Top Biographical Quotes

Browse top 74 famous quotes and sayings about Biographical by most favorite authors.

Favorite Biographical Quotes

1. "Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment - an attitude that has never again left me.- Albert Einstein, Autobiographical Notes, edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp"
Author: Albert Einstein
2. "Though just biographical record will touch the failings of the good and the eminent with tenderness."
Author: Anna Seward
3. "Of necessity, the autobiographical self is not just about one individual but about all the others that an individual interacts with. Of necessity, it incorporates the culture in which the interactions took place."
Author: Antonio Damasio
4. "Chacko had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and was permitted excesses and eccentricities nobody else was. He claimed to be writing a Family Biography that the Family would have to pay him not to publish. Ammu said that there was only one person in the family who was a fit candidate for biographical blackmail and that was Chacko himself."
Author: Arundhati Roy
5. "It has never been easy for me to understand the obliteration of time, to accept, as others seem to do, the swelling and corresponding shrinkage of seasons or the conscious acceptance that one year has ended and another begun. There is something here that speaks of our essential helplessness and how the greater substance of our lives is bound up with waste and opacity. Even the sentence parts seize on the tongue, so that to say „Twelve years passed" is to deny the fact of biographical logic. How can so much time hold so little, how can it be taken from us? Months, weeks, days, hours misplaced – and the most precious time of life, too, when our bodies are at their greatest strength, and open, as they never will be again, to the onslaught of sensation."
Author: Carol Shields
6. "I'm always saying that my books are not autobiographical because they're not. I can't choose any one scene and say, 'Oh, this is exactly what happened to me!' I just use little snippets of things as a starting point!"
Author: Cecily Von Ziegesar
7. "'One Minus One' and 'Barcelona, 1975' are more or less autobiographical."
Author: Colm Toibin
8. "People who think my books are autobiographical, which they're not, credit me with having a much better memory than I do. I do, however, have a powerful imagination."
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
9. "In each of my characters there is a little of me. Not strictly autobiographical but a little piece of my soul."
Author: Dario Argento
10. "In some ways it's taken me decades to come clean and make honest work - and still to this day, sometimes I find myself wanting to hide behind my work and deny the more biographical aspects."
Author: David Knopfler
11. "Ozzie Boone...insists that I keep the tone light in these biographical manuscripts. He believes that pessimism is strictly for people who are over-educated and unimaginative. Ozzie counsels me that melancholy is a self-indulgent form of sorrow.By writing in an unrelievedly dark mode, he warns, the writer risks culturing darkness in his heart, becoming the very thing that he decries."
Author: Dean Koontz
12. "All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography."
Author: Federico Fellini
13. "I do think all art is autobiographical, and I do think I know quite a bit about women. I don't know anything about men."
Author: Gloria Vanderbilt
14. "I do not teach truth as such; I do not transform myself into a diaphanous mouthpiece of eternal pedagogy: I settle accounts , however I can, on a certain number of problems; with you and with me or me, and through you, me and me, with a certain number of authorities represented here. I understand that the place I am now occupying will not be left out of the exhibit or withdrawn form the scene. Nor do I intend to withhold even that which I shall call, to save time, an autobiographical demonstration, although I must ask you to shift its sense a little and to listen to it with another ear. I wish to take a certain pleasure in this, so that you may learn this pleasure from me."
Author: Jacques Derrida
15. "He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances. He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a verb in the past tense."
Author: James Joyce
16. "We've inherited many ideas about writing that emerged in the eighteenth century, especially an interest in literature as both an expression and an exploration of the self. This development ? part of what distinguishes the "modern" from the "early modern" ? has shaped the work of many of our most celebrated authors, whose personal experiences indelibly and visibly mark their writing. It's fair to say that the fiction and poetry of many of the finest writers of the past century or so ? and I'm thinking here of Conrad, Proust, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, Plath, Ellison, Lowell, Sexton, Roth, and Coetzee, to name but a few ? have been deeply autobiographical. The link between the life and the work is one of the things we're curious about and look for when we pick up the latest book by a favorite author."
Author: James Shapiro
17. "The daughter of the literary biographer Leslie Stephen, and close friend of the innovative biographer of the Victorians, Lytton Strachey, Woolf herself put forward, in ‘The New Biography' (1927) (reviewing work by another biographer acquaintance, Harold Nicolson), her own memorable theory of biography, encapsulated in her phrase ‘granite and rainbow'. ‘Truth' she envisions ‘as something of granite-like solidity', and ‘personality assomething of rainbow-like intangibility', and ‘the aim of biography', she proposes, ‘is to weld these two into one seamless whole' (E4 473). The following short biographical account ofWoolf will attempt to keep to the basic granitelike facts that Woolf novices need to know, while also occasionally attending in brief to the more elusive, but equally relevant, matter of rainbow-like personality."
