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10. Why does the academy believe a biographer shouldn’t know his biographee? Support your answer with elements from the text.
The biographer who knows the biographee will lack objectivity and his work will be “suspect” and “guilty of inevitable bias” (l.4).
11. Does the author of this article agree with this principle? Justify with one quotation from the text.
- No, he doesn’t. He feels biographies written by people who have known their subjects are far more attractive and enjoyable. “Who would not willingly exchange an ‘objective’ biography […] for one penned by a biographer who had actually known the bard in person?” (l.5-6)
12. Focus on lines 7 to 10. What should the goals of modern biographers be? Give three elements.
- Make the readers believe they have met the biographee (“emulate the knower-in-person”, l.7)
- “Convey personality” (l.8)
- “Create in the readers’ minds an intimacy with the subject” or “literary friendship” (l.9-10)
13. Pick out three elements from the text that explain how these goals can be achieved.
- “describe the biographee in his or her habitat” and “public office” (l.11)
- “quote those who have actually met or known the subject in person” (l.12)
- “use the subject’s own writings or recorded sayings” (l.13) - “simulate a longer conversation or audience with the subject” (l.14-15)
Trois éléments sur les quatre exigibles
14. What kind of relationship is built between readers and biographees? What does it enable readers to do?
- Readers feel they know the biographee, sometimes they think that they have become friends with the person (l.15-16)
- It allows them to form a judgment about the person’s private and public life (l.16-17)