Autobiography Definition

1. Documentation and public exhibition of the life of an individual carried out by him/herself, gathering the main events lived to describe them according to their reference perspective. For its part, a personal diary, of a private and informal nature, is usually adapted and transformed into an autobiographical work.

2. Literary genre that differs from biography due to the privileged narrative position of the author; in both cases history may be distorted according to certain interests.

Etymology: By the Greek prefix car-regarding ‘self’, + Byzantine Greek biographywith the prefix bio-of biosin relation to ‘life’, and -graphiaof grapheininterpreted by ‘written’ or ‘engraved’.

Grammatical category: Noun, female name..
in syllables: au-to-bio-gra-fi-a.


An autobiography is the biography of a person written by himself and that is generally written in the first person..
In it there is no fiction, everything that is related is real, it has happened, and that is why for many it enjoys a special interest.

Biography written in the first person by its protagonist who is usually a famous personality in some field

Here the author and the protagonist of the book are the same person and although today there is a tremendous paraphernalia behind this literary proposal, that is, a vast and millionaire industry that supports it, we must say that this genre has always been present, from the earliest times. remote from humanity; and it has arisen directly from the need of some personalities to put their experiences or trajectories on paper so that thousands of people know about them.

The authors of autobiographies are almost always personalities who are part of, or who for some reason are close to the world of entertainment.

The content is varied, as are the experiences that any human being has during his life; Traditionally, a person in his autobiography will recount everything that happened to him from his birth up to the moment in which he began to write his autobiography. The first years of life, the composition of his family, achievements, failures, studies, love relationships, children, trips, unforgettable experiences, placing special emphasis on precisely the latter, which are the ones that ultimately capture the most attention of fans, followers. .

Although the famous are usually very jealous of their privacy in many cases, there are also many who choose to make these books to prevent others from writing about them, especially uncomfortable issues or that would not leave them looking good. In other words, the famous person writes the best version about him and the one that best closes his personal and professional history, even if he lies in many passages or has to hide certain information that does not make him so famous.

In any case, the unauthorized biography that deals with revealing truths hidden in the autobiography always appears.

Exceptional value to meet a character

Beyond these considerations, we must say that the autobiography has a high historical value because, for example, it allows the reader and the historian to understand a character and interpret why he acted in such a way during this or that moment of his life.

Differences with the biography, memories and intimate diary

Although in some way the autobiography has something from other genres such as the biography, memories and intimate diary It differs from them for several reasons…
It differs from the biography especially by the identity between narrator and protagonist of the story that does not happen in the case of the biography; With respect to the memories, he distances himself from this in that the accent is placed on the private life of the person who assumes the role of narrator, while the memories focus their interest especially on the external events of the protagonist’s life; and from the intimate diary it distances itself because the autobiography is a retrospective of the narrator’s life, that is, a lot of time has passed from what it narrates, on the other hand, the intimate diary supposes a writing parallel to the succession of the events that are written.

Although there are examples in history, the autobiographical genre has achieved enormous diffusion more than anything in these times, especially since it has become the favorite of those famous artists who make use of it to account for their life experiences to his followers, eager to discover them.

a successful genre

Meanwhile, based on the interest that this type of reading has awakened in the public, the publishing industry has been able to build a very profitable business around autobiographies.
In recent decades, autobiography has come to be considered a literary genre and almost all of its proposals immediately become best-sellers.

If we were to delve into the cause of the latter and offer an interpretation, surely this is closely linked to the desire of the human being to know more and more, especially the intimate, of those brilliant personalities in some field, to know them in their intimacy and through this knowledge to be able to identify with them, because of course, they do not stop being human to those who experience the same things as to all the unknown.

Nor can we ignore the fact that many of these first-person stories that become successful are usually adapted to the big screen.