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.
From this blog
“Hugo Ball—poet, philosopher, novelist, cabaret performer, journalist, mystic—was a man extremely sensitive to the currents of his time and carried in their wake. In February 1916 he founded the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. The sound poems and performance art by Ball and the other artists who gathered there were the beginnings of Dada. Ball’s extraordinary diaries, one of the most significant products of the Dada movement, are here available in English, along with the original Dada manifesto and John Elderfield’s critical introduction, revised and updated for this edition, and a supplementary bibliography of Dada texts.”
No one has a good idea how the front and back images of a crucified man came to be on the cloth. No one has created images that match the chemistry, peculiar superficiality and profoundly mysterious three-dimensional information content of the images on the Shroud. Therefore, they compacted trash and recycling in a Stationary Compactor (there is an example on page 7). They put a ’tilt truck’ (see example on p.115) into a Cart Dumper (see example on p.120) of which there are two; one for trash and one for recycle. The two Cart Dumpers work by using a hydraulic arm to lift the tilt truck (through a ninety degree angle) dumping its contents into the compactor, to be crushed and compacted. Therefore, there are two photographs of the floor of The Cart Dumpers on p.27 and there are a two photographs of the Shroud of Turin on p.111. On p.45 the two photographs from page 27 are placed above the two photographs from p.111 (for a total of four photographs on one page). Therefore, they conclude (for now) that the Wear and Tear on the Floor of the Cart Dumpers and the two Images within the Shroud of Turin show the Front and Back of a scourged, crucified man. They said, “These hard times can last us so very long, If I ever get off this Killing Floor, I’ll never get down this low no more, and you say you had money, you better be sure, ‘Cause these hard times will drive you from door to door.” (After Skip James)
Recognition of the significance of speech acts has illuminated the ability of language to do other things than describe reality. In the process the boundaries among the philosophy of language, the philosophy of action, aesthetics, the philosophy of mind, political philosophy, and ethics have become less sharp. In addition, an appreciation of speech acts has helped lay bare a normative structure implicit in linguistic practice, including even that part of this practice concerned with describing reality.
Austin famously claimed that performatives are not statements (1962, p. 6). This may be taken either as the claim that performative sentences, even those in the indicative grammatical mood, lack truth value; or instead as the claim that utterances of performative sentences, even when such sentences have truth value, are not assertions. One can consistently hold that an indicative sentence has truth value, and even that it may be uttered in such a way as to say something true, while denying that its utterance is an assertion. (Testing a microphone in a windowless room, I utter, “It’s raining,” and it happens to be raining outside. Here I have said something true but have made no assertion.)
Lemmon 1962 argues that performative utterances are true on the ground that they are instances of a wider class of sentences whose utterance guarantees their truth. If sound, this argument would show that performatives have truth value, but not that they are assertions. It also leaves unanswered the question why some verb phrases such as ‘I promise’ may be used performatively while others cannot be so used. Sinnott-Armstrong 1994 also argues that performatives can have truth value without addressing the question whether they are also used to make assertions. Reimer 1995 argues that while performatives have truth values, they are not also assertions. Adopting a similar strategy, Jary 2007 aims to explain how utterances of such sentences as “I order you to clean the kitchen,” can succeed in being orders. In so doing he draws on Green’s 2007 analysis of showing to argue that such utterances show (rather than merely describe) the force of the speaker’s utterance. Because ‘show’ is factive, if such an utterance shows its force, then it must have that force.
Searle 1969 had argued that a performative formula such as “I promise to…” is an “illocutionary force indicator” in the sense that it is a device whose role is to make explicit the force of the speaker’s utterance. Making something explicit, however, would seem to involve characterizing an independent event or state of affairs, and as a result Searle’s account presupposes that speakers can imbue their utterances with the force of demotions and excommunications; yet this is what was to be explained.
Debates have arisen as to whether all biographies are fiction, especially when authors are writing about figures from the past. All history is seen through a perspective that is the product of our contemporary society and as a result biographical truths are constantly shifting. So the history biographers write about will not be the way that it happened. It will be the way they remembered it. Debates have also arisen concerning the importance of space in life writing.
On the other hand, some years ago the Art Newspaper named eighteen “Van Goghs” in public collections that had been downgraded as fakes or are works of questionable authenticity. Most of them were taken off display, including pictures in the Van Gogh Museum, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.
Well recorded is the controversy reigning for many years regarding the authenticity of some forty oil paintings previously attributed to the Dutch master artist Vincent van Gogh. Believed by some commentators and van Gogh art experts, these works of art may in fact actually have been executed by one of Vincent van Gogh’s pupils, perhaps someone within van Gogh’s circle or even may be deliberately faked variations of Vincent van Gogh’s art works. But this is controversial and if so, a fraud effected right back at the turn of the last century. Art scholars and expert historians alike constantly challenge and raise issues about van Gogh’s oeuvre and presumably will continue to do so.
The margin space on the page between the binding and the inside edge illustration or any printed element is called the gutter. At some time you unquestionably experienced an insufficient gutter. You open a book to find that the text’s inside edge is partially obscured by the tight binding. You force the book to open wider and ultimately break its binding. Printing and binding technology has become highly precise, but some variance is inevitable. This book shows the image of the painting divided in two by means of a generous gutter.
Examples of 2 sentence paragraphs are located on pages 33, 53, 56, 79 and 80, and collected into a monologue on p.340
The title of this drama provides the stage directions. Based on the title, the Dramatis Personae is also as follows:
The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis in linguistics states that the grammatical structure of a mother language influences the way we perceive the world. The hypothesis has been largely abandoned by linguists as it has found very limited experimental support, at least in its strong form. “We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way – an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language. The agreement is, of course, an implicit and unstated one, but its terms are absolutely obligatory; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organization and classification of data which the agreement decrees.” – Whorf
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.