Biography mediates between bios and graphein; it maps the work of culture onto the living body and enfolds the living body into the work of culture. The biographical promise is twofold: to construct a narrative out of the life traces of a dead or otherwise absent subject, and thus to stage a three-way encounter in which the biographer mediates between reader and subject. The fundamental premises of this endeavour have been called into question by a variety of antibiographical arguments which are explored here. The aim is not to reassert a binary of the biographical and the antibiographical, but to show how the dialogue between them might help to dislodge the concept of self from the central position it still occupies in theories and practices of life writing. What biography seeks to bring to the readerand what antibiography doubts it canis not a speaking/writing self, but a silent/absent other. In its mediation of otherness, biography can stand as a challenge to the tendency of self-narrative, self-inscription and self-representation to predominate within life writing. By considering the critique of biography that has flourished alongside the biographical tradition in the counter-traditions of anti-, pseudo-and metabiography, we might reinvigorate our sense of what distinguishes biography from other life-writing practices. The paper enlists pseudobiographical fictionsliterary and cinematicfor an antibiographical archive, locating critical interventions in such unlikely places as Ingmar Bergman's 1964 comedy All These Women. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group.