If I were to get my biography written… who would I choose as an author…. as in on that originates or creates, well, that is a rhetoric isn’t it? I would be the author of my biography or won’t I? Okay, Plinky wants me to consider the word in its manifestation of writer of a literary work e.g. a book. Hmm this calls for a bit of market research.
Now who would I want as auctour (Middle English) or as its Anglo-French progenitors the auctor, autor, or the ancestor from Latin autor be? In Latin it meant promoter, originator, and this in turn emerged from augere to increase. Holy Christ, more than literature the author sounds like marketing personal.
Let’s stick to the post 14th century use of writer of a literary work.
More important to me is do I want to tell the story of my life?
Like Julian Barnes observes in the sense of an ending—how often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, and make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life but merely the story we have told about our lives to others, but—mainly – to ourselves”
A biography is the story of how a man thinks he has lived, like Daphne du Mauriers puts it is self-indulgent. On the other hand every artistic creation is a biography an interpretation through our experiences. Would I really look for an author for this?
Let’s be honest a wee part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is lead in his head and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding and his thoughts not those of other things are his history. These are life and they are not written. Every day would make a whole book of 80,000 words—and 365 books a year. Biographies are but clothes and buttons of the man.—the true biography of the man cannot be written.
When I do get self-indulgent instead of creative, I have an epigram tacked where I can see it, which reminds me “wanting an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.”
However for argument’s sake were I to look for an author, he should without hesitation plagiarise Mark Twain, and put this as the foreword.
“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR
G.G. CHEIF OF ORDNANCE”