Autobiography FormBiography Form
Autobiography that tells the story of itself. Autobiographic works can take many different shapes, from the personal works that were written during one' s lifetime and were not necessarily meant for publishing (including covers, journal, magazines, memoir and memories), to a verbatim autobiography in the length of a work. The biographies of form offers a particular kind of biographic truth: a way of living that is transformed by memory, with all the deliberate and subconscious omitments and distortion of memory.
Writer Graham Greene said that for this the autobiography was only "a kind of life" and used the sentence as the name for his own autobiography (1971). Only a few and dispersed samples of autobiographic literary works from ancient and medieval times are available. However, St. Augustine's confessions, which are about 400 years old, are unique: although Augustine placed Christianity at the center of his story and regarded his own portrayal of his own existence only as a coincidence, he created a strong biographical report on his own faithful conversion, which stretched from adolescence to adult age.
A lot of the work of confession has to do with the so-called autobiography in the contemporary West, which was developed in Europe during the Renaissance, in the fifteenth cent. The first example was made in England by Margery Kempe, a Norfolk religion-myster.
When she was young, Kempe was dictating a report about her busy, distant existence, which, although linked to spiritual experiences, revealed her person. The first complete autobiography was published a century later by a famous humanistic journalist of that time, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, after he was raised to the rank of pope in 1458 as Pius II.
His first autobiography - with the misleading name Commentarii, in obvious imitations from Caesar-Pius II to the Holy Father; the following 11 volumes (and a remnant of a twelfth volume, which broke off a few month before his demise in 1464) show a panoramic view of time. Gironimo Cardano, the autobiography of the famous doctor and estrologist, and the adventure of the jeweller and sculptress Benvenuto Cellini in Italy in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the unrestrained autobiography of the British historic and diplomatic Lord Herbert von Cherbury in the early seventeenth and Colley Cibber's apologue for the Life of Colley Cibber, comedian in the early eighteenth years.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's urban autobiography of the great historic Edward Gibbon, the simple, powerful track record of an American who had all the talent, Benjamin Franklin, and the introspection made by a radical Swissborn Swiss thinker, led to two poetic researches on autobiography during Romanticism in England, William Wordsworth's Prelude and Lord Byron's Childe Harold, canto' III and IV, as well as the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
The autobiography can be divided into one of four very wide types: thematically, religiously, intellectually and fictional. His first group contains works with such different aims as The Americanization by Edward Bok (1920) and Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (1925, 1927). The autobiography of religion takes up a series of great works, from Augustine and Kempe to the autobiographic sections of Thomas Carlyles Sartor Resartus and John Henry Cardinal Newman's Apologia in the nineteenth cent.
In the course of this and the early twentieth centuries, several autobiographical intellectuals were written, among them the strictly analytic autobiography of the philosophers John Stuart Mill and The Education of Henry Adams. The autobiography is, after all, somewhat similar to the novel as an autobiography, which is dressed up as a novel or turned into a novel. But in all these works one can recognize all four kinds of element; the most prominent auto-biographies often overshadow these differences.