The Diary
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Description

The diary as a genre is found in all literate societies, and these autobiographical accounts are written by persons of all ranks and positions. The Diary offers an exploration of the form in its social, historical, and cultural-literary contexts with its own distinctive features, poetics, and rhetoric. The contributors to this volume examine theories and interpretations relating to writing and studying diaries; the formation of diary canons in the United Kingdom, France, United States, and Brazil; and the ways in which handwritten diaries are transformed through processes of publication and digitization. The authors also explore different diary formats, including the travel diary, the private diary, conflict diaries written during periods of crisis, and the diaries of the digital era, such as blogs. The Diary offers a comprehensive overview of the genre, synthesizing decades of interdisciplinary study to enrich our understanding of, research about, and engagement with the diary as literary form and historical documentation.


Acknowledgments


Introduction / Batsheva Ben-Amos and Dan Ben-Amos



Part I: Diary Theories


1. The Practice of Writing a Diary / Philippe Lejeune and Catherine Bogaert, translated by Dagmara Meijers-Troller


2. Feminist Interpretations of the Diary / Kathryn Carter


3. The Diary Among Other Forms of Life Writing / Julie Rak



Part II: The Creation of a Diary Canon


4. British Diary Canon Formation / Dan Doll


5. The Diary in France and French-Speaking Countries / Michel Braud, translated by Dagmara Meijers-Troller


6. The American Diary Canon / Steven E. Kagle


7. Personal Writings and the Quest of National Identity in Brazil / Sergio da Silva Barcellos



Part III: The Transformation of the Manuscript


8. The Difficult Publication History of the Diaries of Anne Frank / Suzanne L. Bunkers


9. Digitized Diary Archives / Desirée Henderson



Part IV: The Travel Diary


10. British and North American Travel Writing and the Diary / Tim Youngs


11. Travel Diaries in Australia / Agnieszka Sobocinska


12. Travel Diaries in Imperial China / James M. Hargett



Part V: The Private Diary


13. The Contemporary Personal Diary in France / Françoise Simonet-Tenant, translated by Dagmara Meijers-Troller


14. Writing the Self, Writing History in Palestine / Kimberly Katz


15. Sharing Secrets in Nineteenth-Century America / Marilyn Ferris Motz


16. The Literary Author as Diarist / Elizabeth Podnieks



Part VI: The Diary in Political Conflict


17. The American Civil War: Confederate Women's Diaries / Kimberly Harrison


18. The Archive as a Diary of Resistance: Hendrik Witbooi, Nama Revolutionary, 1884-1905 / Elizabeth Baer


19. Diary and Narrative: French Soldiers in World War I / Leonard V. Smith


20. The Stalin-Era Diary / Jochen Hellbeck


21. On Holocaust Diaries / Batsheva Ben-Amos


22. Estonian Women's Deportation Diaries / Leena Kurvet-Kosaar



Part VII: Online Diaries


23. From Puritans to Fitbit: Self-Improvement, Self-Tracking, and How to Keep a Diary / Kylie Cardell


24. Online Diaries and Blogs / Jill Walker-Rettberg


25. A Journey through Two Decades of Online Diary Community / Lena Buford


26. Geocities and Diaries on the Early Web / James Baker



Index

Sujets

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The Diary
THE DIARY
The Epic of Everyday Life
EDITED BY BATSHEVA BEN-AMOS AND DAN BEN-AMOS
INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
iupress.indiana.edu
2020 by Batsheva Ben-Amos and Dan Ben-Amos
Excerpt(s) from THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK: THE REVISED CRITICAL EDITION by Netherlands Institute for War Document, translation copyright 2003 by Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Used by permission of Doubleday, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
730 words from THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE REVISED CRITICAL EDITION by Anne Frank, edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, translated by Susan Massotty (Viking, 2003) copyright The Anne Frank-Fonds, Basle, Switzerland, 1991. English translation copyright Doubleday a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc., 1995.
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Ben-Amos, Batsheva, editor. | Ben-Amos, Dan, editor.
Title: The diary : the epic of everyday life / edited by Batsheva Ben-Amos and Dan Ben-Amos ;
Description: Revised edition. | Bloomington, Indiana : Indiana University Press, 2020. | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2019055943 (print) | LCCN 2019055944 (ebook) | ISBN 9780253046987 (hardback) | ISBN 9780253046994 (paperback) | ISBN 9780253046963 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Diaries-History and criticism. | Authors-Biography-History and criticism. | Literature, Modern-20th century-History and criticism. | Literature, Modern-19th century-History and criticism.
