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The Biographer and the Subject - A Study on Biographical Distance
Author: Rana Tekcan

ISBN: 9783898219952
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 178
Published: 17 January 2010
Country of Publication: DE
Dimensions (cm): 21.01 x 14.81 x 21.01
Description:


A good biography is a well-staged illusion. It creates--on paper--a vivid, rounded, and immediate sense of lived life. In contrast to purely fictional forms, biography writing does not allow total freedom to the biographer in the creative act. Ideally, a biography's backbone is formed by accurate historical facts. But its soul lies elsewhere. Since the concern is life, something more is needed: Nothing dry, cold or dead, but a vibrant impression of life that is left in the air after one turns over the last page. But how does a biographer do it? The way a biographer creates a subject is largely dictated by the historical distance between them. There are three types of distance in biographical writing: First, where the biographer and the subject personally know one another; second, where the biographer is a near contemporary of the subject; and third, where biographer and subject are distinctly separated, in some cases by hundreds of years. Tekcan explores how some of the most accomplished biographers manage to "recreate life" across time and space. She closely examines Samuel Johnson's "Life of Mr. Richa...

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