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1. The retrospective study, often by a physician, of the possible influence and effects of disease on the life and work of a historical personage or group.
2. A style of biography that overemphasizes the negative aspects of a person's life and work, such as failure, unhappiness, illness, and tragedy: "[It] falls into pathography's technique of emphasizing the sensational underside of its subject's life" (Joyce Carol Oates).


n, pl -phies
1. (Medicine) a description of disease
2. (Medicine) a historical study of an individual or community and the incidence and effects of (a) disease
3. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a biography that focuses on the negative aspects of its subject


(pəˈθɒg rə fi)
a biography that focuses on the negative elements of its subject.
[1985–90; popularized in this sense by J.C. Oates, U.S. writer]
References in periodicals archive ?
"ContamiNation: Patrick McCabe and Colm Toibin's Pathographies of the Republic." Contemporary Irish Fiction: Themes, Tropes, Theories, edited by Liam Harte and Michael Parker, St.
Since then, many authors have tried to call into question Nietzsche's association with syphilis, thus giving rise to two alternative pathographies to the official diagnosis: (1) narratives about functional psychoses; (2) narratives about other organic diseases, other than syphilis.
"No single path": Desire lines and divergent pathographies in health and medicine.
Pathographies of 1500 famous musicians and composers were analyzed to find those with proven or clinically highly suspected (in composers and musicians who lived before the era of diagnostic tests for syphilis, especially when the existence of the oligosymptomatic, variable and deceptive aspects of neurosyphilis is taken into account) diagnosis of neurosyphilis (6).
Patients, too, have begun to find some graphic pathographies (graphic novels that discuss illness) on their own and have reported how much these have helped them come to terms with their illness (14) and/or become more open to discussing it with their physician.
Anne Hawkins writes that polio pathographies show the drastic interruption of a life of meaning and purpose by an illness that seems arbitrary, cruel, and senseless--especially to the person undergoing it." (35) Father Fortin's narrative speaks otherwise.
It joins others in the Bellevue Literary Press pathographies series that consider how disease affects populations both from a medical and a cultural perspective, and it provides close inspection of the aspirin industry's processes and responses, controversies revolving around treatments of and research into Reye's syndrome, and how the politics of public health management can at times work against the very populations it's charged with protecting.
Among the topics are expectations of a new man, Bureau of Eugenics, genealogies and pathographies, early medical genetics, conditional tropism and the Moscow School, and the fate of Koltsov's eugenics.
Two stories of sexual activity in Les Plaisirs et les jours, "La Confession d'une jeune fille" and "La Fin de la jalousie," plus the lesbian tale, "Avant la nuit," end with a death, and in this way they fit notionally with novels like Sodome and other fin-de-siecle pathographies. But whether the stories address heterosexual sex, hetero infidelity, or a lesbian confession, what characterizes them is not heredity or degeneracy, but a very modern sense of transgression so intense that it demands expiation by suicide.
"Being Ill/Being Well: Reflections on Illness." Illness in the Academy: A Collection of Pathographies by Academics.
As sexuality studies comes of age, a new genre has emerged that I've dubbed "pathographies of, sex.
It includes papers on Rousseau (by Anne Vila) and Giacomo Leopardi (by Maria Conforti), which examine both the writers' own reflections on their illnesses and the "pathographies" written about them.