies. A person can convey everything about himself if he writes it and speaks of his perspectives, feelings and thoughts. Only he can tell us about his compulsions and his innermost emotions. This appeals to the reader as it conveys everything about that person. No biography can compare with that. No one can understand another person. Or what drives him. A writer of any biography depends on old letters, documents and other people's perspectives. He draws his conclusions from third party and and somehow it does not appeal as the way an autobiography does.

Yes, one can read biographies of people who are long gone but I prefer autobiographies of people of my own century. Also the fact that an ordinary person's memoir fascinates me more than the memoir of any well-known person.


12 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You make good points. It's too bad we don't have more autobiographies of historical figures!

reviewsbylola said...

Great post--I completely agree with you!

C.B. James said...

I think there is much to be gained from autobiography. You're right about gaining access to the perspective of ordinary people through autobiographies. There are so many people with interesting perspectives who aren't famous enough for a biographer to bother with.

But I don't completely agree with you. I've had a few too many experiences with autobiographies that later turned out to be a little too far from the truth. Memory is a tricky thing. Someone writing strictly from their own memory is bound to make many mistakes even if they're trying to tell the whole truth.

So, while I do agree that autobiography can get closer to a persons emotions and motivations, I think biography is a better way to go if you're looking for the facts. And any biographer worth his or her salt is going to pour over every journal, letter, and autobiography available.

BooksPlease said...

I like them both. I agree about autobiogs conveying feelings and thoughts. I also think biogs can be invaluable if they are properly researched and onjective. Both can be biased.

Missy said...

I agree! I really had never given it much thought until today, but I enjoy hearing from the authors themselves, rather than someone else telling their story. :)

Lisa said...

Very well put! I prefer autobiographies as well. I just listened to the audio version of Patrick Swayze's book and LOVED it! It was all the better because he narrated it himself.

bermudaonion said...

I'm a memoir junkie and memoirs are kind of like autobiographies of a small period of someone's life, so I have to agree with you.

carolsnotebook said...

Good post. I don't tend read much of either to be honest.

I have an award for you, by the way.

http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/awards-2/

JoAnn said...

I like both, but have been reading more autobiographies lately.

pussreboots said...

I've been reading quirky memoirs but they are a very small portion of my over all reading. My post is here.

Veens said...

Well said. I think I dnt like reading either! But recently i read and reviewed part autobiographical book, and i liked it. But then I am not sure f i will go on liking it ;)

Vicki said...

I like autobiographies the most, but I do like to read both.