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One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that

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One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 07:29
One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the biographer is always writing about himself. On the contrary, serious biographers seek and welcome the unfamiliar, however troublesome to account for. Ron Chernow, the author of rich biographies of the American businessmen J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, remarks that biographers "like to stub their toes on hard, uncomfortable facts strewn in their paths." Such encounters with the unaccountable are opportunities for breaking out and breaking through, in new directions, to fresh understanding.

One also often hears that biographers must like their subjects. That would of course rule out such vastly important subjects as Hitler or Stalin. In practice, the biographer must like the subject not as a person but as a subject. Some are good subjects for the author, some bad. And what makes one subject better than another for any particular biographer varies dramatically. Some of the reasons are purely practical. Does the subject need a biography? Are the materials available? How much time is needed? A biographer's knowledge and ability also determine the choice. Great scientists are great subjects, but can one write about their achievements with insight and authority? Personal idiosyncrasies matter, too. Biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display particular personality traits, whether they be ambition, cruelty, ingenuity, or any other characteristic that separates a potential subject from the multitudes.
In choosing a subject, the biographer's main question should be, "Can an effective book be made out of this person's life?" Day after day for years, the biographer will try to untangle chronology, compress relationships without distorting them, and keep the main narrative clear while carrying forward several intricate strands of the subject's life. What pushes most biographers on in this endeavor is not necessarily affection for the subject but the feeling that they are writing a good book.

It can be inferred that the author makes which of the following assumptions about biographies?


(A) Their main purpose is to inform readers about key aspects of the subjects' personalities.
(B) Only subjects who share traits with biographers make good subjects for biographies.
(C) Compelling biographies cannot be written about ordinary citizens.
(D) The biographer's credibility with readers is a factor in the critical success of a biography.
(E) Practical considerations are most important in the selection of a subject for a biography.

Last edited by GMATT73 on 16 Nov 2006, 06:47, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 07:42
Is it C
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 07:51
I also think it's C
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 07:59
Nope, it's not (C) :no
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 09:06
mmmm ok. well is it B?
as it says "A biographer's knowledge and ability also determine the choice."
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 10:59
I pick B ( share traits= good subjects)
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 18:30
Nope, not (B) either!!
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 19:20
Is it E?
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2006, 19:25
Give me A.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2006, 04:42
This is a tough one

So if it's not B it should be E then

I agree that B amplifies the main assumption with "only subjects ...", if it were "some" instead,this option would stand ( I make this erreur quite often)


"Great scientists are great subjects, but can one write about their achievements with insight and authority? Personal idiosyncrasies matter, too. Biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display particular personality traits, whether they be ambition, cruelty, ingenuity, or any other characteristic that separates a potential subject from the multitudes.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2006, 06:38
A tough one but my second guess is E
The passage mentions In choosing a subject, the biographer's main question should be, "Can an effective book be made out of this person's life?"
So its practicality that the books sells
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2006, 07:20
It's not (E) either :shock: :shock: :shock:
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2006, 08:09
GMATT73 wrote:
It's not (E) either :shock: :shock: :shock:


When I first read the passage, I chose D based on the following section of the passage:
In choosing a subject, the biographer's main question should be, "Can an effective book be made out of this person's life?" Day after day for years, the biographer will try to untangle chronology, compress relationships without distorting them, and keep the main narrative clear while carrying forward several intricate strands of the subject's life. What pushes most biographers on in this endeavor is not necessarily affection for the subject but the feeling that they are writing a good book.

But since both A and D haven't been ruled out yet, there is still a 50% chance of my being wrong :)
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2006, 22:14
mst wrote:
GMATT73 wrote:
It's not (E) either :shock: :shock: :shock:


When I first read the passage, I chose D based on the following section of the passage:
In choosing a subject, the biographer's main question should be, "Can an effective book be made out of this person's life?" Day after day for years, the biographer will try to untangle chronology, compress relationships without distorting them, and keep the main narrative clear while carrying forward several intricate strands of the subject's life. What pushes most biographers on in this endeavor is not necessarily affection for the subject but the feeling that they are writing a good book.

But since both A and D haven't been ruled out yet, there is still a 50% chance of my being wrong :)


Bingo! (D)ead on the money :-D One of the trickiest RC inference questions I've ever encountered.
  [#permalink] 20 Nov 2006, 22:14
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