Top Biography Quotes

Browse top 201 famous quotes and sayings about Biography by most favorite authors.

Favorite Biography Quotes

1. "I think that I'm busy in the present, and I don't want to go back. Well, there's been an unauthorized biography, and you can't stop them. It didn't worry me."
Author: Albert Finney
2. "Biography should be written by an acute enemy."
Author: Arthur Balfour
3. "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
4. "The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to "protect the family name"(as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)-the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder, or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator and her third cousin gave a concert at carnegie hall (as if the achievement of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)-the parents who search geneological trees in order to evaluate their prospective son-in-law.-the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history -All these are samples of racism."
Author: Ayn Rand
5. "But not even Hitler can damage the fells'In 'The Tale of Beatrix Potter, A Autobiography' by Margaret Lane, first edition, page 170."
Author: Beatrix Potter
6. "A dog cannot relate his autobiography; however, eloquently he may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were honest though poor."
Author: Bertrand Russell
7. "I won't write my autobiography because I never had an affair with Frank Sinatra, and if I had had, I wouldn't tell anyone."
Author: Celia Johnson
8. "The immense appetite we have for biography comes from a deep-seated sense of equality."
Author: Charles Baudelaire
9. "I had to do the book because there was an unauthorised biography which didn't tell it like it was."
Author: Cilla Black
10. "History is the autobiography of a madman."
Author: Dan Carlin
11. "I'm looking for backing for an unauthorized auto-biography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I will play everybody."
Author: David Bowie
12. "From David Niven's autobiography, Bring on the Empty Horses. Director Mike Curtiz to David Niven & Errol Flynn: "You lousy bums, you and your stinking language, you think I know fuck nothing, well let me tell you— I know FUCK ALL!"
Author: David Niven
13. "I want an autobiography without revealing any personal information."
Author: Diana Ross
14. "My mother neither encouraged the reading of science fiction nor did she disparage it. She told me later that there was a scheme of things. Young people were first drawn to fiction, but as they grew older they were pulled more and more into nonfiction and biography, because nonfiction is so much more tragic, engrossing, and hilarious than anything else that could be invented. In this grand scheme, comic books and science fiction were just fine. They filled the need for a certain amount of time, and you moved on when that need was no longer filled."
Author: Don Borchert
15. "There's the life and there's the consumer event. Everything around us tends to channel our lives toward some final reality in print or on film. Two lovers quarrel in the back of a taxi and a question becomes implicit in the event. Who will write the book and who will play the lovers in the movie? Everything seeks its own heightened version. Or put it this way. Nothing happens until it's consumed. Or put it this way. Nature has given way to aura. A man cuts himself shaving and someone is signed up to write the biography of the cut. All the material in every life is channeled into the glow. Here I am in your lens. Already I see myself differently. Twice over or once removed."
Author: Don DeLillo
16. "Biography can be the most middle-class of all forms, the judgment of little people avenging themselves on the great."
Author: Edmund White
17. "Sadly, we have confused biblical literature with history, and turned prophecy into biography."
Author: Eli Of Kittim
18. "I have my own biography of Gram Parsons - I don't want to be part of somebody else's."
Author: Emmylou Harris
19. "Samuel Beckett was saying, in a new biography, that he could remember being in the womb, which, of course, is a bit far-fetched. But he's an Irishman, so nothing's too far-fetched."
Author: Frank McCourt
20. "Every American autobiography, someone once said, is about one thing—escape. Look into the frightened heart of an American life, and you'll find a compulsion to flee—a seed planted in the national character at the start by those ships sailing out of Europe and landing on our shores. — Teller: A Novel"
Author: Frederick Weisel
21. "It has gradually become clear to me what every great philosophy up till now has consisted of – namely, the confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious autobiography; and moreover that the moral (or immoral) purpose in every philosophy has constituted the true vital germ out of which the entire plant has always grown."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
22. "In the newspapers I read a biography about an American. He left his whole huge fortune to factories and for the positive sciences, his skeleton to the students at the academy there, and his skin to make a drum so as to have the American national anthem drummed on it day and night."
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
23. "The way people move?is their autobiography in motion."
Author: Gerry Spence
24. "So an autobiography about death should include, in my case, an account of European Jewry and of Russian and Jewish events - pogroms and flights and murders and the revolution that drove my mother to come here."
Author: Harold Brodkey
25. "Newt Gingrich wrote a novel, and he's a short story. Bill Clinton wrote a biography, and he's a novel."
Author: James McBride
26. "It may take a decade or two before the extent of Shakespeare's collaboration passes from the graduate seminar to the undergraduate lecture, and finally to popular biography, by which time it will be one of those things about Shakespeare that we thought we knew all along. Right now, though, for those who teach the plays and write about his life, it hasn't been easy abandoning old habits of mind. I know that I am not alone in struggling to come to terms with how profoundly it alters one's sense of how Shakespeare wrote, especially toward the end of his career when he coauthored half of his last ten plays. For intermixed with five that he wrote alone, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, and The Tempest, are Timon of Athens (written with Thomas Middleton), Pericles (written with George Wilkins), and Henry the Eighth, the lost Cardenio, and The Two Noble Kinsmen (all written with John Fletcher)."