Classification: LCC PN4390 .D485 2020 (print) | LCC PN4390 (ebook) | DDC 809/.983-dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019055943
LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019055944
1 2 3 4 5 25 24 23 22 21 20
CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Introduction / Batsheva Ben-Amos and Dan Ben-Amos
Part I: Diary Theories
1 | The Practice of Writing a Diary / Philippe Lejeune and Catherine Bogaert, translated from French by Dagmara Meijers-Troller
2 | Feminist Interpretations of the Diary / Kathryn Carter
3 | The Diary among Other Forms of Life Writing / Julie Rak
Part II: The Creation of a Diary Canon
4 | British Diary Canon Formation / Dan Doll
5 | The Diary in France and French-Speaking Countries / Michel Braud, translated from French by Dagmara Meijers-Troller
6 | The American Diary Canon / Steven E. Kagle
7 | Personal Writings and the Quest for National Identity in Brazil / Sergio da Silva Barcellos
Part III: The Transformation of the Manuscript
8 | The Complicated Publication History of the Diaries of Anne Frank / Suzanne L. Bunkers
9 | Digitized Diary Archives / Desir e Henderson
Part IV: The Travel Diary
10 | British and North American Travel Writing and the Diary / Tim Youngs
11 | Travel Diaries in Australia / Agnieszka Sobocinska
12 | Travel Diaries in Imperial China / James M. Hargett
Part V: The Private Diary
13 | The Contemporary Personal Diary in France / Fran oise Simonet-Tenant, translated from French by Dagmara Meijers-Troller
14 | Writing the Self, Writing History in Palestine / Kimberly Katz
15 | Sharing Secrets in Nineteenth-Century America / Marilyn Ferris Motz
16 | The Literary Author as Diarist / Elizabeth Podnieks
Part VI: The Diary in Political Conflict
17 | The American Civil War: Confederate Women s Diaries / Kimberly Harrison
18 | The Archive as a Diary of Resistance: Hendrik Witbooi, Nama Revolutionary, 1884-1905 / Elizabeth R. Baer
19 | Diary and Narrative: French Soldiers and World War I / Leonard V. Smith
20 | The Stalin-Era Diary / Jochen Hellbeck
21 | On Holocaust Diaries / Batsheva Ben-Amos
22 | Estonian Women s Deportation Diaries / Leena Kurvet-K osaar
Part VII: Online Diaries
23 | From Puritans to Fitbit: Self-Improvement, Self-Tracking, and How to Keep a Diary / Kylie Cardell
24 | Online Diaries and Blogs / Jill Walker Rettberg
25 | A Journey through Two Decades of Online Diary Community / Lena Buford
26 | GeoCities and Diaries on the Early Web / James Baker
Index
Acknowledgments
This volume was consolidated through many years of teaching and research on the diary at the University of Pennsylvania in the Departments of History, English, Comparative Literature, and the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Batsheva Ben-Amos realized there was a necessity for a volume such as this in the rich and growing field of diary scholarship, from her contact with students and other scholars. We are grateful to all the authors who entrusted us with their most valuable essays that contribute to the breadth and depth of this volume and demonstrate the significance of the diary and its study to research in the humanities and social studies.
We thank Philippe Lejeune, who offered valuable support and suggestions. And we thank Suzanne L. Bunkers, who helped with advice at the initial stages of the volume s preparation. Dagmara Meijers-Troller translated three French articles into English. Sadly, we learned of her passing in 2018. Thanks go to Janice Meyerson for her editorial assistance. Special thanks go to the archivists of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum-Ronald Coleman, Vincent Slatt, and Megan Lewis-for the tireless help they provided Batsheva Ben-Amos in her research on the Holocaust diaries. Very valuable was the technical assistance of our son Itamar Ben-Amos, who helped us navigate the maze of the digital world. The critical comments of the anonymous peer reviewers helped us shape the submitted manuscript into the current volume. Finally, we would like to note our gratitude to Janice E. Frisch from Indiana University Press, who accompanied the transformation of this anthology of essays from manuscript into a published volume with wise, insightful, and perceptive guidance.
The Diary
Introduction
Batsheva Ben-Amos and Dan Ben-Amos
ON JANUARY 4, 2018, THE New York Times reported the discovery of a diary written in the Soviet gulag in Siberia in 1941-42. 1 The palm-size 115-page diary lay in obscurity for nearly seventy years. It belonged to Olga M. Ranitskaya, a camp weather station worker. She combined whimsical drawings with rhyming couplets, portraying the physical and emotional hardships of a spirited stick figure, her alter ego. In writing her diary, Ms. Ranitskaya risked her life: anyone caught pen in hand was summarily executed in the Soviet gulag.
