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Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.
When I was 12 years old, I read 'Nancy Drew' mysteries and biographies of Madame Curie and Florence Nightingale and books about girls who love horses or go to nursing school. I belonged to the Girl Scouts and got A's in school and rarely disobeyed my parents. I still kept a collection of Barbie dolls in my room, and I almost never spoke to boys.
Remember the movie 'The Matrix,' where virtual information popped up to help inform physical day-to-day reality? Such things won't always be the stuff of Hollywood. If the Internet is accessible via contact lenses, biographies will appear next to the faces of the people we talk to, and we will see subtitles if they speak a foreign language.
For me writing biographies is impossible, unless they are brief and concise, and these are, I feel, the most eloquent.
The library of my elementary school had this great biography section, and I read all of these paperback biographies until they were dog-eared. The story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Madame Curie and Martin Luther King and George Washington Carver and on and on and on.
I seldom read anything that is not of a factual nature because I want to invest my time wisely in the things that will improve my life. Don't misunderstand; there is nothing wrong with reading purely for the joy of it. Novels have their place, but biographies of famous men and women contain information that can change lives.
Along with all those books about Lincoln, Obama might read some biographies of Napoleon. The general who established the Legion d'Honneur understood that people fought as much for medals as for morals.
Biographies are no longer written to explain or explore the greatness of the great. They redress balances, explore secret weaknesses, demolish legends.
A. S. Byatt
Stripped of its plot, the 'Iliad' is a scattering of names and biographies of ordinary soldiers: men who trip over their shields, lose their courage or miss their wives. In addition to these, there is a cast of anonymous people: the farmers, walkers, mothers, neighbours who inhabit its similes.
Great geniuses have the shortest biographies.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once you touch the biographies of human beings, the notion that political beliefs are logically determined collapses like a pricked balloon.
Some Western biographies are apologist, and do not portray the negative side at all.
I'm interested in the truth, and unauthorized biographies are not. Yes, I would like to correct those errors someday.
In my downtime, you'll mostly find me curled up with a book. I love reading biographies. My favourites are those of Dalai Lama, Osama Bin Laden, and Einstein.
The biographies and autobiographies are on the whole more impressive than the fiction of the last two decades, but the freakish best sellers among them are least likely to withstand the test of time.
Biographers use historians more than historians use biographers, although there can be two-way traffic - e.g., the ever-growing production of biographies of women is helping to change the general picture of the past presented by historians.
I don't think of my books as being biographies. I never had any interest in doing a book just to write the life of a great man. I had zero interest in that. My interest is in power. How power works.
My father always read obituaries to me out loud, not because he was maudlin or morbid, but because they were mini biographies.
The immense majority of human biographies are a gray transit between domestic spasm and oblivion.
I do read on holiday, but it tends to be very lowbrow. I'm into really camp biographies, and I'm a shameless fan of Jilly Cooper.
My father, John Steinbeck, was a man who held human history in great reverence, and in particular the biographies of those people who had risked their lives, their fortunes, and their worldly honor to defend the rights and prerogatives of those who were powerless to defend themselves.
In a fit at the bookstore one day, I bought all my favourite composers' biographies: Schubert, Massenet, Wolf. I've still not had a chance to read them; it breaks my heart. But when you travel so much, you just can't take that many books with you.
Danielle de Niese
I'm not fond of biographies. I don't like writing about myself.
Women inspire me... so I enjoy women's stories and biographies. I am interested in all women.
Diane von Furstenberg
At the Sex Institute in Bloomington, Indiana, they were a phenomenal help, too. We went out there for a few days, and they gave us access to materials. And the biographies, there are four or five, ranging from very poor to excellent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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The only journey is the one within.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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