Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Isabel Duran (Universidad Complutense)
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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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Citation: Duran, Isabel. "Autobiography". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2003 [, accessed 20 March 2023.]

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.

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