Reinventing Biography

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 23 2012 @ 2:11pm

In an interview about his new book, Reinventing Bach, which "mixes biography, history, travelogue, and personal reflection to tell the story of the great composer," Paul Elie describes how the Internet changed the biographer's task:

I think the presence of the web can liberating for nonfiction writers. In the age prior to ours, there was a certain kind of biographer who felt a professional obligation to work stuff into the book, because if it weren’t in the book there would be no access to it. You wound up with multi-volume biographies of middling people, books that are a combination of a life story and a scholarly resource. I don’t want my book to be a resource. I want it to be a work of art in its own right …