Stumax 2

Digital Boogaloo

  • eu·he·mer·ism, n. A theory attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes.
  • Two major questions to ask when considering a biography are: Who will want to read it? and What makes it unique? (Woolley)
  • “Truth… makes bad fiction, but fiction should read like truth. Similarly, fiction makes bad biography, but biography should read like fiction.” (Lomask, p. 2)
  • The “and” biography links two or more individuals or an individual and an event, institution, or historical period. (Lomask, p. 3)
  • “There are no rules for composition,” Claude Debussy said, “but every composition makes its own rules.” (Lomask, p. 5)
  • “Residue” as regards biographical subjects relates to the impact of the individual on present day or the interest which the individual holds for us. (Lomask, p. 10)
  • When you send out your biographical manuscript, an editor will want you to list what books on the subject are still in print. Consult Book Review Digest for help in finding these. (Lomask, p. 11)
  • “If you can’t travel, read.” (Lomask, p. 16)
  • Don’t quote so much. “Good note-taking is précis writing.” You’re not a file clerk, you’re a writer! (Lomask, p. 23)
  • Good reference material: Guide to Reference Books; Dictionary of American Biography, Notable American Women (both for dead persons); Current Biography , National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Who’s Who in America, Biography Index (for live persons); American Genealogical Index, Who Was Who; and especially Writings on American History and Writings on British History.
  • “Man is not what we think he is,” André Malraux wrote. “Man is what he hides.”