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A Life in Biography
By Carl Rollyson
Talks and interviews about the life of biography as experienced by a biographer over forty years and fourteen biographies, dealing with subjects ranging from Sylvia Plath to William Faulkner, Marilyn Monroe to Susan Sontag, and much more.
Where to listen
Episode 8: How to End a Biography, The Case of Sylvia Plath
I read from the last paragraphs of Plath biographies, commenting on them, and explain my own choices in writing American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath and The Last Days of Sylvia Plath.
May 30, 2020
Episode 7: Prefaces to Biography
Who is the biographer? And why does it matter?
May 24, 2020
Building a Better Biography: How to Cape the Whole Man
I give a sense of the interplay between Faulkner the man, his fiction, and his film writing.
May 16, 2020
Sylvia Plath, Meet Rebecca West
I explore why it is that Sylvia Plath never seemed to be aware of Rebecca West, a world class writer, who still has so much to say to the readers of Plath and of modern literature.
May 10, 2020
A Tale of Two Biographies: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath and The Life of William Faulkner
Why I wrote these two books and what in the world Plath and Faulkner have to do with the world around us.
May 2, 2020
Episode 3: Faulkner Preludes
How I began my work on Faulkner; what I mean by an intertextual biography; why Joan Crawford matters in a Faulkner biography; Faulkner as diplomat; what Faulkner to read first.
April 25, 2020
A Life in Biography: Episode 2: Why Care About William Faulkner?
A two-minute podcast. Call it “The Elevator Pitch.”
April 17, 2020
The Last Days of Sylvia Plath
In about twelve minutes I talk about what it was like in the last days of Sylvia Plath, how people have reacted to her death, and why I think it wasn’t all just sad.
April 12, 2020