Member Blogs > Books Tell You WhyWhat Good Is a Diary?

  • Sat, 11 Jul 2015 08:00:00    Permalink

    Who is a diary written for? Is it for the writer’s sake, so she may one day recall her past? Perhaps it’s for close friends and family to inherit. Maybe it’s for some distant reader, an audience miles and years away. Or maybe it’s for no one at all — an act of self-expression to be merely “drunk by the ghosts,” as Kafka says. It often feels that way. If you’ve ever kept a diary or journal yourself, you might cringe at the very idea of re-reading it, let alone granting access to others. And we know there are few breaches of confidence so severe as stealing a peek at someone else’s personal entries. It sometimes feels as if diaries are best written and not read. And if that’s the case, what good are they, anyway?

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