Review of Michael Dransfield's Lives: A Sixties Biography by Patricia Dobrez
All biographies, especially literary biographies, are fraught with difficulties, not the least of which is that at present, a biographer's work is likely to be criticised by someone who is an expert in the genre itself rather than in the work of the particular subject. Methodological traps lie in wait for the unwary and part of the skill of modem literary biography is delicately defusing these while getting on with the business of trying to understand not only a life but the literature produced by that life. Michael Dransfield is an especially difficult subject for a number of reasons—one of the most important of which is that he was such a compulsive biographer of his selves—and Michael Dransfield's Lives is to be admired for its attempts to negotiate these.
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