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Mirror and Mask

Constructions of Biographical Truth


The volume focuses on processes of manipulation, stylization and (un)masking which are used to construct life stories, looking also at the suppression and destruction of biography. What kinds of contradictions and gaps are created by biographical constructions, and what rhetorical and aesthetic strategies are employed? What political and ideological assumptions lie behind biographies? The full range of biographical writing is dealt with, from fact-oriented biographical records to more self-consciously literary approaches. Particular emphasis is given to the concept of ‘biographical truth’ and the frustrating diversity of this intriguing genre. In German.



'Biographical writing is paradoxical and multifaceted. Here truth and fiction overlap as "Mirror and Mask", as this edited volume is called. The articles in this volume explore the highs and lows of biography with insight and rigour.'

'True to its goals, the volume presents fascinating glimpses into the history of biography, the theoretical complexities of analyzing biographies, and the practical intricacies of researching and writing them.' (Lorely French in Modern Austrian Literature, Bd. 40 (2007), H. 2)

Publisher's Announcement

Symposium: Mirror and Mask
Constructions of Biographical Truth

A symposium hosted by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography.