Definition of an autobiography?

It's for school, I need some more info, long answers please!

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    An autobiography (from the Greek, αὐτός-autos self + βίος-bios life + γράφειν-graphein to write) is a book about the life of a person, written by that person.

    Origin of the term

    The word autobiography was first used by the poet Robert Southey in 1809 in the English periodical Quarterly Review, but the form goes back to antiquity. Biographers generally rely on a wide variety of documents and viewpoints; an autobiography however may be based entirely on the writer's memory. Closely associated with autobiography (and sometimes difficult to precisely distinguish from it) is the form of memoir.

    Versions of the autobiography form


    Main article: Diary

    Diaries were originally written for personal reference, but the successful publication of the diaries of the English 17th-century civil servant and bon viveur Samuel Pepys in 1825 (transcribed from his manuscript in shorthand) drew attention to the possibilities of the diary as a form of autobiography in its own right. From the 20th century onwards, diary publication became a popular vehicle for politicians seeking vindication. Notable British examples have included the diaries of Richard Crossman and Tony Benn.

    [edit]Autobiographies as critiques of totalitarianism

    Victims and opponents of totalitarian regimes have been able to present striking critiques of these regimes through autobiographical accounts of their oppression. Among the more renowned of such works are the writings of Primo Levi, one of many personal accounts of the Shoah. Similarly, there are many works detailing atrocities and malevolence of Communist regimes (e.g., Nadezhda Mandelstam's Hope against Hope. From the Bed-Stuy, New York area;

    [edit]Sensationalist and celebrity 'autobiographies'

    From the 17th century onwards, "scandalous memoirs" by supposed libertines, serving a public taste for titillation, have been frequently published. Typically pseudonymous, they were (and are) largely works of fiction written by ghostwriters.

    So-called "autobiographies" of modern professional athletes and media celebrities—and to a lesser extent about politicians, generally written by a ghostwriter, are routinely published. Some celebrities, such as Naomi Campbell, admit to not having read their "autobiographies."[citation needed]

    [edit]Autobiographies of the non-famous

    Until recent years, few people without some genuine claim to fame wrote or published autobiographies for the general public. With the critical and commercial success in the United States of such memoirs as Angela's Ashes and The Color of Water, however, more and more people have been encouraged to try their hand at this genre.

    [edit]Fake autobiographies

    This trend has also encouraged fake autobiographies, particularly those associated with 'misery lit,' where the writer has allegedly suffered from being a part of a dysfunctional family, or from social problems, or political repression.

    [edit]Fictional autobiography

    The term "fictional autobiography" has been coined to define novels about a fictional character written as though the character were writing their own biography, of which Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders, is an early example. Charles Dickens' David Copperfield is another such classic, and J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye is a well-known modern example of fictional autobiography. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is yet another example of fictional autobiography, as noted on the front page of the original version. The term may also apply to works of fiction purporting to be autobiographies of real characters, e.g., Stephen Marlowe's The Death and Life of Miguel de Cervantes.

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  • 3 years ago

    An autobiography, from the Greek automobiles, 'self', bios, 'life' and graphein, 'write', is a biography written by using the subject or composed conjointly with a collaborative author (styled "as instructed to" or "with"). The term replaced into first used by using the poet Robert Southey in 1809 interior the English periodical Quarterly evaluation, however the variety is going back to antiquity. Biographers many times have faith in a great form of information and viewpoints; an autobiography although could be based fullyyt on the author's memory. heavily linked with autobiography (and now and returned perplexing to exactly distinguish from it) is the form of memoir.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Autobiography is a biography (the story of a person's life), written by the person who is the subject.

    Autobiographies and memoirs have a tendency to overlap. To me, the difference is in evenness of coverage. Memoirs deal with certain parts of one's life, autobiographies cover the entire life in detail. Some books will straddle that line, and calling it one or the other can be a matter of taste.


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  • 1 decade ago

    An autobiography (from the Greek, αὐτός-autos self + βίος-bios life + γράφειν-graphein to write) is a book about the life of a person, written by that person.

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  • 1 decade ago

    a history of a person's life written or told by that person.

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