Biography About Myself Quotes

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and I particularly loved biographies because they were about people who had to overcome obstacles or prejudices to get ahead. They made me think I could make it when nobody else believed in me, when even I didn’t believe in myself.
Yeonmi Park (In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom)
I tried to lose myself in books. Our house is packed with them, and we keep adding more. Like my mother, I love mystery novels and can plow through one in a single sitting. Some of my recent favorites are by Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear, Donna Leon, and Charles Todd. I finished reading Elena Ferrante’s four Neapolitan novels and relished the story they tell about friendship among women. Our shelves are weighed down with volumes about history and politics, especially biographies of Presidents, but in those first few months, they held no interest for me whatsoever. I went back to things that have given me joy or solace in the past, such as Maya Angelou’s poetry: You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. . . .
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
...I particularly loved biographies because they were about people who had to overcome obstacles or prejudices to get ahead. They made me think I could make it when nobody else believed in me, when even I didn't believe in myself.
Yeonmi Park (In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom)
I have heard the most fantastical gossip about myself and each time I thought, "If only my life were that exciting, fun, outrageous, and sexy". Then again my memory wasn't so sharp when I took drugs. Some of what was said about me might be true. At worst it gave me jerk-off material.
Aiden Shaw (Sordid Truths: Selling My Innocence for a Taste of Stardom)
I wish you were here to help me.         I’m supposed to write a biography of myself for eighth-grade social studies, but I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know where I really came from. Whenever I ask my mom, she just gives me the same story—they picked me up from the orphanage in India when I was a baby and brought me to California.         She doesn’t know anything about you, or why you gave me away. She doesn’t know what you look like. We must look like each other, and I bet you would know what to do with my bushy eyebrows. My mom doesn’t like to talk about this stuff at all. She says I’m just like everyone else now and it shouldn’t matter.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda (Secret Daughter)
I read these biographies all the time about these successful people and one of the patterns that I've discovered, and what I've discovered in myself and all of my friends who have become very successful, has been the fact that they say "Yes" to a lot of commitments. If you just have this one goal, then that one thing may get shoved under the rug and procrastinated on. But if you say yes to a lot of things; if you almost overcommit, then you probably won't get all of the things you've committed to complete. But you'll get a good portion of them. The 80% that you DO get done will still be more than that one person who said no to a lot of things. The busiest people get the most things done.
David Tian Ph.D
Later, I interviewed a prominent psychoanalyst, who told me that trauma destroys the fabric of time. In normal time, you move from one moment to the next, sunrise to sunset, birth to death. After trauma, you may move in circles, find yourself being sucked backwards into an eddy, or bouncing about like a rubber ball from now to then and back again. August is June, June is December. What time is it? Guess again. In the traumatic universe, the basic laws of matter are suspended: ceiling fans can be helicopters, car exhaust can be mustard gas. Another odd feature of traumatic time is that it doesn’t just destroy the flow of the present into the future, it corrodes everything that came before, eating at moments and people from your previous life, until you can’t remember why any of them mattered. What I previously found inconceivable is now inescapable: I have been blown up so many times in my mind that it is impossible to imagine a version of myself that has not been blown up. The man on the other side of the soldier’s question is not me. In fact, he never existed. The war is gone now, but the event remains, the happening that nearly erased the life to come and thus erased the life that came before. The soldier’s question hangs in the air the way it always has. The way it always will.   Have you ever been blown up before, sir?
David J. Morris (The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
It is remarkable, however, that at the very lowest point of Kant's depression, when he became perfectly incapable of conversing with any rational meaning on the ordinary affairs of life, he was still able to answer correctly and distinctly, in a degree that was perfectly astonishing, upon any question of philosophy or of science, especially of physical geography, [Footnote: Physical Geography, in opposition to Political.] chemistry, or natural history. He talked satisfactorily, in his very worst state, of the gases, and stated very accurately different propositions of Kepler’s, especially the law of the planetary motions. And I remember in particular, that upon the very last Monday of his life, when the extremity of his weakness moved a circle of his friends to tears, and he sat amongst us insensible to all we could say to him, cowering down, or rather I might say collapsing into a shapeless heap upon his chair, deaf, blind, torpid, motionless,—even then I whispered to the others that I would engage that Kant should take his part in conversation with propriety and animation. This they found it difficult to believe. Upon which I drew close to his ear, and put a question to him about the Moors of Barbary. To the surprise of everybody but myself, he immediately gave us a summary account of their habits and customs; and told us by the way, that in the word Algiers, the g ought to be pronounced hard (as in the English word gear).
