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Biography based on a living relationship has produced a wealth of masterpieces: Indeed, what is generally acknowledged as the greatest biography ever written belongs to this class: Biographies that are the result of research rather than firsthand knowledge present a rather bewildering array of forms. First, however, there should be mentioned two special kinds of biographical activity.

Since the late 18th century, the Western world—and, in the 20th century, the rest of the world as well—has produced increasing numbers of compilations of biographical facts concerning both the living and the dead. These collections stand apart from literature. The short life, however, is a genuine current in the mainstream of biographical literature and is represented in many ages and cultures. Excluding early quasi-biographical materials about religious or political figures, the short biography first appeared in China at about the end of the 2nd century bce , and two centuries later it was a fully developed literary form in the Roman Empire.

These works established a quite subtle mingling of character sketch with chronological narrative that has ever since been the dominant mark of this genre. Further classification of biographies compiled by research can be achieved by regarding the comparative objectivity of approach. For convenience, six categories, blending one into the other in infinite gradations and stretching from the most objective to the most subjective, can be employed.

The author of such a work, avoiding all forms of interpretation except selection—for selection, even in the most comprehensive accumulation, is inevitable—seeks to unfold a life by presenting, usually in chronological order, the paper remains, the evidences, relating to that life.

This biographer takes no risks but, in turn, seldom wins much critical acclaim: During the 19th century, the Life of Milton: A History 10 vol.

Nicolay and John Hay , offer representative samples. This second category, scholarly and critical, unlike the first, does offer a genuine presentation of a life. Yet such biography, though not taking great risks, does employ the arts of selection and arrangement. The densest of these works, completely dominated by fact, have small appeal except to the specialist.

Those written with the greatest skill and insight are in the first rank of modern life writing. The critical biography aims at evaluating the works as well as unfolding the life of its subject, either by interweaving the life in its consideration of the works or else by devoting separate chapters to the works. Critical biography has had its share of failures: It has to its credit, however, such fine biographies as Arthur S. Link, Wilson 5 vol. This third, and central, category of biography, balanced between the objective and the subjective, represents the mainstream of biographical literature, the practice of biography as an art.

This fourth category of life writing is subjective and has no standard identity. She molds her sources into a vivid narrative, worked up into dramatic scenes that always have some warranty of documentation—the dialogue , for example, is sometimes devised from the indirect discourse of letter or diary.

7 Steps for Writing Your Portfolio’s Biography ‘About Me’ Page

Bowen, much more conservative in her later works, clearly demonstrates the essential distance between the third and fourth categories: Very many interpretative biographies stop just short of fictionalizing in the freedom with which they exploit materials. The books in this fifth category belong to biographical literature only by courtesy.

Materials are freely invented, scenes and conversations are imagined; unlike the previous category, this class often depends almost entirely upon secondary sources and cursory research. Its authors, well represented on the paperback shelves, have created a hybrid form designed to mate the appeal of the novel with a vague claim to authenticity. Whereas the compiler of biographical information the first category risks no involvement, the fictionalizer admits no limit to it.

The sixth and final category is outright fiction, the novel written as biography or autobiography. It has enjoyed brilliant successes. Such works do not masquerade as lives; rather, they imaginatively take the place of biography where perhaps there can be no genuine life writing for lack of materials. The diary form of autobiography was amusingly used by George and Weedon Grossmith to tell the trials and tribulations of their fictional character Charles Pooter in The Diary of a Nobody Some novels-as-biography, using fictional names, are designed to evoke rather than re-create an actual life, such as W.

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In these works the art of biography has become the servant of other interests. Autobiography, like biography, manifests a wide variety of forms, beginning with the intimate writings made during a life that were not intended or apparently not intended for publication. Broadly speaking, the order of this category represents a scale of increasingly self-conscious revelation.

Collected letters, especially in carefully edited modern editions such as W.

The 15th-century Paston Letters constitute an invaluable chronicle of the web of daily life woven by a tough and vigorous English family among the East Anglian gentry during the Wars of the Roses; the composer Mozart and the poet Byron, in quite different ways, are among the most revealing of letter writers. Diarists have made great names for themselves out of what seems a humble branch of literature. To mention only two, in the 20th century the young Jewish girl Anne Frank created such an impact by her recording of narrow but intense experience that her words were translated to stage and screen; while a comparatively minor figure of 17th-century England, Samuel Pepys —he was secretary to the navy—has immortalized himself in a diary that exemplifies the chief qualifications for this kind of writing—candour, zest, and an unselfconscious enjoyment of self.

These are autobiographies that usually emphasize what is remembered rather than who is remembering; the author, instead of recounting his life, deals with those experiences of his life, people, and events that he considers most significant. If you do a lot of commissions or commercial work, you may decide to simply list recent clients or projects.

Including links to past work is a good way to let visitors find out more.

  1. 2. Aim for a friendly, casual tone.
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Depending on the kind of work you do, client testimonials might be appropriate to include here as well. Are you a dog owner? Do you like to paint in your spare time? Do you have a passion for skiing? Choose a photo that represents your personality. Biographies of living persons. Biography portal Literature portal. Introduction and commentary by David Cordingly. Conway Maritime Press The First Modern Biography". University of Mary Washington Libraries. Archived from the original on 11 November Retrieved 1 February The Man who Re-Invented Biography". Retrieved 31 January The Art of Life: Institute of Arts and Ideas.

Meister, "The biographical turn and the case for historical biography" History Compass Dec.

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Confronting Contradictions in Biographies of Nations and Peoples". Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America. University of North Carolina Press. Writing a Woman's Life. Journal of Historical Biography. A Very Short Introduction. The Language of New Media.

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In Miller, Robert L. The A—Z of Social Research: In Meri, Josef W. Rines, George Edwin, ed. Autobiographical Occasions and Original Acts: University of Pennsylvania Press. Retrieved from " https: Biography genre Genres Non-fiction literature. Views Read View source View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote.

This page was last edited on 23 November , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The problems with such conventional biographies are manifold. Biographies usually treat the public as a reflection of the private, with the private realm being assumed to be foundational.

This is strange given that biographies are most often written about public people who project a persona. Find out more on Wikipedia's Sister projects.