Biography: The Literature of Personality

Biography: The Literature of Personality

Biography: The Literature of Personality

Biography: The Literature of Personality

Excerpt

It is not merely a thin voice here and there that credits biographers with being hilarious liars; even the publisher's blurb, however artfully worded, cannot always allay a certain persistent suspicion that we have here another "story with a purpose." Indeed, the usually dispassionate Edmund Gosse declares with no little heat: "Certain fashionable biographies of the present day deserve no other comment than the word 'Lie' printed in bold letters across the title-page." Such an unfavorable tradition, it appears, has gathered about biography-writing in some quarters that a note of sincerity is not infrequently the cause of special comment; and life-stories of high ethical standards are regarded as quite exceptional.

Yet, biography-reading has grown steadily in favor; any life-story, from that of P. T. Barnum or John L. Sullivan to such a work as AmyLowell

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