Literary Lives: Biography and the Search for Understanding
Literary Lives is a biographer's analysis of literary biography. David Ellis here explains how biographers try to understand the lives of their subjects. Ellis ranges from Dr Johnson to the present, touching upon books by and about Jean-Paul Sartre, Dickens, James, Flaubert, Woolf, Plath, Greene, Orwell, Yeats, Hemingway, and even such non-literary figures as Mozart, Picasso, and Cezanne.
With great clarity Ellis analyzes four models that underlie biographical interpretation: the familial, the psychological, the medical, and the sociological. Each has yielded fascinating insights in the hands of skilled biographers. Literary Lives offers our first map of the biographer's workshop, showing the student and casual reader alike how the biographer approaches the challenges of the genre.
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