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Autobiography

Democratic societies are unfit for the publication of such thunderous revelations as I am in the habit of making.

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Spanish surrealist painter.

All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) U.S. short-story writer and poet.

When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do -- well, that's Memoirs.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist and actor.

I dislike modern memoirs. They are generally written by people who have either entirely lost their memories, or have never done anything worth remembering.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet and dramatist.

Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self.

W. H. Auden (1907-1973) English-born poet and man of letters.

There are people who can write their memoirs with a reasonable amount of honesty, and there are people who simply cannot take themselves seriously enough. I think I might be the first to admit that the sort of reticence which prevents a man from exploiting his own personality is really an inverted sort of egotism.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) U.S. writer of detective fiction.

That which resembles most living one's life over again, seems to be to recall all the circumstances of it; and, to render this remembrance more durable, to record them in writing.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist and philosopher.

The remarkable thing is that it is the crowded life that is most easily remembered. A life full of turns, achievements, disappointments, surprises, and crises is a life full of landmarks. The empty life has even its few details blurred, and cannot be remembered with certainty.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American philosopher and author.

Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.

George Orwell (1903-1950) British novelist, essayist, and critic.

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