In the Guardian Review, March 2003, William Boyd discussed the journal
‘There are many sort of journal: journals written with both eyes fixed firmly on posterity and other that were designed never to be read by anyone but the writer. There are journals content to tabulate the banal and humdrum details of ordinary lives and journals meant expressly to function as a witness to momentous events of history. There are journals that act as erotic stimulants or a psychoanalytic crutch and there are journals designed simply to function as an aide-memoire, perhaps as a rough draft for a later, more polished account of life and so on. But buried within these varying ambitions and motivations is a common factor that unites all these endeavours – the aspiration to be honest, to tell the truth. The implication being that in the privacy of this personal record, things will be said and observations made that couldn’t or wouldn’t be uttered in a more public forum. Hence the adjective “intimate” so often appended to the noun “journal”. The idea of secret diaries, of intimate journals, somehow goes to the core of this literary form: there is a default-setting of intimacy – of confession – in the private record of a life that not only encourages the writing of journals but also explains their fascination to the reader.’ William Boyd
I’ve written here often enough about why we blog.
I’d love to hear what you think. Why do we do it? The ‘we’ being the obsessive journal writers. I’m trying to gather ‘you’ (vous i.e. plural) into this debate.
William Boyd’s to Ten Journal Keepers
Keith Vaughan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Vaughan
Paul Klee. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Paul_Klee
Cyrical Connolly http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/cyril_connolly.html
Virginia Woof http://www.woolfonline.com/?q=diaries/vw/overview
Edmund Wilson http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/books/reviews/12446/
Valery Larbaud http://m.eb.com/topic/330472/Valery-Nicolas-Larbaud
‘It mimics and reflects our own wayward passage through time like no other writing form.’
‘You have to be dead to escape the various charges of vanity, of special-pleading, of creeping amour-propre.’
My diary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diary
My deleterious exploits.
I’ve been at for thirty years; that isn’t a boast, it’s an confession. What Boyd says is true too, there’s no value in it until I die.
I wonder why? Often. But I do it anyway.
To save events in family life and to capture memories that may serve some literary purpose.
In the past I thought I might achieve something, it would become the record of a successful anything.
I can’t even do this properly.
I have details from estate agents (realtors) in France; I fancy a change. Different language, different culture, better weather – I should know. I’ve lived and loved there.
On vera. Il faut …
And the words fail me, I’ve not spoken French for five years and not written it for a decade.