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Biographies and Timelines by Frances Wilson

No books are as body-conscious as biographies. Those formally “two fat volumes”, as Lytton Strachey described the Victorian double-decker, have reshaped themselves and emerged dexterous, slimline and superfit. To avoid what Michael Benton, in Towards a Poetics of Literary Biography, calls “the death march of chronology” we now have taut and muscular “micro-histories” casting a spotlight on months or moments, the new vogue of “object biographies” by which a life is examined synecdochally through a brass button or a bowl, plus a bionic squad of biofictions, biografictions, autonarrations and autobiografictions (no other genre has spawned more, or uglier, neologisms). And while biographical subjects have been democratized to include not only the expanded CVs of dead statesmen, but equally God, cod, and fog (London Fog: The biography, was published last October), autobiography has become the fiefdom of millions in the form of blogs, tweets, Flickr, social networking sites and selfies. Even the smartphone, apparently, is an autobiographical instrument.

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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