ABSTRACT

THE ADVANTAGE OF SPEAKING in the last session of a conference is the opportunity it gives to integrate scattered notes made during earlier sessions. But when the margins begin to squeeze the central ideas, and commentary clogs the text, some of the unwelcome side-effects of postmodernism become all too manifest. As one of the few autobiographers invited to this biography conference, I do wish to emphasize that autobiography is the opposite of biography—as opposite as subject is from object. Biography is an act of literary reconstruction, a celebration of, and identification with, achievement.