The word ‘autobiography’ was first used deprecatingly by William Taylor in 1797 in the English periodical the Monthly Review, when he suggested the word as a hybrid but condemned it as ‘pedantic’; but its next recorded use was in its present sense by Robert Southey in 1809. The form of autobiography however goes back to antiquity. Biographers generally rely on a wide variety of documents and viewpoints; an autobiography, however, may be based entirely on the writer’s memory.
Autobiographical works are by nature subjective. The inability — or unwillingness — of the author to accurately recall memories has in certain cases resulted in misleading or incorrect information. Some sociologists and psychologists have noted that autobiography offers the author the ability to recreate history.
“Conceptual art is a big, complex category, but Alexander Alberro usefully describes it in terms of four major “trajectories”: a deemphasizing of the importance of the artist’s technical skill and the cohesiveness of the final product; an increasing emphasis on the importance of text over images; a shift away from the aesthetically pleasing toward the conveyance of that odd modern invention we call information; and a questioning of how art is “supposed” to be framed, and the notion that there is a “correct” context (like a gallery) in which people are supposed to encounter it (pp. xvi, xvii ). Conceptual writing follows these trajectories because, with a few exceptions, they had been largely ignored by literary writers.”
“When we think of novels, of newspapers and blogs, we think of words. We easily forget the little suggestions pushed in between: the punctuation. But how can we be so cruel to such a fundamental part of writing?”