Thomas De Quincey (Biographies and Biographic Sketches (Collected Writings, Vol 4))
We therapists hear many stories of how people have been victimized, how they've had a succession of bad breaks and are product of 'dysfunctional' homes. On good days I'm sympathetic and try to hear them out, to encourage catharsis for their pain, then gradually lead them into problem-solving mode. But some days I mutter to myself, that if another patient comes in the door and says one word about being the product of a dysfunctional family, I'm going to stand up and do something dysfunctional to them. ALL families are dysfunctional at times. And the biography is filled with stories of people who overcome the most miserable environments.
Alan Loy McGinnis (Balanced Life)
I thought to myself, who is this excellent man Van Doren who being employed to teach literature, teaches just that: talks about writing and about books and poems and plays: does not get off on a tangent about the biographies of the poets or novelists: does not read into their poems a lot of subjective messages which were never there? Who is this man who does not have to fake and cover up a big gulf of ignorance by teaching a lot of opinions and conjectures and useless facts that belong to some other subject? Who is this who really loves what he has to teach, and does not secretly detest all literature, and abhor poetry, while pretending to be a professor of it?...It was because of this virtual scholasticism of Mark's that he would never permit himself to fall into the naive errors of those who try to read some favorite private doctrine into every poet they like of ever nation or every age. And Mark abhorred the smug assurance with which second-rate left-wing critics find adumbrations of dialectical materialism in everyone who ever wrote from Homer and Shakespeare to whomever they happen to like in recent times. If the poet is to their fancy, then he is clearly seen to be preaching the class struggle. If they do not like him, then they are able to show that he was really a forefather of fascism. And all their literary heroes are revolutionary leaders, and all their favorite villains are capitalists and Nazis.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
In a press interview at the time, Gable said, “My days of playing the dashing lover are over. I’m no longer believable in those parts. There has been considerable talk about older guys wooing and winning leading ladies half their age. I don’t think the public likes it, and I don’t care for it myself. It’s not realistic. Actresses that I started out with like Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck have long since quit playing glamour girls and sweet young things. Now it’s time I acted my age. “Let’s be honest,” he continued. “It’s a character role, and I’ll be playing more of them. There’s a risk involved, of course. I have no idea if I can attain the success as a character actor as I did playing the dashing young lover, but it’s a chance I have to take. Not everybody is able to do it.
Warren G. Harris (Clark Gable: A Biography)
Among the theologians of the Confessing Church who early on took Bultmann’s side in the debate over demythologizing was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In 1942 he declared the commentary on John and the Alpirsbach lecture to be among the most important recent theological publications,269 and expressed his pleasure that with his venture Bultmann had begun an intellectually honest discussion of a problem that many had suppressed. In Asmussen and Dilschneider’s “arrogance” and the “Pharisaism of belief” Bonhoeffer saw “a real disgrace for the Confessing Church.”270 To be sure, he could not endorse Bultmann’s position completely. “I would like to speak with Bultmann about this, and I would like to expose myself to the breeze that emanates from him. But then the window will have to be closed again. Otherwise, those who are delicate will too easily catch a chill.”271 Later, during his imprisonment in Tegel, Bonhoeffer came to think that Bultmann had not gone far enough, and that it was necessary to subject not only mythological but all religious concepts to a nonreligious interpretation.272
Konrad Hammann (Rudolf Bultmann: a Biography)
I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics,” he said. “Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.” It was as if he were suggesting themes for his biography (and in this instance, at least, the theme turned out to be valid). The creativity that can occur when a feel for both the humanities and the sciences combine in one strong personality was the topic that most interested me in my biographies of Franklin and Einstein, and I believe that it will be a key to creating innovative economies in the twenty-first century.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
But at the time I thought that if I could just get the world to see me the way I saw myself then my body wouldn't be the thing you walked away thinking about. I wouldn't be that fat girl.
