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Chapter 31 - Life-Writing

from Part IV - Reception and Legacy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2021

Joanne Cormac
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
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Summary

For such a public figure who was clearly image-conscious, Liszt was surprisingly reticent when it came to biography. Unlike several of his closest friends, most obviously Berlioz and Wagner, he did not attempt to sum up his life for posterity in the form of memoirs, which undoubtedly would have been a best-seller had he written them. In many ways, his attitude to ‘life-writing’ was remarkably laissez-faire. He famously instructed his biographer Lina Ramann, ‘My biography is more to be invented rather than written after the fact’1 and largely maintained a hands-off approach as Ramann began work on the story of his life. This chapter attempts an overview of Liszt’s relationship with ‘life-writing’, beginning with his rare forays into autobiography, then his own experiments as a biographer and ending with a discussion of how biographers have depicted him from the nineteenth century until today.

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Liszt in Context , pp. 290 - 298
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Life-Writing
  • Edited by Joanne Cormac, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Liszt in Context
  • Online publication: 23 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108378253.036
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  • Life-Writing
  • Edited by Joanne Cormac, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Liszt in Context
  • Online publication: 23 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108378253.036
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Life-Writing
  • Edited by Joanne Cormac, University of Nottingham
  • Book: Liszt in Context
  • Online publication: 23 September 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108378253.036
Available formats
×