Quotes and Sayings about Biography



"The Holocaust is a central event in many people's lives, but it also has become a metaphor for our century. There cannot be an end to speaking and writing about it. Besides, in Israel, everyone carries a biography deep inside him."
- Aharon Appelfeld
(Related: People, Biography, Deep, End, Israel, Metaphor, Writing)

"Biography is one of the new terrors of death."
- John Arbuthnot
(Related: Death, Biography)

"I just love biography, and I'm fascinated by people who have shifted our destinies or our points of view."
- Richard Attenborough
(Related: Love, People, Biography)

"Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self."
- W. H. Auden
(Related: Autobiography, Ego, Self)

"Biography should be written by an acute enemy."
- Arthur Balfour
(Related: Biography, Enemy)

"One of the most attractive things about writing your autobiography is that you're not dead."
- Joseph Barbera
(Related: Autobiography, Writing)

"An autobiography is not about pictures; it's about the stories; it's about honesty and as much truth as you can tell without coming too close to other people's privacy."
- Boris Becker
(Related: Truth, People, Honesty, Autobiography, Privacy)

"Just as there is nothing between the admirable omelet and the intolerable, so with autobiography."
- Hilaire Belloc
(Related: Autobiography, Nothing)

"The art of biography is different from geography. Geography is about maps, but biography is about chaps."
- Edmund Clerihew Bentley
(Related: Art, Biography, Geography)

"Geography is about maps, but biography is about chaps."
- Eric Bentley
(Related: Biography, Geography)

"Autobiography begins with a sense of being alone. It is an orphan form."
- John Berger
(Related: Autobiography, Being, Sense)

"I have been commissioned to write an autobiography and I would be grateful to any of your readers who could tell me what I was doing between 1960 and 1974."
- Jeffrey Bernard
(Related: Autobiography)

"I had to do the book because there was an unauthorised biography which didn't tell it like it was."
- Cilla Black
(Related: Biography)

"In writing biography, fact and fiction shouldn't be mixed. And if they are, the fictional points should be printed in red ink, the facts printed in black ink."
- Catherine Drinker Bowen
(Related: Biography, Fact, Facts, Fiction, Writing)

"I am a huge admirer of Elizabeth I, and this intriguing biography gives a wonderful picture of the era."
- Barbara Taylor Bradford
(Related: Biography)

"So an autobiography about death should include, in my case, an account of European Jewry and of Russian and Jewish events - pogroms and flights and murders and the revolution that drove my mother to come here."
- Harold Brodkey
(Related: Death, Mother, Autobiography, Events, Revolution)

"Like many rich men, he thought in anecdotes; like many simple women, she thought in terms of biography."
- Anita Brookner
(Related: Men, Women, Thought, Anecdotes, Biography)

"No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men."
- Thomas Carlyle
(Related: History, Men, Biography, Man, World)

"I never wanted to do biography just to tell the life of a famous man. I always wanted to use the life of a man to examine political power, because democracy shapes our lives."
- Robert Caro
(Related: Life, Power, Biography, Democracy, Famous, Man)

"Autobiography is probably the most respectable form of lying."
- Humphrey Carpenter
(Related: Autobiography, Lying)

"But, Tarantino has seen all of my movies. He's seen my good stuff, he's seen my bad stuff, he's seen the ones I directed, he's read my autobiography. There's an awful lot of things he knows about me, all of which I think had something to do with his casting."
- David Carradine
(Related: Movies, Autobiography)

"One good anecdote is worth a volume of biography."
- William Ellery Channing
(Related: Biography, Worth)

"I became quite taken over by Johnson's personality at some points while writing the biography, and since I went straight on to The Closed Circle afterwards, I did sometimes feel I could hear him whispering in my ear while I was working on it."
- Jonathan Coe
(Related: Biography, Personality, Writing)

"And then I wrote my first autobiography when I - well, it was 23 years ago. And since then I've written about one book every two years."
- Joan Collins
(Related: Autobiography, First, Years)