Gabourey Sidibe
deflected his suggestion that I write a biography of him, I heard from him every now and then. At one point I emailed to ask if it was true, as my daughter had told me, that the Apple logo was an homage to Alan Turing, the British computer pioneer who broke the German wartime codes and then committed suicide by biting into a cyanide-laced apple. He replied that he wished he had thought of that, but hadn’t. That started an exchange about the early history of Apple, and I found myself gathering string on the subject, just in case I ever decided to do such a book. When my Einstein biography came out, he came to a book event in Palo Alto and pulled me aside to suggest, again, that he would make a good subject. His persistence baffled me. He was known to guard his privacy, and I had no reason to believe he’d ever read any of my books. Maybe someday, I continued to say. But in 2009 his wife, Laurene Powell, said bluntly, “If you’re ever going to do a book on Steve, you’d better do it now.” He had just taken a second medical leave. I confessed to her that when he had first raised the idea, I hadn’t known he was sick. Almost nobody knew, she said. He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer, and he was still keeping it a secret, she explained. I decided then to write this book. Jobs surprised me by readily acknowledging that he would have no control over it or even the right to see it in advance. “It’s your book,” he said. “I won’t even read it.” But later that fall he seemed to have second thoughts about cooperating and, though I didn’t know it, was hit by another round of cancer complications. He stopped returning my calls, and I put the project aside for a while. Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
In La Tête d’Obsidienne André Malraux relates a conversation that he had with Picasso in 1937, at the time he was painting “Guernica.” Picasso said, “People are always talking about the influence of the blacks on me. What can one say? We all of us liked those fetishes. Van Gogh said, ‘We all of us had Japanese art in common.’ In our day it was the Negroes. Their forms did not influence me any more than they influenced Matisse. Or Derain. But as far as Matisse and Derain were concerned, the Negro masks were just so many other carvings, the same as the rest of sculpture. When Matisse showed me his first Negro head he talked about Egyptian art. “When I went to the Trocadéro, it was revolting. Like a flea-market. The smell. I was all by myself. I wanted to get out. I didn’t go: I stayed. It came to me that this was very important: something was happening to me, right? “Those masks were not just pieces of sculpture like the rest. Not in the least. They were magic. And why weren’t the Egyptians or Chaldees? We hadn’t understood what it was really about: we had seen primitive sculpture, not magic. These Negroes were intercessors—that’s a word I’ve known in French ever since then. Against everything: against unknown, threatening spirits. I kept on staring at these fetishes. Then it came to me—I too was against everything. I too felt that everything was unknown, hostile! Everything! Not just this and that but everything, women, children, animals, smoking, playing … Everything! I understood what their sculpture meant to the blacks, what it was really for. Why carve like that and not in any other way?
Patrick O'Brian (Picasso: A Biography)
Just then I felt I must confront the question of whether I was to do Michael’s biography as well as Jill’s. From our first meeting, Julie had been urging me to do so, to make sure I got my place in line ahead of everyone else. I took to the idea, since I had always wanted to write a biography of a political figure and I had such unprecedented access to Michael. But Julie, in her typical eagerness, had been pressing Michael: [CR] Julie said that when you were in Jamaica she asked you about my doing your biography. She’s talked to me about it several times. [MF] I see. [CR] Ah, I’d be delighted. After Jill, it would be natural to do that. You may have somebody else in mind. Or there may be something else you want to do, Michael. [MF] No. [CR] I was a little taken aback. I didn’t realise she was going to do that. [MF] Well, it’s up to you. I’m not going to write anything further myself, excepting book reviews. [CR] I’ve got plenty to do and I’d be delighted to do it, but I don’t want you to feel as if this is premature. [MF] No, if you want to do it, it’s got some point from your point of view. So ... His voice trailed off. It seemed to me Michael had given me leeway, if not exactly his blessing.
