By that point, writers, editors, and readers had become suspicious of one another, and the factors that produced the personal-essay boom had started to give way. Some of the online publishers that survive have shifted to video and sponsored posts and Facebook partnerships to shore up revenue. Aggregation and op-eds——continue to thrive, although the takes have perhaps cooled a bit. Personal essays have evidently been deemed not worth the trouble. Even those of us who like the genre aren’t generally mourning its sudden disappearance from the mainstream of the Internet. “First-person writing should not be cheap, and it should not be written or edited quickly,” Gould wrote to me. “And it should be published in a way that protects writers rather than hanging them out to dry on the most-emailed list.”
"Life writing is a fluid term used to describe the recording of selves, memories and experiences, whether one’s own or another’s. It is a term deliberately designed to describe many genres and practices, under which can be found autobiography, biography, memoir, diaries, letters, testimonies, auto-ethnography, personal essays and, more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email."
"Autobiography was first conceptualized as a genre toward the end of the eighteenth century, and its definition has been applied retrospectively to the preceding age. The editor of a German collection entitled "Selfbiographies of Famous Men," assigns the inspiration for the concept to Johann Gottfried Herder, though apparently Herder did not use the term "selfbiography" himself. The English term is usually associated with Robert Southey’s usage in the Quarterly Review in 1809, but in a 1796 essay, Isaac D’Israeli, a man of letters, somewhat disdainfully invoked the terms "self-biography" and "self-character." And in a review assumed to have been written by William Taylor, D’Israeli’s Miscellanies were criticized for making use of the hard word that described a newly recognizable practice: "It is not very usual in English to employ a hybrid word, partly Saxon and partly Greek: yet autobiography would have seemed pedantic." In the early decades of the nineteenth century, then, the various first-person writings of the eighteenth century began to take shape under the classification of a genre." (Nussbaum, The Autobiographical Subject 1)
Naipaul’s writing is self-referential, in the sense that he is aware of the private sources of his imagination and his reading of history to reveal them in a mixed autobiography with facts and fiction. His books and essays become significant with new forms of blurred, mixed, and blended literary genres, which can be noticed in most of his books, combining autobiography, travel writing, analysis and fiction. French’s biography is objective and more reliable as it presents all significant events in Naipaul’s life.