something i was thinking about a lot at the start of term was biographies.  for my case studies i somehow ended up answering questions primarily about people rather than topics or events.  i read and wrote on robert boyle, david hume, and bertrand russell.  all of these men led interesting lives and made incredible contributions to the academic world.  what perhaps struck me more than what i actually learned about them was the fact that i was learning about them, or claimed i was.  the chroniclers of these men’s lives took historical records,  journals, published works, common knowledge, and testimonies of people who knew the men to compile a presentation and evaluation of their lives. this doesn’t seem too shocking until i think about someone writing my biography. the idea of someone talking to my friends and family, rummaging around my room, and reading what i’ve written makes me uncomfortable in two ways.  the first discomfort comes from the whole ‘invasion of privacy’ thing – but, seeing as i would be dead by then, i suppose i should move past it.  the second unease is from the presumption made on the part of the biographer that they can know me, understand me, and properly represent me to the public. i have enough doubts about my own capabilities of adequately communicating my thoughts to others.  the only thing i can conceive of being done well is a record of when i was where, and what i supposedly doing.  if they began trying to deduce my inner thoughts and motivations from what i’ve left behind, i cannot imagine how i would be interpreted. so this makes me wonder – how well do i really know these men?

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