On Biographies

Have long considered biographies to be something in the nature of fence-sitters, genre-shifters, you know. Never knowing, whether to stand satisfied amongst the ranks of historical texts, or meander their way to passable fiction.

The problem with most biographies (and by extension, biographers) is that they often get so caught up in the cult of their subject matter, they degenerate into little better than hagiographies at best (and utter rot at worst). Its as if the slightest irreverence would irrevocably sully their subject’s greatness. What is forgotten is, literary license is not simply an option. Its a right. Its a bloody prerogative. If I want to know more about some hallowed notable from the ages past, I’ll read Wikipedia 🙂 Not read some blasted tome with pretensions to historical perspicacity and literary greatness.

In short, biographies equals tripe.

At times though, you tend to surprise yourself. At times, you tend to watch movies like Public Enemies and read books like Wolf Hall.

(Debatable Non Sequitur/ Memo to Self: Rider Haggard penned ‘She’. If there ever was a novel worthy of the title of ‘He’, Wolf Hall’s it)

(Non-Debatable Non Sequitur: There’s a CCD some 200 mtrs from where I stay. Discovered it yesterday. Weird)


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