The biographer has to dance between two shaky positions with respect to the subject (研究对象) . Too close a relation, and the writer may lose objectivity. Not close enough, and the writer may lack the sympathy necessary to any effort to portray a mind, a soul—the quality of life. Who should write the biography of a family, for example? Because of their closeness to the subject, family members may have special information, but by the same token, they may not have the distance that would allow them to be fair. Similarly, a king's servant might not be the best one to write a biography of that king. But a foreigner might not have the knowledge and sympathy necessary to write the king's biography—not for a readership from within the kingdom, at any rate.
There is no ideal position for such a task. The biographer has to work with the position he or she has in the world, adjusting that position as necessary to deal with the subject. Every position has strengths and weaknesses: to thrive, a writer must try to become aware of these, evaluate them in terms of the subject, and select a position accordingly.
When their subjects are heroes or famous figures, biographies often reveal a democratic motive: they attempt to show that their subjects are only human, no better than anyone else. Other biographies are meant to change us, to invite us to become better than we are. The biographies of Jesus (耶稣) found in the Bible are in this class.
Biographers may claim that their account is the "authentic" one. In advancing this claim, they are helped if the biography is "authorized" by the subject; this presumably allows the biographer special access to private information. "Unauthorized" biographies also have their appeal, however, since they can suggest an independence of mind in the biographer. In book promotions, the "unauthorized" characterisation usually suggests the prospect of juicy gossip that the subject had hoped to suppress. A subject might have several biographies, even several "authentic" ones. We sense intuitively that no one is in a position to tell "the" story of a life, perhaps not even the subject, and this has been proved by the history of biography.
1. According to the author, an ideal biographer would be one who .
A. knows the subject very well and yet maintains a proper distance from him
B. is close to the subject and knows the techniques of biography writing
C. is independent and knows the techniques of biography writing
D. possesses special private information and is sympathetic toward the subjeet
2. The author cites the biographies of Jesus in the Bible in order to show that .
A. the best biographies are meant to transform their readers
B. biographies are authentic accounts of their subjects' lives
C. the best biographies are those of heroes and famous figures
D. biographies can serve different purposes
3. Which of the following statements is true, according to the passage?
A. An authentic biography seldom appeals to its readers.
B. An authentic biography is one authorized by the subject.
C. No one can write a perfect biography.
D. Authorized biographies have a wider readership.
4. An unauthorized biography is likely to attract more readers because .
A. it portrays the subject both faithfully and vividly
B. it contains interesting information about the subject s private life
C. it reveals a lot of accurate details unknown to outsiders
D. it usually gives a sympathetic description of the subject's character
5. In this passage, the author focuses on .
A. the difficulty of a biographer in finding the proper perspective to do his job
B. the secret of a biographer to win more readers
C. the techniques required of a biographer to write a good biography
D. the characteristics of different kinds of biographies Questions
参考答案：A D C B A