pathography

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

patho- +‎ -graphy

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

pathography (plural pathographies)

  1. A biography that highlights the negative aspects of its subject's life.
    • [1988 August 28, Joyce Carol Oates, “Adventures in Abandonment”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Though this has been an era of magisterial biographies by such writers as Leon Edel, Richard Ellmann, Joseph Frank, Judith Thurman and Justin Kaplan, among others, it has also evolved a new subspecies of the genre to which the name "pathography" might usefully be given: hagiography's diminished and often prurient twin.]
    • 2020 October 27, Daphne Merkin, “Shifting the Focus From Sylvia Plath’s Tragic Death to Her Brilliant Life”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      One would think there is little to be added, if only because of the avalanche of books — biographies, meta-biographies, pathographies (to borrow Joyce Carol Oates’s term), memoirs, critical studies, letters, journals, novels — that have been published about Plath since her suicide (which, for some people, is the only thing they know about her).
  2. (medicine) A biography that explores the effects of a disease on its subject's life.