Author: Jane Goldman
18. "Woolf drew on her memories of her holidays in Cornwall for To the Lighthouse, which was conceived in part as an elegy on her parents. Her father was a vigorous walker and an Alpinist of some renown, a member of the Alpine Club and editor of the Alpine Journal from 1868 to 1872; he was the first person to climb the Schreckhorn in the Alps and he wrote on Alpine pleasures in The Playground of Europe (1871). By the time he married Julia Duckworth in 1878, however, a more sedentary Leslie Stephen was the established editor of the Cornhill Magazine, from which he later resigned to take up the editorship of the Dictionary of National Biography in 1882, the year of Woolf 's birth. Stephen laboured on this monumental Victorian enterprise until 1990, editing single-handed the first twenty-six volumes and writing well over 300 biographical entries. He also published numerous volumes of criticism, the most important of which were on eighteenth-century thought and literature."
Author: Jane Goldman
19. "Novelists are always resisting autobiographical readings of their work, because they know how false those can be."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
20. "Because of the wonderfully positive response to 'Life's That Way,' I am considering writing some more autobiographical stuff - maybe another book. I don't know. It doesn't help that I'm lazy."
Author: Jim Beaver
21. "Most victims of my autobiographical verse are either far too polite, remarkably understanding unaware that I have written poems about them."
Author: John Barton
22. "Poets can't resist the dramatic pull of their lives and so inevitably write autobiographical verse."
Author: John Barton
23. "When the sex is persuasively rendered, it tends to read autobiographically, and there are limits to my desire for immersion in a stranger's biochemistry."
Author: Jonathan Franzen
24. "We can study files for decades, but every so often we are tempted to throw up our hands and declare that history is merely another literary genre: the past is autobiographical fiction pretending to be a parliamentary report."
Author: Julian Barnes
25. "Of course, there were other sorts of literature -- theoretical, self-referencial, lachrymosely autobiographical -- but they were just dry wanks."
Author: Julian Barnes
26. "[Jürgen Habermas' obituary to friend and philosopher, Richard Rorty]One small autobiographical piece by Rorty bears the title 'Wild Orchids and Trotsky.' In it, Rorty describes how as a youth he ambled around the blooming hillside in north-west New Jersey, and breathed in the stunning odour of the orchids. Around the same time he discovered a fascinating book at the home of his leftist parents, defending Leon Trotsky against Stalin. This was the origin of the vision that the young Rorty took with him to college: philosophy is there to reconcile the celestial beauty of orchids with Trotsky's dream of justice on earth. Nothing is sacred to Rorty the ironist. Asked at the end of his life about the 'holy', the strict atheist answered with words reminiscent of the young Hegel: 'My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law."
Author: Jürgen Habermas
27. "In a way, 'Billy Elliot' was autobiographical. I can't dance, but I think his dancing was me discovering about writing and literature."
Author: Lee Hall
28. "My work is purely autobiographical... It is about myself and my surroundings."
Author: Lucian Freud
29. "Perhaps for many Japanese, autobiographical fiction writing is life. We are a people expected to complement, to harmonize, to anticipate one another's needs. All without a single spoken clue.And the reason is that he's in training to be a writer. Observing detail, understanding irony, interpreting motivation. Hiro knows that acts are symbolic. The hard sour fruit offered too soon in its season carries a message. He has made an error in the timing of his visit. He has inconvenienced that family.This is the Japanese way. Cogitating on inner meaning. Revealing ourselves and perceiving others through carefully crafted scenes. Writing our endless I-stories."
Author: Lydia Minatoya
30. "There's a certain point, when you're writing autobiographical stuff, where you don't want to misrepresent yourself. It would be dishonest."
Author: Mark Strand
31. "Let's not forget The Things They Do To Make Themselves Happy That Actually Make Them Miserable. This is an infinite list. It includes - shopping, watching TV, taking the better job, getting the bigger house, writing a semi-autobiographical novel, educating their young, making their skin look mildly less old and harboring a vague desire to believe there might be a meaning to it all."
Author: Matt Haig
32. "Everything is biographical, Lucian Freud says. What we make, why it is made, how we draw a dog, who it is we are drawn to, why we cannot forget. Everything is collage, even genetics. There is the hidden presence of others in us, even those we have known briefly. We contain them for the rest of our lives, at every border we cross."
Author: Michael Ondaatje
33. "I can't remove the autobiographical slant from the things I write. You always bring yourself into what you're writing."
Author: Natalie Merchant