Carl Rollyson (A Private Life of Michael Foot)
I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics,” he said. “Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.” It was as if he were suggesting themes for his biography (and in this instance, at least, the theme turned out to be valid). The creativity that can occur when a feel for both the humanities and the sciences combine in one strong personality was the topic that most interested me in my biographies of Franklin and Einstein, and I believe that it will be a key to creating innovative economies in the twenty-first century. I
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Because I write women’s history I rarely have the luxury of a full and fair biography to study. Until about 1960 there were very few histories written about women at all, and often I am faced with a blank or—worse—with an unfair condemnation of the woman. Tracing Elizabeth of York’s life was often speculation, and sometimes I found myself simply rebelling against the picture that the medieval chroniclers tried to force on the real woman; those who spoke of her “truly wonderful obedience.” Clearly, we cannot believe that she was only the passive pawn of Tudor ambition, a baby-making machine who chose a married motto of “Humble and penitent” when she had been raised by a rebel, was a princess of royal blood, and her own motto before marriage was “Sans removyr” which means (surely defiantly?) “unmoving” or “unchanging.” A young woman of eighteen, who has witnessed her father driven from the throne and restored, her mother give birth in prison, her brother disappear from his own castle, who has engaged in an adulterous love affair with the king while betrothed to his enemy, and who claims the defiant motto “unchanging” is not anyone’s pawn!
Philippa Gregory (The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5; Cousins War #5))
I achieved something I’d never achieved before in writing a lyric about myself which had no answer. It had a question about religion. I’ve got this thing with religions in general. I’m interested in people’s philosophies and why they cling to them. Do they need something to rely upon because they are not strong enough in their own life, or are they clinging to them because there’s a real value that I miss? At the time, I was becoming more obsessed about Christian religion, and Forbidden Colours was the first time I achieved that kind of writing, putting something into the lyrics that was just an expression of what I was going through, that had no ending. It was very honest, and that’s what made me decide to carry on writing. I couldn’t go back. I was just incapable of getting out so I just wrote directly about myself.
Christopher E. Young (On The Periphery - David Sylvian - A Biography)
Long before the cameras rolled, director and star got down to work. “I was very grateful because he did all of the directing with me before the picture began,” Hudson said. “First of all, he got me thinking I was the richest son of a bitch in the world. And he got me all puffed up and full of myself by making me believe my opinion was important to every aspect of the picture. And he got me so bigoted, talking about the squalor and filth of the Mexicans . . . that I hated them. From then on, he hardly said a word.
Mark Griffin (All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson)
CHAPTER 1 THE WITNESS I made a mistake. I know that now. The only reason I did what I did was what I heard on that train. And I ask you, in all truthfulness – how would you have felt? Until that moment, I had never considered myself prudish. Or naive. OK, OK, so I had a pretty conventional – some might say sheltered – upbringing but . . . Heavens. Look at me now. I’ve lived a bit. Learned a lot. Pretty average, I would argue, on the Richter scale of moral behaviour, which is why what I heard so shook me. I thought they were nice girls, you see. Of course, I really shouldn’t listen in on other people’s conversations. But it’s impossible not to on public transport, don’t you find? So many barking into their mobile phones while everyone else ramps up the volume to compete. To be heard. On reflection, I would probably not have become so sucked in had my book been better, but to my eternal regret I bought the book for the same reason I bought the magazine with wind turbines on the cover. I read somewhere that by your forties you are supposed to care more about what you think of others than what they think of you – so why is it I am still waiting for this to kick in? If you want to buy Hello! magazine, just buy it, Ella. What does it matter what the bored student on the cash desk thinks? But no. I pick the obscure environmental magazine and the worthy biography, so that by the time the two young men get on with their black plastic bin bags at Exeter, I am bored to my very bones. A question for you now. What would you think if you saw two men board a train, each holding a black bin bag – contents unknown? For myself, the mother of a teenage son whose bedroom is subject to a health and safety order, I merely think, Typical. Couldn’t even find a holdall, lads?
