All Books Are Autobiographies
On the Cartoon Network television show Rick and Morty, Mortimer Smith Jr states, “All Writing Is Autobiographical.” This concept gave me a lot to think about and I thought it would be fun to explore.
Does this observation hold true for radical fictional works such as Spiderman or Star Wars? How about a George Washington autobiography or physics textbook? I suppose there are many ways to interpret this statement. On the one hand, an author creates every sentence, which means they put 100% of themselves into their work. On the other, the topic dictates what is being written, and the author is along for the ride.
I seem to imply that an author cannot escape themselves. Let’s examine the most extreme example, a George Washington biography. To create such a work, an author gathers facts and assembles them into a book. Many choices are made, including content, arrangement, format, theme, flow, presentation, and exclusions.
The very first choice is the subject. And there is the primary support element for the argument. It takes a particular type of person to write a George Washington biography, and the lengthy result would have to be a personal reflection.
For example, a different type of author would write skateboarder Tony Hawk’s biography. To you, the reader of this blog, a certain image forms of a skateboard author. They are young and hip. Can you imagine a skateboard author writing a George Washington biography? No way! Yet, the subjects are both famous people who lead exciting lives. One would think any competent author should be able to write about both famous people. In my mind, I cannot fathom an author (passionately) (doing a good job) (not a school-mandated book report) writing about these radically different men.
What other parts of the author hiding in their work? Let’s look at a fundamental element, the font. Does the author choose hip and progressive fonts such as Jazzy Jeff or Old Century Gothic? That simple choice makes a bold statement. Tony Hawk’s biography would probably have the words “cool” and “radical” in every paragraph. George Washington’s biography would contain words like “dignified” and “reserved.” Yet we know Tony Hawk probably had dignified and reserved moments. I suspect the author would minimize such un-radical moments
It is an intriguing concept to think that all books are autobiographies. To some extent, this concept holds a lot of merit. In my case, I put a lot of myself into everything I write, and I see myself in every paragraph.
Even this blog contains a part of me. What can we conclude about the author of this blog? He likes Rick and Morty, has a reserved personality, deep thoughts, and an intellectual outlook. Gosh, I just wrote my autobiography.
You’re the best -Bill
March 24, 2021
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