The idea of ‘self’ as being the unique part of human beings that encapsulates individuality is sometimes traced back to the introduction of Christianity with its concept of each person’s soul being different from all others and unique to that person. Philosophers and scholars have discussed and developed this theory of the self – working to define exactly what it is and what is its role in humankind.
The expression of self, self-expression if you like, is what drives writing through which someone expresses their thoughts, outlook, experiences and ideas. To some extent this writing can be fictional, as we see in the theory that you should ‘write about what you know’, but self-expression becomes more fully rounded when it takes the form of biography and memoir writing.
If you are thinking of writing anything that falls into a biographical expression of self, this is a book that will give you plenty to think about and could influence the approach you take to your writing.