The fact that someone has led an extraordinarily interesting life or the fact that someone has had a profound moment in their life is less important to the actual point of the book and more important to getting you to read the book. For example, Miley Cyrus has led an incredibly interesting life. (I don’t know if I’d quite call it profound…) Anyways, she wrote an autobiography at age 16. Sure people are going to read it because after all… IT’S MILEY CYRUS!…but does age 16 really merit you the ability to write your memoirs?
Now this next example I’m going is from the classic movie (or not so classic…) 13 Going on 30. Normally I wouldn’t bring up such a “quality” film in an academic scenario, but as we discussed in class…why should the source matter if the idea presented still has validity? Anyways, there’s a part in this movie where the magazine the main character works for is about to bust so the magazine has to do a complete redesign. The redesign is to show pictures of everyday people with the idea that every person has a story. In theory, this is a nice idea; wouldn’t it be nice to read about the stories of people you otherwise would never hear about? But in reality, no one will want to read this. Maybe one issue would sell well, but let’s face it, people would much rather read about what Brad and Angelina’s adopted kid is named than some 65 year old man who grows pumpkins for a living. It’s pathetic, but true.
It’s the story that’s ultimately important in an autobiography. However, we’re drawn in by drama. That’s where the important events and profound experiences come into play. They intrigue us into reading the autobiography, but they don’t make the autobiography itself valuable.