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10 Fascinating Self-Portraits of Famous Authors

Many forms of self-expression are there of which writing is the best. Authors get into the minds of the readers like no one else. Some of the authors, besides writing great novels, stories or plays have drawn their own portraits. In this article, such self-portraits of some of the most famous authors are discussed.

1. Sylvia Plath, 1951

sylvia plath self-portraits

Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and after finishing her education, became a professional poet and writer. She is known for advancing the genre of confessional poetry and her two published collections among many others which are Ariel and The Colossus and Other Poems. She also wrote some children books including The Bed Book, The It-Doesn’t-Matter-Suit, Collected Children’s Stories and Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen.

2. e.e. cummings, 1939

ee cummings self-portrait

Edward Estlin Cummings was an American poet, painter, author, essayist and playwright. He was a diligent writer, which can be shown from his work which includes over 2,900 poems, four plays, two autobiographical novels and several essays and numerous drawings and paintings. E.E. Cummings is considered as an eminent voice of 20th century poetry. Santa Claus: A Morality was his most successful play. His paintings were also very exquisitely drawn and his poems penetrated into the hearts of its readers.

3. Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe self portrait

Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, literary critic, and editor and was considered a vital part of the American Romantic Movement. He is best known for his tales of mystery. His short stories are considered one of the best, and are considered the pioneer of writing short stories.

He is also considered as the first user of the detective fiction genre. The genre of science fiction was also first used by Edgar Allan Poe. Allan Poe is also known as the first renowned American writer who was trying to earn a living by adopting writing as his only profession.

However, this lifestyle made his life quite miserable in financial terms. Some of his tales include “The Black Cat”, “The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Masque of the Red Death”, “The Gold-Bug”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “The Purloined Letter” and “The Premature Burial”. His poems are also well known among people who like American literature.

4. Hermann Hesse, 1917

Hermann Hesse self portraitHermann Hesse was a poet, novelist, and painter. He was born Germany but later went to Switzerland, where he spent most of his life. The best works of this great poet includes Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and The Glass Bead Game, each of the works describes a person’s search for self-knowledge, authenticity, and spirituality. Due to his amazing works in literature, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

5. D.H. Lawrence, 1929

D.H. Lawrence self-portrait

David Herbert Lawrence was an English novelist, playwright, poet, literary critic, essayist and painter. He published all his works as D. H. Lawrence, and is therefore referred to in his abbreviated form of his name. Many of the works published by him represents the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and modernity. In many of his works, the main focus was issues which were relating to emotional health and vitality, instinct, and spontaneity.

His most famous novels include The Trespasser, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Many collections of his short stories are also well known among public. His collected letters are also considered as assets of English literature.

Besides that, he also wrote a huge number of poems and plays. His non-fiction books and pamphlets are also considered literature assets. His travel books are also read by many people and his translated works also carries a huge significance in English literature history.

6. Jorge Luis Borges, After Going Blind, 1975

Jorge Luis Borges self portrait

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges commonly known as known as Jorge Luis Borges was a short-story writer, poet, essayist and translator born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His most famous books, The Aleph written in 1949 and Ficciones written in 1944 are actually compilations of his short stories which are mostly based on common themes including labyrinths, libraries, dreams, mirrors, animals, fictional writers, religion, philosophy and God.

7. Hunter S. Thompson, c. 1960

Hunter Thompson self portrait

Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American author and journalist. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky in a middle class family, where after suffering from a turbulent youth due the death of his father, he was unable to finish high school due to poverty and resulting criminal charges.

He then joined the United States Air Force and later moved into the field of journalism. He traveled to all parts of the world, to record different events in different parts of life. He gained international fame, after publishing Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in 1967 and also produced many work later on where he gained critical acclaim.

8. Charles Baudelaire, 1860

charles Baudelaire self portrait

Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet, essayist, art critic, and the first translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work was Les Fleurs du mal, translated ‘The Flowers of Evil’ which describes the changing nature of beauty in the modern and industrializing Paris. The events in the book took place during the 19th century. His prose and poetry style was original and influenced many other well-known poets.

9. Cormac McCarthy, 1975

Cormac McCarthy self portrait

Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright, who won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize along with the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Road in 2006. His book No Country for Old Men was adapted as a film of the same name, winning four Academy Awards and gaining worldwide fame. Blood Meridian, another work of his also gained a lot of fame.

Harold Bloom, the famous literary critic called him as one of the 4 major American novelists of his time. Cormac McCarthy is a strong contender for Nobel Prize in Literature now.

10. Mark Twain, 1902

Mark Twain self-portraits

Mark Twain’s original name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, but is still known by his pen name. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by him, gained worldwide fame, and are considered a great masterpiece of English literature.


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