Mapping Lives: The Uses of Biography

Paperback | October 5, 2004

EditorPeter France, William St Clair

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Why biography? This collection of essays on the problems and functions of biography, and particularly the biography of writers, thinkers and artists, investigates a subject of enduring importance for those interested in culture and society. In the last century, it has been a controversialsubject, as old models of biographical writing were attacked and superseded, while critics and theorists questioned the once self-evident value of the biography of writers. Yet the genre continues to attract notable authors and is unfailingly popular with readers.The present volume, while containing essays by practising biographers, is intended primarily as a stimulus to critical thinking. It focuses on the diverse functions assumed by life-writing in different European countries at different periods, challenging both the notion of a genre with constantcharacteristics and aims and the view of modern biography as the happy culmination of centuries of progress.

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Why biography? This collection of essays on the problems and functions of biography, and particularly the biography of writers, thinkers and artists, investigates a subject of enduring importance for those interested in culture and society. In the last century, it has been a controversialsubject, as old models of biographical writing w...

Peter France is a Professor of French, University of Edinburgh; Fellow of the British Academy. William St Clair is a Senior Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge; Fellow of the British Academy.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.72 inPublished:October 5, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0197263186

ISBN - 13:9780197263181

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Table of Contents

Richard Holmes: The Proper Study?Kay Ferres: Gender, Biography, and the Public SphereSergei Averintsev: From Biography to Hagiography: Some Stable Patterns in the Greek and Latin Tradition of Lives, including Lives of the SaintsMartin McLaughlin: Biography and Autobiography in the Italian RenaissanceIan Donaldson: National Biography and the Arts of Memory: From Thomas Fuller to Colin MatthewPeter France: From Eulogy to Biography: The French Academic ElogeRoger Paulin: Adding Stones to the Edifice: Patterns of German BiographyElinor Shaffer: Shaping Victorian Biography: From Anecdote to BildungsromanAnn Jefferson: Sainte-Beuve: Biography, Criticism and the LiteraryAvril Pyman: Yury Tynyanov and the 'Literary Fact'Malcolm Bowie: Freud and the Art of BiographyLaura Marcus: The Newness of the 'New Biography': Biographical Theory and Practice in the Early Twentieth CenturyWilliam St Clair: The Biographer as ArchaeologistMark Kinkead-Weekes: Writing Lives Forwards: A Case for Strictly Chronological BiographyMiranda Seymour: Shaping the TruthChristina Howells: Sartre's Existential Biographies: A Search for a MethodIan Christie: A Life on FilmJames Walter: 'The Solace of Doubt'? Biographical Methodology after the Short Twentieth Century

Editorial Reviews

`An impressive collection of essays, some by well-known practitioners'The Economist 13/12/02