Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

55 posts tagged with autobiography. (View popular tags)
Displaying 1 through 50 of 55. Subscribe:

Related tags:
+ (8)
+ (6)
+ (6)
+ (5)
+ (4)
+ (4)


Users that often use this tag:
zarq (3)
Kattullus (3)
Trurl (2)
Joe Beese (2)

A raccoon of my own

Only a handful of all the animal species on earth can be tamed, but that doesn’t stop a homesick girl of 15 from trying
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 30, 2014 - 31 comments

I rode my mountain bike over the continental divide and it was so Galaga

"Galaga" is an excerpt from Michael Kimball's book of the same name about the classic arcade game of the same name. Kimball is also the author of the heartbreaking novel Us and the experimental non-fiction Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard), his selected favorites from which are 45, 46, 51, 52, 54, 66, 70, 75, 86, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 112, 114, 118, 128, 129, 131, 133, 160, 165, 167, 171, 192, 195, 199, 209, 216, 221, 225 and 240. Postcards 54, 75, 98, 114, and 225 feature non-human subjects. 131 is Tao Lin, and 128 is Kimball himself. [Via.]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 12, 2014 - 21 comments

"Confession doesn't just allow – it incites."

...if it felt like an author had already come into your life, already seen some aspect of your experience then it would be natural to want to extend this intimacy into conversation. The impulse to contact a confessional writer – whose writing has already revealed something private – is something else. Perhaps it is still a desire to translate one kind of intimacy into another, but the terms are different. With confessional writing, the disclosure has already happened – now the reader wants to confess something back, make a reciprocal exchange. So whenever people talk about confessional writing as navel-gazing or self-involved, I think about those voices, and their offerings.
Author Leslie Jamison (previously, previouslier) explains why confessional writing is not self-indulgent. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 10, 2014 - 5 comments

YOU are the star in NPH's autobiography

An excerpt from Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
posted by Sparx on Jun 28, 2014 - 16 comments

The medieval version of the celebrity autobiography

"Margery Kempe was a self-proclaimed holy woman, visionary, mystic and medieval pilgrim. She is also unique because although she was not proficient at reading and writing, she was determined to record her visions, journeys and spiritual experiences. She dictated her book to a scribe of which only one copy survives, now housed in the British Library. Nearly everything we know about her comes from her book." -- Susan Abernethy writes about a woman we only know about because she wrote a tell-all autobiography.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 11, 2014 - 18 comments

Ghosting: Julian Assange's nonexistent autobiography, by Andrew O'Hagan

"In a lengthy, nuanced essay for the London Review of Books, a version of which he delivered in a lecture in London on Friday, O'Hagan describes working with a mercurial character who was, by turns, passionate, funny, lazy, courageous, vain, paranoid, moral and manipulative. The book deal ultimately collapsed, O'Hagan writes, because 'the man who put himself in charge of disclosing the world's secrets simply couldn't bear his own. The story of his life mortified him and sent him scurrying for excuses. He didn't want to do the book. He hadn't from the beginning.'" (via)
posted by FrauMaschine on Feb 22, 2014 - 107 comments

Europe's junkie princess, 35 years later

"Hardly anyone at the time would have believed that I would still be here today." Christiane Felscherinow, better known as Christiane F., has published Mein Zweites Leben (My Second Life), the follow-up to her (in)famous autobiography, which was originally published when she was 17. Christiane's story became a sensation in Germany and a cult classic around the world (as well as the basis for a cult film, with a soundtrack by David Bowie), and has recently been republished in America in a new translation. (Previously)
posted by scody on Nov 6, 2013 - 13 comments

Putrid smells reduce me to a pitiful pile

Morrissey's autobiography was released today, and rocketed straight to number one with a bullet. Published under the Penguin Classics imprint, it's full of surprises and quintessential Morriseyisms, and has even inspired a musical cover version from Peter Serafinowicz.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Oct 17, 2013 - 60 comments