Author: James Shapiro
27. "A politician's autobiography is a book that's nothing more than a collection of paper, like toilet paper, only it's stacked instead of rolled."
Author: Jarod Kintz
28. "Any attempts at autobiography before the age of eighty seem pretty self-involved to me. There are a lot of smart middle aged people but not many wise ones."
Author: Jimmy Buffett
29. "Mythology, in other words, is psychology misread as biography, history, and cosmology."
Author: Joseph Campbell
30. "I employed my wife for three years to sit in the attic and type up my autobiography, 700 pages, organise everywhere I go. I'm paying the normal rate of tax on the money I take out for myself."
Author: Ken Livingstone
31. "The rumors of Frank Sinatra's violence and his ties to organized crime were such that journalists joked in print about me ending up in concrete boots and sleeping with the fishes if I proceeded to write his biography."
Author: Kitty Kelley
32. "Clothes as text, clothes as narration, clothes as a story. Clothes as the story of our lives. And if you were to gather all the clothes you have ever owned in all your life, each baby shoe and winter coat and wedding dress, you would have your autobiography. You could wear, once more, your own life in all its stages, from whatever they wrapped you in when you emerged from the dark red naked warmth of the womb to your deathbed."
Author: Linda Grant
33. "For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time."
Author: Louis L'Amour
34. "A turning point in the public's perception of the building art came with the publication of Frank Lloyd Wright's 'An Autobiography' of 1932, a picaresque narrative that captivated many who hadn't the slightest inkling of what architects actually did."
Author: Martin Filler
35. "Besides, Fi was convinced that instinct could determine a body's literary needs, just as physical cravings pointed to dietary shortfalls. She'd experienced it herself more than once among the library's dense shelves; not knowing what she should read next, she'd wandered, sniffing slightly, palms open. When intuition hit, she felt a sensation she couldn't describe exactly: her hands seemed to know where to go. And when she reached, invariably she found exactly the book she needed at that moment - sometimes fiction, sometimes biography, sometimes a slim volume of obscure poetry"
Author: Masha Hamilton
36. "Biography lends to death a new terror."
Author: Oscar Wilde
37. "There is no theory that is not a fragment, carefully prepared, of some autobiography."
Author: Paul Valéry
38. "I think biography can be more personal than fiction, and certainly can be more expressive."
Author: Peter Ackroyd
39. "I write fiction and I'm told it's autobiography, I write autobiography and I'm told it's fiction, so since I'm so dim and they're so smart, let them decide what it is or it isn't."
Author: Philip Roth
40. "Even wondered about the difference?Autobiography: The usually self-serving accounts of personal accomplishments by a public figure.Memoir: The usually self-serving accounts of someone whose only accomplishments are often self-pity and vindictiveness."
Author: Raul Ramos Y Sanchez
41. "A great danger, or at least a great temptation, for many writers is to become too autobiographical in their approach to their fiction. A little autobiography and a lot of imagination are best."
Author: Raymond Carver
42. "For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography."
Author: Robert Penn Warren
43. "I'm reading Keith Richards' autobiography. I didn't even know he could read, never mind write. Probably all recorded off a Marshall amplifier."
Author: Sienna McQuillen
44. "Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our "biography," our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are?Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn't that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?"
Author: Sogyal Rinpoche
45. "After reading Eminem's autobiography, which I did because I'm so interested in him as an artist, I respect him a lot. Even though he seems angry and mad, he's had to fight so many demons in his life."
Author: Taryn Manning
46. "Great writing can be done in biography, history, art."
Author: V. S. Naipaul
47. "For she had a great variety of selves to call upon, far more than we have been able to find room for, since a biography is considered complete if it merely accounts for six or seven selves, whereas a person may have many thousand…and these selves of which we are built up, one on top of the other, as plates are piled on a waiter's hand, have attachments elsewhere, sympathies, little constitutions and rights of their own… so that one will only come if it is raining, another in a room with green curtains, another when Mrs. Jones is not there… and some are too wildly ridiculous to be mentioned in print at all."
Author: Virginia Woolf
48. "When I Read the Book"When I read the book, the biography famous, And is this then (said I) what the author calls a man's life? And so will some one when I am dead and gone write my life? (As if any man really knew aught of my life,Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real life, Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections I seek for my own use to trace out here.)"
Author: Walt Whitman
49. "But if this biography suggests a varied and sympathetic apprehension of the world, it was with a far darker palette that Céline came to paint his word-pictures when he began writing in the late 1920's. Straightforward fear adumbrates his invective, which — despite the reputation he would later earn as a rabid anti-Semite — is aimed against all classes and races of people with indiscriminate abandon. Indeed, if "Ulysses" is the great modernist novel most inspired by a desire for humanistic inclusion, then "Journey" is its antithesis: a stream of misanthropic consciousness, almost unrelieved by any warmth or fellow-feeling."
Author: Will Self
50. "I am tired of the position of the dried-up critic and doubter. The believer is the true full man. (from a biography of James by Robert D. Richardson)"
Author: William James

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Never would I have a man saying what or who were best for me, and that were all there were to it."
Author: A.C. Gaughen

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