Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Debased Coin

I have enjoyed reading autobiographies in the past; I wrestle with them, seeing if the author is being honest. One of the greatest autobiographies was Rousseau's Confessions, which I haven't read apart from the opening (I do intend to sometime; got to buy it first!)- but I have read Augustine's, and that's quite interesting. These kinds of autobiographies were groundbreaking in their time.

Reading Mark Steyn's article about the latest bust of a bestselling autobiography I was left with a few questions. The first was 'why do people carry on buying the most outlandish personal stories that can almost definitively be seen as dishonest?' Personally, I've grown more and more dissatisfied buying 'autobiographical' and even 'biographical' books as Christmas presents in recent years. They're so sloppy and exaggerated so often.

The second question concerns whether the dead tree industry has a future at all- its machinery seems to invite dishonesty as a sweatshop encourages illegal workers.

By chance then I happened upon this autobiographical snippet about everyday communist life- and guess what? It's real, in every sense. And I got it for nothing.

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