Five Feet of Books

"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2013 - 89 comments

Teenage Diaries Revisited

Teenage Diaries Revisited Beginning in 1996, Radio Diaries gave tape recorders to teenagers around the country to create audio diaries about their lives. NPR’s All Things Considered aired intimate portraits of five of these teens: Amanda, Juan, Frankie, Josh and Melissa. They're now in their 30s. Over this past year, the same group has been recording new stories about where life has led them for our series, Teenage Diaries Revisited. - The conversation at the end of the 2013 update on Josh is a complete gut-punch - it left me speechless and unable to breathe.
posted by Slap*Happy on May 10, 2013 - 10 comments

"One can tell if one is happy by listening to the wind. This latter reminds the unhappy of the fragility of their house and pursues them in fitful sleep and violent dreams. To the happy, it sings the song of their safety and security: its raging whistle registers the fact that it no longer has any power over them."

Minima Moralia: Reflections from the Damaged Life is a book written by German sociologist and philosopher Theodor W. Adorno during his exile in California in the 1940s. Translator Dennis Redmond has released his translation under creative commons (here is the same translation set up in a more book-like way). In his essay Promiscuous Reading, Mark O'Connell talks about his habit of never finishing books, but an exception being "this captivatingly strange and mordant text" Minima Moralia, "a thematically wayward aggregation of a hundred and fifty-three short essays and aphorisms that darts restlessly from one subject matter to the next, its fleeting yet intense engagements rarely spanning more than a page and a half." Among the subject matters Adorno addresses is the ethics of writing, which has reverberated down through the years, and is often set up in opposition to George Orwell's thought, as recounted by James Miller in the essay Lingua Franca. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 28, 2012 - 31 comments

"A historiography of one's present amnesia"

Chris Kraus' new novel, Summer of Hate, is out, published by Semiotext(e). Read the first chapter here. No spoilers inside, but some spoilers in the links. [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist on Oct 11, 2012 - 10 comments

"Are we the baddies?"

Danish author Sven Hassel (Wikipedia, official site) has passed away at the age of 95. (Danish - Translation) Hassel fought for the Germans during WWII and became famous after publishing Legion of the Damned, a semi-autobiographical account of the war. He went on to write thirteen more books following the adventures of his convict battalion, incuding Wheels of Terror which in 1987 was made into the movie The Misfit Brigade staring Bruce Davison and David Patrick Kelly (clip). He will be remembered fondly by all who browsed the bookshelves of charity shops as young men.
posted by Artw on Sep 23, 2012 - 31 comments

"You must live till you die."

The Disappeared. "How a fatwa changed a writer's life." A third-person autobiographical essay, by Salman Rushdie. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 10, 2012 - 18 comments

Just a handshake.

"Confessions of an Ex-Mormon: A personal history of America’s most misunderstood religion." by Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air and Lost in the Meritocracy. (Via)
posted by zarq on Jul 17, 2012 - 45 comments

I prefer a ruin to a monument.

A liquor store in Amsterdam. A veteran in Bagdad. A family in Rome. A WWII veterans memorial in Berlin. A house in Oxford. Edouard Levé photographed towns in the United States that shared names with famous cities. He photographed fully-clothed actors reenacting scenes from rugby and pornography [nsfw]. He also wrote some novels, influenced by Oulipo. Autoportrait, describes his life in 120 pages of unordered vignettes and brief, declarative sentences—"The girl whom I loved the most left me. [...] I am uneasy in rooms with small windows." and so on. His fourth novel, Suicide, is a one-sided conversation between an anonymous narrator ("I") and his friend ("you"), who committed suicide twenty years ago. It's a painfully intimate meditation on the act and its fallout on its own merits—"Your life was hypothesis. Those who die old are made of the past. Thinking of them, one thinks of what they have done. Thinking of you, one thinks of what you could have become. You were, and you will remain, made up of possibilities."—but few will read Suicide unburdened with the knowledge that Edouard Levé killed himself several days after completing it, at the age of 47. [more inside]
posted by spanishbombs on Jul 7, 2012 - 7 comments

Certainly not Hugh Hefner

Who Was Casanova? "Today, Casanova is so surrounded by myth that many people almost believe he was a fictional character. (Perhaps it’s hard to take seriously a man who has been portrayed by Tony Curtis, Donald Sutherland, Heath Ledger and even Vincent Price, in a Bob Hope comedy, Casanova’s Big Night [and many more].)" [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on Mar 29, 2012 - 20 comments