Individuals have put their lives into words for many different reasons. But the forces that compel these individuals to script their daily life and write down their personal acts and emotions are irresistible and even lead some diarists to disregard any danger. Under the cover of the mundane, they record internal and external changes and conflicts in their own lives and in their societies, protecting these moments from the destructive vagaries of memory. These recorded moments could be periods of transition (such as into adolescence), change in relationships, relocation for pleasure or under pressure, illness, oppression or duress in combat, and captivity or exhilarating freedom. For many the compulsion to write is uncontrollable, and often the writing itself breaks literary and social conventions or, as in the case of Olga M. Ranitskaya, risks the diarist s own life.
Diary discovery and analysis are part of an interdisciplinary field of research. New diaries, as well as critical studies of earlier texts, frequently appear in print, and in the past fifty years, diary studies have come into their own. Scholarship has honed critical concepts, standards, and theories. Diarists have responded to modern technologies, posting intimate entries on the internet, and archived diaries are now available online. Theories and technologies have revitalized diary research.
The goal of this volume is to bring together some of the best of this research and offer an account of the form in its social, historical, and cultural-literary contexts with its own distinctive features, poetics, and rhetoric. Our purpose is to synthesize decades of interdisciplinary study in order to further future research on the diary as both a literary form and a medium of historical documentation. Our orientation is global, aiming to address fundamental diary categories and theoretical and methodological issues that recent diary research has consolidated.
The Diary as a Genre
In any cultural or literary tradition, the diary stands out as a unique narrative genre, linguistically designated with its own term. In English, we use the term diary ; the modern Chinese use riji ; the French, journal intime ; and the Germans, Tagebuch . It is diario in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish and nikki in Japanese. The diary is an ethnic genre, empirical and cultural, rather than an analytical category. 2 In the first essay of this volume, Philippe Lejeune and Catherine Bogaert offer a definition for the term that is used by all the contributors in this volume: What is a diary? The word itself tells us that it is day-to-day writing: a series of dated written records. Its sine qua non feature was, and still is, the date, which provides both a structure and a record of its formation. Lejeune previously proposed that a diary is a series of dated traces. 3 While the dates are a basic requirement of the diary form, Lejeune argues that the traces are the bits of experience that the diarist chose to enter. Implicit in this observation is the basic paradox of diurnal writing: the diary chains subjective time in cages of objective time, and the two are in a constant state of collision. The distinction between time as experienced and as measured is part of a long Western tradition in science, philosophy, literature, and art. Objective time is the concept of time in physics, expressed by the symbol t in mathematical equations. It is also our public time, which we use, with the aid of watches, calendars, etc., in order to synchronize our private experiences of time for the purpose of social communication. 4 Diary writing records time as a human experience; an entry s length and brevity depend on emotions, not nature, fusing past memories with future expectations. Yet diary writing is done in the objective temporal segments of days, which gives the form its name, creating a situation in which subjectivity bursts through the seams of objectivity.
For the diary, the imprint of its making is on its final form, and in this, the diary genre has no rival in the arts. By this we mean that the everyday reality of its narrative interacts with its narrating practice. The very process of writing a diary shapes the diary text, making it both an art and an act. In contrast to literary authors, who present their works to their readers, hiding, destroying, or archiving any revisions, corrections, or changes they make in drafts or galley proofs, the diarists retain all of them, preserving the fragmentary process, the continuity and discontinuity that is involved in writing a diary. 5 Therefore the true authentic diary (meaning an honest diary) is . . . discontinuous, full of gaps [and] allusive. 6 Elizabeth Podnieks reiterates this observation in her more detailed description of the diary as

