Autobiography Quotes

Most popular autobiography quotes

All autobiography is self-indulgent.
Fiction is the higher autobiography.

fiction

Memoirs ... the backstairs of history.
Keep a diary and one day it'll keep you.
Autobiography is a life writing its life.
Every artist writes his own autobiography.

artists

An interim report—that is what an autobiography is.
Autobiography is a preemptive strike against biographers.
Autobiography is probably the most respectable form of lying.
Of all forms of fiction, autobiography is the most gratuitous.
All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography.

art

I have no guarantee of what is written here but memory, a known cheat.

memory

To write an autobiography is to etch the words on your own gravestone.
Autobiography is now as common as adultery and hardly less reprehensible.
If you do not want to explore an egoism you should not read autobiography.

ego

Autobiographies tell more lies than all but the most self-indulgent fiction.
Autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.
Autobiography is an unrivaled vehicle for telling the truth about other people.
An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.
Hiring someone to write your autobiography is like hiring someone to take a bath for you.

funny

The chief danger memoirists face is starring in their own stories, and becoming fascinated.
Just as there is nothing between the admirable omelette and the intolerable, so with autobiography.
Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained.
This is something like digging for oil, finding it, and then noticing a diamond mine at the same site.
Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography.
Every autobiography...becomes an absorbing work of fiction, with something of the charm of a cryptogram.
Next to the writer of real estate advertisements, the autobiographer is the most suspect of prose artists.
I am constantly writing autobiography, but I have to turn it into fiction in order to give it credibility.
Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.

ego

Writing the story of your own life, I now know, is an agonizing experience, a bit like drilling your own teeth.
Autobiography, the confession of a person to himself instead of the priest—generally gets absolution too easily.
In a good autobiography the chaos of life's experience (truth) must be given some kind of order or pattern (design).
When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do—well, that's Memoirs.
But that perhaps is the point of any memoir—to walk with the dead and yet see them with our eyes, from our vantage point.
When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad things you did do - well, that's memoirs.
To ask an author who hopes to be a serious writer if his work is autobiographical is like asking a spider where he buys his thread.
I will try to cram these paragraphs full of facts and give them a weight and shape no greater than that of a cloud of blue butterflies.
At this point in literary history, it's understood that memoir is not an act of history but an act of memory, which is innately corrupt.
A confessional passage has probably never been written that didn't stink a little bit of the writer's pride in having given up his pride.
You have to take pains in a memoir not to hang on the reader's arms, like a drunk, and say, "And then I did this and it was so interesting."
The New York Times bestseller list only has four categories.  There ought to be a fifth category for autobiography. Or perhaps we should call it handicapped nonfiction.
A memoirist is really like any other con man; if he's convincing, he's home. If he isn't, it doesn't really matter whether it happened, he hasn't succeeded in making it feel convincing.
In a way, an autobiography seems to me like a household book of accounts—what has been acquired, to what purpose has it been put, was too much paid for it, and did it teach you anything?
Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.  A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.

defeat

Memoir in America is an atrocity arms race.  A memoir that reveals incest is trumped by one that reveals bestiality, and that, in turn, is driven from the bestseller list by one that reveals incestuous bestiality.
Memoir isn't the summary of a life; it's a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition.  It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events.  It's not; it's a deliberate construction.
Memoir is like a patchwork quilt—a log cabin pioneer way of piecing together experience.  It satisfies our need for gossip and intimacy, for testimony and confessional, and in this world of spin, offers a truthful account of what it means to succeed or fail, to love and lose, to break your heart and mend it again.