IVP - Andy Unedited - All Writing Is Autobiography

April 6, 2010

All Writing Is Autobiography

All writing is autobiography.

Fiction. Non-fiction. Quasifictional-semirealistic-self-congratualtory historical narrative. It's all autobiography.

Obviously memoir, journals, travelogues and a lot of bad poetry are autobiographical.

But what about auto-repair manuals?

They tell you the author is interested in (or just had to spend a lot of time learning about) cars.

Dictionaries? The editors are interested in (or paid a lot to think about) words or terms.

Book reviews? Well, sometimes especially book reviews. Consider the reviews on Amazon that excoriate classics. Jeanette Demain has selected a baker's dozen (minus three) examples of readers trashing the great writing of the world. Grapes of Wrath? Contrived. To Kill a Mockingbird? Sappy. Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl? Boring. Very, very, very, very . . . (you get the idea) boring.

Read each selection in Demain's piece and ask first, "What do you learn about the book?" Then ask, "What do you learn about the reviewer?" No doubt you have a lot more to say about the second question than the first.

And have you learned anything about me from this blog? Of course! It's autobiography.

Posted by Andy Le Peau at April 6, 2010 7:57 AM Bookmark and Share

Comments

Tell us a bit more about yourself, Andy. Did you, or do you ever plan to, buy, purchase, or read books on an iPad?...Enough about you; let's talk about me. I have not, and do not plan to, but if I ever did (if the price ever comes down to $199), I would.

Comment by: Jadell at April 6, 2010 2:55 PM

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book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.