"In fact Sarah Palin has created more jobs than Obama has. She created eleven jobs fact-checking at the AP just for the Palin autobiography."
- Ann Coulter
(Related: Autobiography, Fact, Jobs)

"An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing."
- Quentin Crisp
(Related: Autobiography)

"An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details."
- Roald Dahl
(Related: Life, Autobiography)

"I had no expectation that the Prince would offer me the unprecedented and unfettered access to the original and entirely untapped sources on which this biography is based."
- Jonathan Dimbleby
(Related: Biography, Expectation)

"Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory."
- Benjamin Disraeli
(Related: Life, Biography, Nothing, Theory)

"The big biography of Lincoln necessarily had to do so much with his political career, his ambitions, his accomplishments in public, with less time to spend on his private life, his inner life, and I thought this might be a way of getting at that."
- David Herbert Donald
(Related: Time, Life, Thought, Accomplishments, Biography, Career, Public)

"Every artist writes his own autobiography."
- Henry Ellis
(Related: Artist, Autobiography)

"All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography."
- Federico Fellini
(Related: Art, Autobiography)

"I think that I'm busy in the present, and I don't want to go back. Well, there's been an unauthorized biography, and you can't stop them. It didn't worry me."
- Albert Finney
(Related: Biography, Present, Want, Worry)

"I spent most of this afternoon writing a new introduction for my autobiography."
- June Foray
(Related: Autobiography, Writing)

"I realize that I had always in my heart of hearts planned to write a biography of Marie Antoinette."
- Antonia Fraser
(Related: Heart, Biography)

"I have had the unfortunate experience of having someone write an unauthorised biography of me. Half of it is lies and the other half is badly written. My feeling is that if I'm going to write my life story, I ought to have my life first."
- Dawn French
(Related: Experience, Life, Biography, Feeling, First, Lies)

"We have escapist fiction, so why not escapist biography?"
- John Kenneth Galbraith
(Related: Biography, Fiction)

"Biography - a system in which the contradictions of a human life are unified."
- Jose Ortega Y Gasset
(Related: Life, Biography)

"Mills insisted that a sociologist's proper subject was the intersection of biography and history."
- Todd Gitlin
(Related: History, Biography)

"I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead."
- Samuel Goldwyn
(Related: Autobiography)

"I'm not spitting in my own soup, I love having spent my life thinking about these things-but you don't have to know anything about his life, even though I've just written a biography!"
- Stephen Greenblatt
(Related: Life, Love, Thinking)

"I'm also doing a special for Comedy Central called Autobiography. It's going to be a spoof of Biography."
- Kathy Griffin
(Related: Autobiography, Comedy)

"Autobiography is now as common as adultery and hardly less reprehensible."
- John Grigg
(Related: Adultery, Autobiography, Now)

"Biography is a very definite region bounded on the north by history, on the south by fiction, on the east by obituary, and on the west by tedium."
- Philip Guedalla
(Related: History, Biography, Fiction)

"Biography, like big game hunting, is one of the recognized forms of sport, and it is as unfair as only sport can be."
- Philip Guedalla
(Related: Biography, Hunting)

"Autobiography is an unrivaled vehicle for telling the truth about other people."
- Philip Guedalla
(Related: Truth, People, Autobiography)

"Of all the species of literary composition, perhaps biography is the most delightful. The attention concentrated on one individual gives a unity to the materials of which it is composed, which is wanting in general history."
- Robert Hall
(Related: History, Attention, Biography, Literary, Unity)

"My songs form a kind of biography or diary of my life as they are about people I have loved and people I only knew in my heart, places I have seen only for a moment and places I have lived all my life."
- Justin Hayward
(Related: Life, People, Heart, Biography, Songs)

"I was trying to write an autobiography using prints and patterns that reference emotional, psychological, and personal development in my work, as a person growing up, figuring out who I was. I used fabrics to stand in for occurrences."
- Jim Hodges
(Related: Work, Development, Autobiography, Growing up, Trying)

