Together with crossword puzzles, quantum mechanics and abstract painting, biography is a creation of the Twentieth Century. To be sure, biographies long and short were written in all ages, but with a few Chinese exceptions the biographies of the past make uninteresting reading. Not even juicy tidbits like Machiavelli’s turn of the screw on Cesare Borgia, or the memoirs of the Marquis de Sade, can any longer hold our attention. Spoiled by Sigmund Freud, we demand mud and dirt. Trained to expect crude revelations of sexual misconduct, of brain malfunctions, of childhood traumas, we look forward to one end: the hapless biographies shall be made to be another one of us, complete with a Jewish Mother and manic-depressive fits.
KeywordsChildhood Trauma Dialectical Materialism Sexual Misconduct Crossword Puzzle Bestseller List
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