Biography vs. Oeuvre

Usually, I am not very much interested in the lives of the authors I am reading. When you read a biography of a writer it frequently turns out that they were more or less like you and me, at least on the surface. What made them different and outstanding was their ability to create literature. As a private person, most of them seem not to have been very remarkable, and more frequently than not, they are described by those who knew them as rather self-centred, narcissistic, or unsupportable human beings. There are a few exceptions of course, writers that – if you had the opportunity – you would have liked to meet in real life, simply for being the extraordinary and/or truly good person they have obviously been. Montaigne or Lichtenberg come to mind, but also Chekhov.

© Thomas Hübner and, 2014-8. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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