Teresa Driscoll (I Am Watching You)
I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics,”he said. “Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”It was as if he were suggesting themes for his biography (and in this instance, at least, the theme turned out to be valid). The creativity that can occur when a feel for both the humanities and the sciences combine in one strong personality was the topic that most interested me in my biographies of Franklin and Einstein, and I believe that it will be a key to creating innovative economies in the twenty- first century.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
At one point I emailed to ask if it was true, as my daughter had told me, that the Apple logo was an homage to Alan Turing, the British computer pioneer who broke the German wartime codes and then committed suicide by biting into a cyanide-laced apple. He replied that he wished he had thought of that, but hadn’t. That started an exchange about the early history of Apple, and I found myself gathering string on the subject, just in case I ever decided to do such a book. When my Einstein biography came out, he came to a book event in Palo Alto and pulled me aside to suggest, again, that he would make a good subject.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation. It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him. I had recently published one on Benjamin Franklin and was writing one about Albert Einstein, and my initial reaction was to wonder, half jokingly, whether he saw himself as the natural successor in that sequence. Because I assumed that he was still in the middle of an oscillating career that had many more ups and downs left, I demurred. Not now, I said. Maybe in a decade or two, when you retire. I had known him since 1984, when he came to Manhattan to have lunch with Time’s editors and extol his new Macintosh. He was petulant even then, attacking a Time correspondent for having wounded him with a story that was too revealing. But talking to him afterward, I found myself rather captivated, as so many others have been over the years, by his engaging intensity. We stayed in touch, even after he was ousted from Apple. When he had something to pitch, such as a NeXT computer or Pixar movie, the beam of his charm would suddenly refocus on me, and he would take me to a sushi restaurant in Lower Manhattan to tell me that whatever he was touting was the best thing he had ever produced. I liked him. When he was restored to the throne at Apple, we put him on the cover of Time, and soon thereafter he began offering me his ideas for a series we were doing on the most influential people of the century. He had launched his “Think Different” campaign, featuring iconic photos of some of the same people we were considering, and he found the endeavor of assessing historic influence fascinating. After I had deflected his suggestion that I write a biography of him, I heard from him every now and then. At one point I emailed to ask if it was true, as my daughter had told me, that the Apple logo was an homage to Alan Turing, the British computer pioneer who broke the German wartime codes and then committed suicide by biting into a cyanide-laced apple. He replied that he wished he had thought of that, but hadn’t. That started an exchange about the early history of Apple, and I found myself gathering string on the subject, just in case I ever decided to do such a book. When my Einstein biography came out, he came to a book event in Palo Alto and
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
her that when he had first raised the idea, I hadn’t known he was sick. Almost nobody knew, she said. He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer, and he was still keeping it a secret, she explained. I decided then to write this book. Jobs surprised me by readily acknowledging that he would have no control over it or even the right to see it in advance. “It’s your book,” he said. “I won’t even read it.” But later that fall he seemed to have second thoughts about cooperating and, though I didn’t know it, was hit by another round of cancer complications. He stopped returning my calls, and I put the project aside for a while. Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive them. “I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics,” he said. “Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.” It was as if he were suggesting themes for his biography (and in this instance, at least, the theme turned out to be valid). The creativity that can occur when a feel for both the humanities and the sciences combine in one strong personality was the topic that most interested me in my biographies of Franklin and Einstein, and I believe that it will be a key to creating innovative economies in the twenty-first century. I asked Jobs why he wanted me to be the one to write his biography. “I think you’re good at getting people to talk,” he replied. That was an unexpected answer. I knew that I would have to interview scores of people he had fired, abused, abandoned, or otherwise infuriated, and I feared he would not be comfortable with my getting them to talk. And indeed he did turn out to be skittish when word trickled back to him of people that I was interviewing. But after a couple of months,
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
I don’t want the books [...] to be too far away; they, also, have become friends. I even feel this way about books I don’t own. In libraries, I find myself visiting the books I used before. I regard those rows of memoirs and letters as voices from the past, bound into books, and I like to make sure they are all there, alive and well. If they have collected dust, I take out the small towel I carry in my briefcase and wipe them off. -from 2012 NYT Book Review Essay
Robert K. Massie
Burke had meticulously plotted and committed to memory every aspect of his cover story, quite conscious that “half-covers” like his, in which one’s real name was retained but attached to a false biography, were often far easier to slip up on than a “full-cover.” He had also been leery of drawing too close to the Rome film crowd, worried over potential questions about his ties to a production company no one had ever heard of, and which didn’t seem to actually produce anything. Fortunately, though, Burke discovered the Roman cinéastes were, much like their Hollywood counterparts, a profoundly self-absorbed lot. “I was mildly surprised at how incurious people were and how very easy it was, when it suited my purpose, to direct attention away from myself simply by asking the right question of other persons and being a good listener, or at least appearing to be.
Scott Anderson (The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War—A Tragedy in Three Acts)