American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The retrospective study, often by a physician, of the possible influence and effects of disease on the life and work of a historical personage or group.
- n. A style of biography that overemphasizes the negative aspects of a person's life and work, such as failure, unhappiness, illness, and tragedy. "[It] falls into pathography's technique of emphasizing the sensational underside of its subject's life” ( Joyce Carol Oates).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A description of disease.
“Maraniss's balanced biography is not a "pathography," obsessive about its subject's defects.”
“Many bestselling memoirs and biographies are what Joyce Carol Oates has called “pathography,” or books that focus on the pathological.”
“Broyard wrote this before the boom in what Joyce Carol Oates has called “pathography,” or biography and autobiography that focus on the sordid.”
“Yet even as late as 1986, "My Way" -- which led an entire generation to believe that Sinatra was a raging egomaniac -- was still so identified with the singer that Kitty Kelly gave her hatchet job of a Sinatra pathography the title "His Way.”
“To do so means navigating between the Scylla of hagiography and the Charybdis of what Joyce Carol Oates called pathography.”
“Try writing that life as anything but pathography.”
“With a life as disastrous as Garland's, there's nothing inappropriate about down-and-dirty pathography.”
“But the reasons for it are changing in the era of what Joyce Carol Oates has called “pathography,” or biography that focuses on the pathological.”
“This age of pathography – Joyce Carol Oates 'memorable term for biography that strips the flesh off the subject, leaving a quivering carcass of neurotic tics – is also the age of investigative criticism.”
“Mr. Quilter's script covers all the bases of the genre of celebrity pathography to use a word coined by Joyce Carol Oates.”
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Word's gathered while reading The Solitary Vice by Mikita Brottman
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