So an autobiography about death should include, in my case, an account of European Jewry and of Russian and Jewish events - pogroms and flights and murders and the revolution that drove my mother to come here.
That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one's own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself. It is more delightful than philosophy, as its subject is concrete and not abstract, real and not vague. It is the only civilized form of autobiography.
All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster\'s autobiography.
It's a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction, everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised biography but if you write your biography, it's equally assumed you're lying your head off. This last may be true, at any rate of poets: Plato said that poets should be excluded from the ideal republic because they are such liars. I am a poet, and I affirm that this is true. About no subject are poets tempted to lie so much as about their own lives; I know one of them who has floated at least five versions of his autobiography, none of them true. I of course being also a novelist am a much more truthful person than that. But since poets lie, how can you believe me?
Reminiscences, even extensive ones, do not always amount to an autobiography. [...] For even if months and years appear here, it is in the form they have in the moment of recollection. This strange formit may be called fleeting or eternalis in neither case the stuff that life is made of.
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