"It means that no matter what you write, be it a biography, an autobiography, a detective novel, or a conversation on the street, it all becomes fiction as soon as you write it down."
- Guillermo Cabrera Infante
(Related: Autobiography, Conversation, Fiction)

"I suppose I'm proudest of my novels for what's imagined in them. I think the world of my imagination is a richer and more interesting place than my personal biography."
- John Irving
(Related: Imagination, Biography, World)

"I won't write my autobiography because I never had an affair with Frank Sinatra, and if I had had, I wouldn't tell anyone."
- Celia Johnson
(Related: Autobiography)

"An autobiography usually reveals nothing bad about its writer except his memory."
- Franklin P. Jones
(Related: Autobiography, Memory, Nothing, Writer)

"This sounds like my autobiography, but I thought this would be a good time to sound off about myself, as I think that I have been silent too long about my views and opinions."
- Bob Kane
(Related: Time, Thought, Autobiography, Opinions, Sound)

"I think that every so-called history book and film biography should be prefaced by the statement that what follows is the author's rendition of events and circumstances."
- Barbara Kruger
(Related: History, Biography, Circumstances, Events, Film)

"For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time."
- Louis L'Amour
(Related: History, Time, Biography, Fiction, May, World)

"The book is openly a kind of spiritual autobiography, but the trick is that on any other level it's a kind of insane collage of fragments of memory."
- Jonathan Lethem
(Related: Autobiography, Memory, Spiritual)

"After reading Eminem's autobiography, which I did because I'm so interested in him as an artist, I respect him a lot. Even though he seems angry and mad, he's had to fight so many demons in his life."
- Taryn Manning
(Related: Life, Artist, Autobiography, Fight, Reading, Respect)

"All autobiography is self-indulgent."
- Daphne du Maurier
(Related: Autobiography, Self)

"I believe there's only one autobiography you can do."
- John McEnroe
(Related: Autobiography)

"I've been working on my autobiography, just pecking away in longhand. The more you write, the more you remember. The more you remember, the more detail you recall. It's not all pleasant!"
- Pat Morita
(Related: Autobiography, Detail)

"I'm narrating the television series Biography. I'm still involved in my music - I have a new album out. I have an animated project in development. I'm writing a lot of things and you never know if one of them is going to become a six or seven year project."
- Bill Mumy
(Related: Music, Development, Biography, Project, Television, Writing)

"The biography of a writer - or even the autobiography - will always have this incompleteness."
- V. S. Naipaul
(Related: Autobiography, Will, Writer)

"If you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography."
- P. J. O'Rourke
(Related: Autobiography, Celebrity)

"In this one book are the two most interesting personalities in the whole world - God and yourself. The Bible is the story of God and man, a love story in which you and I must write our own ending, our unfinished autobiography of the creature and the Creator."
- Fulton Oursler
(Related: Love, God, Bible, Autobiography, Ending, Man, World)

"American Splendor is just an ongoing journal. It's an ongoing autobiography. I started it when I was in my early 30s, and I just keep going."
- Harvey Pekar
(Related: American, Autobiography)

"I read everything: fiction, history, science, mathematics, biography, travel."
- Martin Lewis Perl
(Related: Travel, History, Science, Biography, Fiction, Mathematics)

"It is also one of the pleasures of oral biography, in that the reader, rather than editor, is jury."
- George Plimpton
(Related: Biography, Jury)

"My autobiography was simply the story of my life."
- Sidney Poitier
(Related: Life, Autobiography)

"People think that because a novel's invented, it isn't true. Exactly the reverse is the case. Biography and memoirs can never be wholly true, since they cannot include every conceivable circumstance of what happened. The novel can do that."
- Anthony Powell
(Related: People, Biography, Circumstance)

"I have a children's book already out and my autobiography."
- Della Reese
(Related: Autobiography, Children)