Gumm's Last Tape

Even people who would normally never care about something Judy Garland-related marvel at the incredible pathos and dark insanity of these tapes, which come off like Garland performing in a one-woman show written by Samuel Beckett.
posted by Trurl on Dec 28, 2011 - 27 comments

The Unauthorised Autobiography

"In a dramatic move, Canongate has defied Assange's wishes and secretly printed thousands of copies of The Unauthorised Autobiography, by Julian Assange, copies of which have been shipped amid strict security to booksellers in preparation for imminent release." [more inside]
posted by memebake on Sep 21, 2011 - 130 comments

Chester Brown Pays For It

Chester Brown's autobiographical works such as I Never Liked You (1.3 MB PDF) placed #38 on The Comics Journal's list of the 100 Best Comics of the 20th Century. In his new graphic novel, Paying For It, he "calmly lays out the facts of how he became not only a willing participant in but also a vocal proponent of one of the world's most hot-button topics--prostitution".
posted by Trurl on May 16, 2011 - 46 comments

Paul Theroux

The Trouble With Autobiography
posted by puny human on Mar 16, 2011 - 18 comments

Paul Fierlinger's Still Life with Animated Dogs

Still Life with Animated Dogs is a witty and candid cartoon by Paul Fierlinger, animator of Sesame Street's Teeny Little Super Guy, recounting his life from being a dissident artist in 1960s Czechoslovakia to being a successful animator in the US. He tells his lifestory by talking about the dogs he's owned over the years, Roosevelt, Ike, Johnson and Spinnaker. Warning: Something may get stuck in your eye.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 27, 2010 - 8 comments

"Shall I Learn to Be Good?" — This is Mark Twain

This is Mark Twain. In preparation for the long awaited release of the uncensored Autobiography of Mark Twain *, the University of California Press and the Bancroft Library * have put together an informative site about Twain's life. It features two interactive timelines (one in chronological order and one using the order of events as written in the autobiography) with audio excerpts from the autobiography, video of the editors of the Twain Papers offering context, and historic images documenting his life. Also on the site, though confusingly linked as "more about the autobiography", is a short documentary about the Twain archives at the Bancroft. Worth a visit at the very least for this image of Sexy Sam. Uncensored indeed.
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 8, 2010 - 14 comments

And now, let's go see what the Stig is up to...

Perhaps following the original Stig, the current masked driver on Top Gear announced they would write an autobiography. Un/fortunately the secrecy clause of his contract has been brought up, and the lawyers rear their heads. There is talk-talk of 'human rights' issues. British radio talk shows seem to be amused (no links fellows, alas)
posted by LD Feral on Aug 19, 2010 - 27 comments

Do you remember the time?

There comes a time in every child's life when they must dance to 'Thriller' at a roller rink dance party
posted by jtron on Aug 19, 2010 - 10 comments

In order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.

Mark Twain wrote an extensive memoir, but stipulated that it not be published until 100 years after his death. This November it will be published.
posted by borkencode on May 23, 2010 - 65 comments

Not Funny At All

Why I'm Funny. By Joel Johnson. [Warning: About molestation.]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Feb 25, 2010 - 92 comments

Casanova's "Histoire de ma vie"

Remembering the pleasures I enjoyed, I renew them, and I laugh at the pains which I have endured and which I no longer feel. Of Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt ‘s Histoire de ma vie, Kenneth Rexroth wrote: Purity, simplicity, definition, impact — these qualities of Homer are those of Casanova too. … He has equals but no superiors in the art of direct factual narrative. ... Time and its ruining passage color all the book. His sense of his own imminent death lurks in the dark background of every brilliantly lit lusty and bawdy tableau. After an unusually colorful history, the manuscript has been donated to France's National Library. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 18, 2010 - 6 comments

Without using the words “man” or “good,” can you please define what it means to be a good man?