34. "Is a little remarkable, that—though disinclined to talk overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends—an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public. The first time was three or four years since, when I favoured the reader—inexcusably, and for no earthly reason that either the indulgent reader or the intrusive author could imagine—with a description of my way of life in the deep quietude"
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
35. "The truth about autobiographical songs, he realized, was that you had to make the present become the past, somehow: you had to take a feeling or a friend or a woman and turn whatever it was into something that was over, so that you could be definitive about it. You had to put it in a glass case and look at it and think about it until it gave up its meaning."
Author: Nick Hornby
36. "A brick is a biographical film in which a young orphan brick from the wrong side of the track grows up to be one of the most important bricks in all brick kind, as it is now quite literally the cornerstone of one of America's greatest ballparks.(Fenway)"
Author: Nicole McKay
37. "All fiction is largely autobiographical and much autobiography is, of course, fiction."
Author: P.D. James
38. "That balance between involvement and detachment is what novelists do. It's the ideal relationship between a novelist and a character, I think, total involvement and identity and empathy, stopping short of being autobiographical - in my case, anyway - but also quite detached."
Author: Pat Barker
39. "All through my writing life, I've had this impulse to write autobiographical works."
Author: Paul Auster
40. "'Taxi Driver' wasn't autobiographical in terms of the actual events, but I did draw on my own mental state."
Author: Paul Schrader
41. "The blues is an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one's aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-comic lyricism. As a form, the blues is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically."
Author: Ralph Ellison
42. "I placed some of the DNA on the ends of my fingers and rubbed them together. The stuff was sticky. It began to dissolve on my skin. 'It's melting -- like cotton candy.' 'Sure. That's the sugar in the DNA,' Smith said. 'Would it taste sweet?' 'No. DNA is an acid, and it's got salts in it. Actually, I've never tasted it.' Later, I got some dried calf DNA. I placed a bit of the fluff on my tongue. It melted into a gluey ooze that stuck to the roof of my mouth in a blob. The blob felt slippery on my tongue, and the taste of pure DNA appeared. It had a soft taste, unsweet, rather bland, with a touch of acid and a hint of salt. Perhaps like the earth's primordial sea. It faded away.Page 67, in Richard Preston's biographical essay on Craig Venter, "The Genome Warrior" (originally published in The New Yorker in 2000)."
Author: Richard Preston's
43. "To ask an author who hopes to be a serious writer if his work is autobiographical is like asking a spider where he buys his thread. The spider gets his thread right out of his own guts, and that is where the author gets his writing."
Author: Robertson Davies
44. "In the broad sense, as a processing of everything one hears or witnesses, all fiction is autobiographical - imagination ground through the mill of memory. It's impossible to separate the two ingredients."
Author: Rohinton Mistry
45. "[Photography] allows me to accede to an infra-knowledge; it supplies me with a collection of partial objects and can flatter a certain fetishism of mine: for this 'me' which like knowledge, which nourishes a kind of amorous preference for it. In the same way, I like certain biographical features which, in a writer's life, delight me as much as certain photographs; I have called these features 'biographemes'; Photography has the same relation to History that the biographeme has to biography."
Author: Roland Barthes
46. "'Woman on the Plaza,' with its distinct horizon, snow-like surfaces, wintry wall, stunning sunlight, sharp shadows, and hurrying figure, would become the most biographical of my photographs - an abstract image of the landscape and life of northern Ohio where I grew up and first practiced photography."
Author: Sam Abell
47. "I categorically resist this idea that films are supposed to be autobiographical and the only stories you tell are about your own life."
Author: Stephen Daldry
48. "Snow-melt in the stream: Mama Nature turning winter's storms into nourishment for the soil, fecundity, and beauty. This is what I must now learn to do with the stormy weather I've been passing through: turn it into beauty, turn it into art, so new life can germinate and bloom.One example of a creative artist who does this is my friend Jane Yolen, who wrote her exquisite book of poems The Radiation Sonnets while her husband was undergoing treatment for the cancer that would eventually claim his life. This is what all artists must do: take whatever life gives us and "alchemize" it into our art (either directly and autobiographically, as in Jane's book, or indirectly; whatever approach works best), turning darkness into light, spinning straw into gold, transforming pain and hardship into what J.R.R. Tolkien called 'a miraculous grace."
Author: Terri Windling
49. "Could I write an autobiographical novel, I wonder? Can one make a book out of the very essence of one's self? Perhaps so, if one was left with one's gift stripped bare of all that made it worth having, and nothing else was left..."
Author: Vera Brittain
50. "I am not an autobiographical writer."
Author: Yann Martel

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When I went to L.A., I started modeling, hoping to travel and learn from photographers. It led to auditions to do commercials."
Author: Beth Riesgraf

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