The University of Chicago News Office
Nov. 1, 2003 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359

Edmund Morris, “Photographic Memory: The Role of the Image in Biography”


Edmund Morris


Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Edmund Morris, this year’s Robert Vare Visiting Writer in the College, will give his lecture “Photographic Memory: The Role of Image in Biography”on Tuesday, November 11th at 5:00 p.m in the Franke Institute, Regenstein Library, Room S-116.

Morris, who has produced definitive works on two of the most controversial personalities ever to reside in the White House, has written three biographies, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan and Theodore Rex which have been national bestsellers. He has also written on biography, literature and music for the The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times and other publications.

Since boyhood, when he was haunted by a daguerreotype of Chopin, Morris has found that photographic images, whether still and silent, or moving and sound-tracked, are a powerful stimulus to biographical writing. Both his presidential biographies “grew” out of photographic images, and Dutch and Theodore Rex experiment with the use of photographs as text. In his illustrated lecture, Morris will show how the cross-fertilization of by images has been used by writers as disparate as Andre Breton, Anthony Prenrose, and W.G. Sebald. Morris will argue that greater creativity along these lines is needed to keep nonfiction vital in our increasingly imagistic culture.
Last modified at 01:00 PM CST on Friday, November 07, 2003.

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