War Dances: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”. Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review; interview 1, 2.)
posted by Non Prosequitur on Oct 5, 2009 - 45 comments

An unreliable narrator tells his story

A murderer attempts to explain, justify, and understand his crime (before the fact).
posted by prefpara on Aug 5, 2009 - 527 comments

Iceberg Slim

Robert Beck was a pimp. "I got out of it because I was old. I did not want to be teased, tormented and brutalized by young whores." While working as an insecticide salesman, one of his customers suggested he write an autobiography. "Iceberg Slim" wrote Pimp: The Story Of My Life in 3 months. It was the beginning of a literary career that made him one of the largest selling African-American authors of all time. He died on April 30, 1992 - one day after the start of the Los Angeles riots. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Apr 2, 2009 - 40 comments

Friend or Foe?

In 2007, Stuart Godard (alias Adam Ant) published his autobiography in which, among other things, he discussed his lifelong battle with manic depression (bipolar disorder). Our friends at YouTube have posted a tv special about his life: The Madness of Prince Charming Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein on Dec 2, 2008 - 35 comments

Shantaram

Shantaram is the story of a violent man's search for the man of peace within himself. Gregory David Roberts, clip 1, clip 2, 3 and 4, is an ex-junkie, former gun runner; drugs, forged passports and black market currency dealer; was a member of the Bombay Mafia and close with a Mafia don there; acted in Bollywood movies; fought with the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan; imprisoned in an Australian maximum security prison with a 19 year sentence and escaped to the Bombay slums, where he set up a free clinic. His semi-autobiography is called Shantaram, which means man pf peace. Review on Shunya. His website. Movie due out in 2009. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 21, 2008 - 30 comments

Mother Seacole

When Jamaican-born Mary Seacole, an experienced nurse, volunteered her services to the British Army during the Crimean War, she was rejected. Undaunted, she travelled to Crimea at her own expense and built a "mess-table and comfortable quarters," which she called the "British Hotel," and began taking care of soldiers. Her work was snubbed by Florence Nightingale, who called Seacole "a woman of bad character" and insinuated that the convalescent hotel was little more than a bordello, but Mary was beloved by the men in her care who called her "Mother Seacole." Her autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands [link goes to full text and illustrations], was published a year after the war ended. Mary, who was feted by high-ranking military men and high-born civilians, went on to other nursing-related pursuits, including a stint as personal masseuse to Alexandra, Princess of Wales. Her work in Crimea was but one highlight in a very interesting life. [more inside]
posted by amyms on Aug 12, 2008 - 11 comments

Oxford Muse

Oxford Muse - "a foundation to stimulate courage and invention in personal, professional and cultural life". Browse the self-potraits (autobiographies), participate in projects, go universal, or just learn what the Muse is.
posted by divabat on May 6, 2008 - 5 comments

blah blah baby shoes blah

Six word memoirs: too short for
posted by dersins on Feb 6, 2008 - 160 comments

Internally displaced people tell their life stories in their own words

IDP Voices is a site that lets people who are refugess within their own countries tell their life stories – in their own words. "The narratives in these pages are valuable complements to the official information on conflicts which governments and international organisations offer. These stories deal with the real lives of real people. The narrators share their personal experiences, their sensations, hopes and dreams, and the impact for them of being forced from their homes. The first IDP Voices oral testimonies project took place in Colombia. IDP Voices from further countries will be added as the projects progress." The life stories are in English and Spanish and can either be read or listened to. You can download the whole book of life stories here.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 8, 2007 - 7 comments

What's the drug of the day?

More fun from the Daily Mail. Apparently Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones has decided to post bits from his upcoming autobiography. 1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Oct 7, 2007 - 29 comments

"Do you hear voices?" "Doesn't everyone?"

INTERVOICE (International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices) "offers information, publications, research, and good practice on hearing voices and other key issues." Voice hearing is surprisingly common, even normal. Many people find it a pleasurable and positive experience. Find everything from stencil graffiti to a recent New York Times magazine article on the work of the Hearing Voices Movement. (w i k i s)
posted by srs on Mar 29, 2007 - 20 comments

What happened to Hero Joy Nightingale?

