Why I Don’t Want A Biographer

Daily Prompt: Your Life, the Book

From a famous writer or celebrity, to a WordPress.com blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?

Each biographer has an agenda, to sell books or stories – maybe even a speaking tour or lecture series.

There are two ways to sell a biography; it can be over-the-top dripping with gushing feel-good stories and sentimental anecdotes or a kiss and tell-all ruthless bring-‘em-down exposé.

I don’t like reading biographies because, except for time and place of events, they may as well be fiction or, at least, the biographer’s interpretation of events.

Knowing another man’s story makes for nice conversation. It preserves a person’s legacy or infamy, but I want neither. Who I am is only meant for those who actually come into physical contact with me.

People can try to figure out who I am by what I write: typos, bad grammar, misspelled words, stories that leave you scratching your head, unedited texts, a love of God, family, people, stories, goodness, and truth – that’s about it – no different from most.

Everyman has a story. Their story is no more nor less important than the next man‘s. Each person counts just as much as the next. Biographies tend to make us think some lives and people are more important than others. It’s nice to note their contributions, but I don’t want to know about affairs, preferences, disgusting habits, or daily bowel movements (or not).

No biographer for me. I don’t even want to make it into Wikipedia.

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19 comments

    • Thanks for you comments.
      I never want to read anything about a celebrity, entertainer, or politician. Their lives are synthesized and polished by PR firms.
      I’m always saying to myself, “Did it really happen that way?” “Were they really that clever or insightful on the spur of the moment?”
      I write fiction and listen closely to reality. I know the difference. I can tell fiction or reality when I read it.

  1. Let me going the opposite direction. I love reading biographies but selectively because there are tons in bookshops.
    My objective among them in reading biographies is to read if humans turned animals or vice versa. When I die, I couldn’t care or less about biography those I left behind do whatever, goodly or badly written about me wouldn’t make me going to heaven or hell.

  2. I agree that each biographer puts a spin on their subject, and how can they not? Because of that, it’s not like you’ll ever know who that person is . . . like one of my favorite things to think (but for some reason I have not often said) is ‘you don’t KNOW me’. Those people who do are closer than close, and no biography will get you there. I like a good biography for the story it tells, and I’m one of those who thinks my life is just not exciting enough, and if someone thinks it is, I’m not sure they really KNOW me, if you get what I’m saying.

Blather away, if you like.

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