Also found in: Medical.


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 ?
Bedrich Smetana--a pathography on the 180th anniversary of his birth and 120th anniversary of his death.
Part 2, "Performing Patients," includes: Emma Brodzinski, "The Patient Performer: Embodied Pathography in Contemporary Productions" (85-98); Brian Lobel, "Fun with Cancer Patients: The Affect of Cancer" (99-114); P.
The illness narrative or pathography of polio, according to Marc Shell's Polio and its Aftermath, had its origins in nineteenth-century Quebec.
The Viral Network: A Pathography of the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic
Slater E & Meyer A (1959) Contribution to a pathography of the musicians: Robert Schumann.
As MacDonald suggests, we can view the novel "as a pathography, where the illness of those cared for is given testimony, with the reader acting as witness to trauma and loss" (2007: 76).
While I can appreciate that its author Julie Leavitt Wolfe didn't start out with the goal of creating a model pathography, that is what has been delivered and the "sibs" world is better for it.
This analysis can suggest that Geza Csath was a man with more serious self-disorders, but I didn't intend to prove that; contemporary psychobiography avoids the ways of pathography (Schultz, 2005a).
In comparing features of the two works, one can see that residual elements of the 19th-century pathography are visible in the characters of each, but surprisingly, it is perhaps not Proust's novel which reads, in this particular context, as more modern.
In the following, I tease out implications of "The Scientific Doctor" that point beyond Lawrence's private pathography, assuming that Lawrence's writings about illness and health engage in public controversy as much as they enact a private ritual.
Coupland, however, is particularly interested in brain science, and even argues for a new form of biography "in which the biographer mixes historical circumstances with forensic medical diagnosis to create what might be called a pathography.
Pathography is Joyce Carol Oates's term for a biography that emphasizes "the sensational underside of its subject's life.