(4545 words)
  • Isabel Duran (Universidad Complutense)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

Autobiography is most commonly defined as “the biography of a person narrated by that person”, or “the story of a person’s life as told by him or herself”. With such a definition it is possible to trace the origin of the genre to post-Homeric Greece and works by Hesiod, Empedocles, Plato (Epistle 7) and Isocrates, and then see it being developed in the Roman world in Ovid’s autobiographical poems, Cicero’s Brutus and St Augustine’s Confessions (circa 430). An even older claimant, according to Saul K. Padover in Confessions and Self-Portraits: 4,600 Years of Autobiography (1975) would be a certain Uni, court official of the Pharaonic fourth dynasty. The English word “autobiography”, however, is …

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Duran, Isabel. "Autobiography". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2003
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Literary Genres and Modes