"I have no desire to be a dependent thwarted bitter crip living out decades of boring meagre existence. I have my path mapped out clearly. Artist."

The Thwarting of Dreams, by Hero Joy Nightingale
posted by iffley on Mar 23, 2006 - 15 comments

He's A Pink Monkey Bird

Kid Congo Powers, noted guitar stylist, teenage president of The Ramones Fan Club, erstwhile member of The Cramps, The Gun Club, and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (also known for his collaborations with Julee Cruise, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Khan and others) has produced a two part online autobiography of sorts for New York Night Train. It includes oral histories, available as transcriptions or MP3s, pages from his Cramps scrapbook, a vintage Creem article, free MP3s from his back catalogue, and, of course, his recipe for enchiladas.
posted by jack_mo on Feb 12, 2006 - 6 comments

Mapping Margery Kempe

Mapping Margery Kempe Visual, geographical, and cultural context for Margery Kempe's famous autobiography.
posted by thomas j wise on Dec 5, 2005 - 7 comments

Pixel-art Life

One man's real and imagined lives, in pixel art.
posted by Tlogmer on Jan 19, 2005 - 11 comments

Autobiography

Chapter 1. Excerpt from Bob Dylan's autobiographical book, Chronicles, Volume One.
posted by semmi on Oct 20, 2004 - 4 comments

Dylan on Dylan, ad. infi.

"It was surprising how thick the smoke had become. It seems like the world has always needed a scapegoat --someone to lead the charge against the Roman Empire. But America wasn't the Roman Empire and someone else would have to step up and volunteer. I really was never any more than what I was -- a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze. Now it had blown up in my face and was hanging over me." -- from Bob Dylan's new autobiography, Chronicles, with a brief interview, via Newsweek
posted by digaman on Sep 26, 2004 - 14 comments

saving a week of your life from Bill Clinton

The Condensed Bill Clinton: Slate reads My Life so you don't have to.
posted by reklaw on Jun 23, 2004 - 41 comments

The Spook Who Sat By The Door - 30 years later.

The Spook Who Sat By The Door, a movie pitched and marketed as blaxploitation, was a low budget political science fiction thriller about black revolution in urban black America based upon the novel written by Sam Greenlee. It was withdrawn two weeks after its release in 1973, ostensibly at the behest of the FBI. Some remember it fondly, while others revile it in recollection. Thirty-one years later, it has been released on DVD. Sam Greenlee's an interesting man--another book of his, Baghdad Blues, is evidently an autobiographical novel based upon his first hand experience of the 1958 Baath coup in Iraq. Side notes: Researching this post led me to the intriguing Chicken Bones. And here is Elvis Mitchell's take on The Marginalization of Black Action Films.
posted by y2karl on Jan 20, 2004 - 6 comments

biographies

A million lives. Links to thousands of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives, oral histories and more.
posted by pooligan on Aug 25, 2003 - 3 comments

Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African. 'According to his famous autobiography, written in 1789, Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) was born in what is now Nigeria. Kidnapped and sold into slavery in childhood, he was taken as a slave to the New World. As a slave to a captain in the Royal Navy, and later to a Quaker merchant, he eventually earned the price of his own freedom by careful trading and saving. As a seaman, he travelled the world, from the Mediterranean to the North Pole. Coming to London, he became involved in the movement to abolish the slave trade, an involvement which led to him writing and publishing The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African (1789) a strongly abolitionist autobiography ... '
Of interest :- Ignatius Sancho: African Man of Letters; Quobna Ottabah Cugoano: a Former Slave Speaks Out; American Slave Narratives ('From 1936 to 1938, over 2,300 former slaves from across the American South were interviewed by writers and journalists under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration'); Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938; Excerpts from Slave Narratives.
posted by plep on Jul 17, 2003 - 8 comments

Story Minute

Way Lay is the homepage of cartoonist Carol Lay, creator of the strip Story Minute. In addition to being one of the few places one can view the strip without going through Salon's obnoxious free pass system. The site has the best autobiography I've seen for an artist site and images of earlier bizarre parodies of Salvador Dali and the Shroud of Turin.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Apr 24, 2003 - 7 comments

Page: 1 2