is an inspirational art!
My workmate tells a few of us something so interesting: she is not
fond of writing about others anymore. ‘Others’ include celebrities and
different personalities. She likes someone to write about her. Well,
this sounds as if she is having a bad time with inferiority complex
disorder, but I see a different rhythm in her confession. Everybody has
their own pulse to blurt out if only there is someone to give a decent
attention let alone writing them down.
Writing about someone else is biography - we all know this out of the
question. It can be writing, sculpting, painting or any other medium.
What we learn of numerous personalities can be utter gossip or
apparently rubbish at times.
But the very same rubbish can be chicken soup for someone’s soul, who
knows? Every living episode is slipped on with inspiration. Biography,
for this matter, is an art. We should handle this with a soft hand.
Why do people write biographies and autobiographies? We have
imprisoned the autobiography into ‘intellectual quarters’ - which
absolutely should not be the case. Autobiographies come in many
disguises. Some mould it as a creative work. Some just lay it down. For
some it is a way to release their catharsis. What many creative artistes
do is sketch their life in their own fortes.
Ediriweera Sarachchandra had a qualm in writing his autobiography Pin
Ethi Sarasavi Varamak Denne. Martin Wickramasinghe had the same feeling
more or less when he wrote Upan da Sita. Sylvia Plath is a sensitive
poetess, but she wrote her semi-autobiographical novel ‘The Bell Jar’
because she was depressed.
I have heard many writers who have written down the Buddha’s
biography are inspired to live a spiritual life. Sometimes biographies
are written by really unlikely people; ‘The Life of Mahatma Gandhi’ is
written by an American statesman Louis Fischer.
Why is the Buddha being sculpted on end? Because we believe the
statue has a spiritual persuasion on us.
Sculptors make the Buddha statues with what they see and hear in
their lifetime - this is, in a way, a biography too. Leonardo da Vinci’s
sketch of ‘Vitruvian Man’ is a combination of his experiences.
Biopic is a gradual evolution of biographies. Many biopics are based
on biographies, while there are separate film scripts. Truthfully
speaking many biopics are much better than biographies. I have admired
many biopics such as Sylvia Plath, Gandhi, A Beautiful Mind and Doctor
Zhivago. The Buddha has been the subject of the movie business too, but
they don’t have pathos like the general films made on Buddhist themes.
Just like the writers, the filmmakers and their scripters are influenced
and inspired by their personal experiences.
In early English biography was known as speaking for oneself.
Biography is a word that was developed by ancient Greeks back in the 5th
century AD. Greek biographical culture was more inclined in writing down
about kings and queens. Having come to that, our history is also about
biography. The Greek episode of biography is too lengthy to talk about.
Our life is a trial full of loopholes and mega sins from the cradle
to the grave. Cradling the trial softly and sewing loopholes and mega
sins with a dab hand is what creative biography is. I know the job is
quite a hardball, but creative experience - it hides around every corner
- has the capacity to bring out inspiration more than anything else.
You don’t have to be a great being to write an autobiography;
everyone of us is a great being, in our own way.
If you know what I mean!