14.0569 biographastry

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: 12/19/00

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 569.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
       [1]   From:    "Kristine L. Haugen"                                (13)
             Subject: Re: 14.0565 biographastry?
       [2]   From:    "Fotis Jannidis" <fotis.jannidis@lrz.uni-           (18)
             Subject: Re: 14.0565 biographastry?
             Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 06:18:14 +0000
             From: "Kristine L. Haugen" <klhaugen@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
             Subject: Re: 14.0565 biographastry?
    The most suggestive thing I've read is Celia Gittelson's novel 'Biography'
    (Knopf, 1991)--the writing is exceptional, and the book is, as Professor
    O'Donnell has stipulated, gorgeously nervous about the whole topic.  The
    story starts as a prospective biographer runs an ad in the New York Review
    of Books asking for information on a semi-well-known dead poet; a number of
    things, inevitably, happen.
    Kristine Haugen
    Kristine Louise Haugen
    Princeton University
    Department of English
    22 McCosh Hall
    Princeton, NJ 08544 USA
    Permanent email: k-haugen-1@alumni.uchicago.edu
             Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 06:18:56 +0000
             From: "Fotis Jannidis" <fotis.jannidis@lrz.uni-muenchen.de>
             Subject: Re: 14.0565 biographastry?
      >          From: jod@ccat.sas.upenn.edu (James J. O'Donnell)
      > I am looking for contemporary critical literature on the subject of
      > biography-making.  I am not looking for advice on how to write a good one,
      > but rather for critical reflection on the propensity for making them, the
      > intellectual issues raised, the narratological patterns and history.  What
      > I find is a large literature that rather enjoys biographies and likes
      > thinking about them and thinks they are swell:  I find very little from
      > people who are, as I am, made very nervous by them and wish to understand
      > better why they are so popular and what that popularity means for our
      > knowledge of the past.
    Interestingly. In Germany biographies had a very hard time in
    scholarly circles, because models for historical change had shifted
    towards structural explanation in the late 60's. I think, the individual
    agent has been rediscovered not so long ago, probably in the
    context of cultural history, but maybe this has been a more general
    change in the intellectual atmosphere.
    This all hasn't deminished the general popularity of biographies.
    Fotis Jannidis

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