Monday, January 18, 2016

Discussion Question Monday: Biographies vs. Autobiographies

Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! Today's question is: Which is better, biographies or autobiographies?

This question seemed incredibly obvious to me, but apparently some people actually read biographies FOR ENJOYMENT. Silly people.

I don't tend to like any kind of biography that's basically the history of someone's life. I find them boring and factual and it's rare I can find I person I find interesting. Mostly because I tend to latch on to subjects and cultures more than specific people...

Things like diaries and letters I find very interesting, though. To me it's like exploring an abandoned house without any risk of breathing in icky chemicaly things. Which sounds pretty good to me.

In my opinion, autobiographies are much more personal, and it feels like you're talking to an actual person instead of reading out of a textbook. That being less personality and more facts, and that isn't what I want when I learn about a person. If I'm actually reading a biography of a person (that's a rare occurrence but it does happen), then I would like to get to know them like I would if I were talking to them. Because I kind of am! And that's FANTASTIC. It's much more interesting than knowing when they were born or what kind of accomplishments they had.

I bring this topic up because I'm currently being forced to do a unit on biographies/autobiographies in English right now, and it makes me sad. I like to think you can only like biographies if you actually care about the person. Or at least the time period! If I'm going to like a biography, I better pick it up myself.

To be honest, I don't understand people that like biographies. Old historic documents, sure, I get you, but an account of someone's life from a historian perspective? Ugh. WHY??

I don't tend to be quite as interested in autobiographies or memoirs that happened relatively recently. I find it more interesting to read from the perspective of someone in a different time period with different values and a different outlook on life... To broaden my horizons.

What do you think of biographies? Autobiographies? Memoir? Do you read them? Do you enjoy them? Do you have a preference? Please comment your thoughts down below!

Thanks for reading!

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