as janet malcolm writes in the silent woman, her MASTERPIECE of biographical criticism, the biographer is “like the professional burglar, breaking into a house, rifling through certain drawers that he has good reason to think contain the loot and money, and triumphantly bearing his loot away.”
i’ve been thinking about life-writing in terms of stealing quite a lot in the fortnight since andrew o’hagan spoke at the conference a colleague and i organized up in oxford on life-writing and celebrity. o’hagan’s question was whether our stories actually belong to us. it is a question to which i would answer wistfully but firmly: no.
(a discussion that i will primarily illustrate with random photos from sarah jessica parker’s instagram, because i’ve recently become obsessed with celebrity instagrams and because ♥ ♥♥)