On October 17, 2019 at 16:00 the BHFC will hold a lecture “The life of the glorious, wise, famous …”: The ancient Greeks teach how to write a biography” by Prof. Inna Golubovych from the Department of Philosophy at I.I. Mechnikov Odessa National University.
“We are accustomed to the fact that Ancient Greece and its culture provide foundations, canons and examples for all fields of our daily lives. The biographical genre, which developed in its current form in antiquity, is not an exception. Creating biographies is by no means a privilege of scientists, historians, and writers. Creating biographies, autobiographies, and life-stories is our daily practice, which we do not even notice. And the ancient Greeks teach this to us, giving us the canons of the art of writing biographies. The Greeks created biographical genres such as “the life of great men”, “the life of a sage” and “the life of famous people”. The lecture will discuss the structure, content and sections as well as the strengths and weaknesses of these genres. We will be guided by the great biographers of antiquity – Plutarch, Lucian and Diogenes of Laertes. We will also discuss how the ancient biographical canons influenced modern forms of biography, from hagiography (the life of saints) to the “star biography” of idols. This will not only be a historical survey, but also a journey into our own inner world, the basis of which is made up of biographical myths, ciphers and codes as well as an attempt to solve the mysteries and paradoxes of our own lifelines and the trajectory of fate”. (Inna Golubovych)