"An autobiography is the story of how a man thinks he lived."
- Herbert Samuel
(Related: Autobiography, Man)

"I've been asked to write an autobiography, and I've started it a couple of times, on different angles, and maybe one day I will, but you know what? There's time for that because I'd like to have the whole story."
- John Saxon
(Related: Time, Autobiography, Day, Will)

"I would like to read some books: I don't have time; I would like to continue working on my autobiography."
- Gunther Schuller
(Related: Time, Autobiography)

"John Kerry's biography was central to his campaign."
- Mark Shields
(Related: Biography)

"I'm an avid biography reader."
- Brent Spiner
(Related: Biography)

"As a child, I read science fiction, but from the very beginnings of my reading for pleasure, I read a lot of non-fictional history, particularly historical biography."
- Norman Spinrad
(Related: Science, History, Beginnings, Biography, Fiction, Pleasure, Reading)

"There may be a point where I may decide to write an autobiography."
- Pamela Stephenson
(Related: Autobiography, May)

"Perfect objectivity is always impossible, no matter who writes a person's biography."
- Pamela Stephenson
(Related: Biography)

"Discretion is not the better part of biography."
- Lytton Strachey
(Related: Biography, Discretion)

"There is no psychology; there is only biography and autobiography."
- Thomas Szasz
(Related: Autobiography, Psychology)

"There is an element of autobiography in all fiction in that pain or distress, or pleasure, is based on the author's own. But in my case that is as far as it goes."
- William Trevor
(Related: Autobiography, Fiction, Pain, Pleasure)

"In these days a man is nobody unless his biography is kept so far posted up that it may be ready for the national breakfast-table on the morning after his demise."
- Anthony Trollope
(Related: Biography, Man, May)

"Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written."
- Mark Twain
(Related: Biography, Clothes, Man)

"But for a few phrases from his letters and an odd line or two of his verse, the poet walks gagged through his own biography."
- John Updike
(Related: Biography, Letters)

"What use is there for a biography of myself? I'm just a movie actor."
- Conrad Veidt
(Related: Actor, Biography)

"The personal vocabulary, the individual melody whose metre is one's biography, joins in that sound, with any luck, and the body moves like a walking, a waking island."
- Derek Walcott
(Related: Biography, Body, Luck, Sound, Vocabulary, Waking, Walking)

"For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography."
- Robert Penn Warren
(Related: Autobiography, Self)

"This is the best biography by me I have ever read."
- Lawrence Welk
(Related: Biography)

"Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs."
- Rebecca West
(Related: Love, Truth, People, Biography)

"I didn't want to write a biographie romancee especially since I already write novels, nor did I want to challenge the rules of the biography game, arbitrary as those rules might be."
- Edmund White
(Related: Biography, Challenge, Rules, Want)

"Whereas fiction is a continual discovery of what one wants to say, what one feels, what one means, and is, in that sense, a performance art, biography requires different skills - research and organization."
- Edmund White
(Related: Art, Performance, Biography, Discovery, Fiction, Research, Sense)

"Biography can be the most middle-class of all forms, the judgment of little people avenging themselves on the great."
- Edmund White
(Related: People, Biography, Judgment)

"Biography lends to death a new terror."
- Oscar Wilde
(Related: Death, Biography, Terror)

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction."
- Oscar Wilde
(Related: Work, Autobiography, Fiction, Man, Woman)

"Even if you only want to write science fiction, you should also read mysteries, poetry, mainstream literature, history, biography, philosophy, and science."
- Walter Jon Williams
(Related: Science, History, Poetry, Biography, Fiction, Literature, Philosophy, Want)

"Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history."
- Carter G. Woodson
(Related: History, Inspiration, Biography, Teaching)

"I'm writing an unauthorized autobiography."
- Steven Wright
(Related: Autobiography, Writing)

"A poet's autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote."
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko
(Related: Poetry, Autobiography)