Autobiography

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Isabel Duran (Universidad Complutense)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

Resources

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 first coined in the late eighteenth century when the genre begins to…

4545 words

Citation: Duran, Isabel. "Autobiography". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1232, accessed 14 July 2024.]

1232 Autobiography 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.