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reconstruction in print or on film, of the lives of real men and women. Together with autobiography—an individual's interpretation of his own life—it shares a venerable tradition, meeting the demands of different audiences through the ages.
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a description of one’s own life; a literary genre similar to memoirs but differing from them in a greater emphasis on the author’s person and psychology.
Examples of autobiographies are Saint Augustine’s Confessions (397–398), P. Abélard’s Historia Calamitatum (1132–36), and B. Cellini’s The Life of Benvenuto (1558–66). The first Russian autobiography was The Life of the Archpriest Avvakum (1672–75). In modern literature J.-J. Rousseau and A. I. Herzen have created literary autobiographical confessions. Some works of L. N. Tolstoy, M. Gorky, K. G. Paustovskii, M. Proust, and other writers are autobiographical in character. The autobiographies of the revolutionary figures G. Garibaldi, P. A. Kropotkin, and A. Bebel have been translated into many languages.
The word “autobiography” may also refer to a brief chronological summary of the chief events of one’s life.