a book of days presented in chronological sequence, though not necessarily recorded as such. It inscribes the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of its author and may depict the social, historical, and intellectual period in which she or he lives and writes. Aspects of the author s character may be denied or repressed, or acknowledged and celebrated. . . . The diary is an open-ended book, but it may include internal closures and summations. By virtue of its status as a book of days, it is disconnected, yet it may offer structural and thematic patterns and connectives. Though likely written spontaneously, it is a consciously crafted text, such that the diarist often takes content and aesthetics into account. Finally, though composed in private, the diary is not necessarily a secret document. It may be intended for an audience: an individual, a small group of people, or a general public, and either contemporary with or future to the diarist s lifetime. 7

Though the prevailing view considers the diary to be a substandard literature, in fact the medium is a challenging form that integrates personal experience and its author s personality with historical events and intellectual trends presented by a definitive first-person narrator in a genuine or spurious secrecy, in an anti-Aristotelian form, disregarding narrative sequencing. The retention of the traces of the process of writing shapes the diary s poetics, creating a tension that energizes the diary as an art form, a narrative, and a drama. If the author and the poet strive at perfection, the diarist s art is exhibited in its shabbiness (or in its elegance) and challenges readers who happen on its text to perceive beauty in the everyday life that the diarists describe. Acknowledging such a challenge, William Blake (1757-1827) famously urged, in his poem Auguries of Innocence, to see a world in a grain of sand and the human form . . . in realms of day. In minutes, the diarist records acts, thoughts, and emotions that have, at the time of recording, unseen consequences.
To appreciate a diary, its reader needs to assume the position of the diary writer at the moment of writing. Lejeune argued that this is an astonishing feature of the diary that makes it unlike almost any other type of text: no outside reader can read it in the same way as the author, even though the very purpose of reading it is to discover its private contents. 8 Assuming the position of the diarist, he stated, You will never really know what the text of my diary means to me. The discontinuous made explicit refers to an implicit continuum to which I alone hold the key, and one that does not require any numbering system. To get close to the truth of another person s diary, then, one must read a lot of it for a long time. 9 True, indeed, but is this not the quality of any profound literature?
The Individual and the Self in a Global Perspective
The present volume consolidates recent scholarly efforts by bringing together diary studies that underscore its coherence as a literary genre in multinational and multiethnic contexts, and examines its transformation in the public spaces of print and mass media. Most diary anthologies and critical studies focus on a single country, nation, or language. 10 The present volume views the diary through studies from and about different countries and cultures: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Namibia, Palestine, Poland, Russia, and the United States. The concentration of studies on diaries in central Europe and the United States reflects past diary research trends related to the perception that the individual self is a unique Western concept. Clifford Geertz proposed that the Western conception of the person as a bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, and action organized into a distinctive whole. . . .[is] a rather peculiar idea within the context of the world s cultures. 11 Peter Heehs reaffirmed this view and stated, People living in traditional cultures in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia-virtually everywhere except Europe and North America-don t see the self like this . . . people in traditional cultures give much more importance to social cohesiveness, much less to individual autonomy. 12
No doubt, more has to be explored in this direction, but even a limited number of diaries from non-Western societies demonstrate the need to rethink the causal relations between a specific culture and diary writing that claim that diaries are a result of the Western concept of self. Instead, we argue, together with Jack Goody and Ian Watt, that it is literacy that is instrumental in the emergence of diary writing: By objectifying words, and by making them and their meaning available for much more prolonged and intensive scrutiny than is possible orally, [the diary] encourages private thought; the diary or the confession enables the individual to objectify his own experience, and give him some check upon the transmutations of memory under the influences of subsequent events. 13 Literacy, in either Western or Eastern culture, enabled diary writing and contributed to the shaping of individuality that would find such an activity meaningful, personally supportive, and rewarding. In the last decade of the twentieth century, the model of a Western personality was still a subject for debate among psychologists and anthropologists, but in more recent years, ongoing studies have explored personality in cultures beyond the East-West dichotomy. 14 In this collection, the essays of James M. Hargett, Kimberly Katz, and Elizabeth R. Baer support the breakdown of this dichotomy and highlight the individuality of diarists in non-Western societies.
Diary writing is also a supportive activity for the self for individuals in any culture who find themselves embroiled in social and political conflicts. Sergio da Silva Barcellos s chapter on diaries from Brazil (chap. 7) and Jochen Hellbeck s chapter on Stalinist Russia (chap. 20) are case studies of diary writing by people who are entangled by historical political forces, as are the chapters of this volume in part 6, The Diary in Political Conflict. They highlight individuality in diary writing as a way of maintaining private and confidential space during times that threaten one s physical and psychological survival. The chapters in part 4 , The Travel Diary, demonstrate, among other things, the influence that exposure to different cultures and countries can have in forming individuals identities and how this experience serves as a motivator for diary writing.
Personal Diaries and Public Records
The authors in this volume concentrate specifically on the personal diary in its many configurations. The personal diary is distinguished from documents of public record. While recording the date is an essential feature of both personal diaries and public records, the public record is concerned with public affairs; is managed by public institutions and authorities; deals with issues of governance, taxation, law, and trade; and is, in most part, available for public scrutiny. In contrast, the personal diary is individual, private, and confidential, and its public display is subject to the decisions of the diarists, their heirs, or the people or institutions that later discover the diary. A brief discussion of various historical documents will help to further illustrate the differences between these two forms of records.
Chronicled public records are found from the earliest known instances of literacy. Ancient chronicles have been discovered in the cradle of literacy of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and countries in between. Individuals might also have made records of their private affairs, thoughts, and feelings in those times and places, but such texts are still unknown. Literature tells us about these ancient public records and suggests the potential for private diaries. For example, in the Hebrew Bible, the concluding formula reporting a royal death is the other events of [monarch s name], and all his actions, are recorded in the Annals of the kings of [name of monarchy: Judah or Israel.] 15 The Hebrew term that is translated as annals is divrei ha-yamim (words of the days); it is yet unknown whether the phrase is a metaphor or a literal description of a text format that would have been a public record. A possible private diary is recorded in the book of Esther, which likely dates from the fourth to second centuries BCE, where a functional appellation, sefer zikhronot (memory book), modifies the term divrei ha-yamim (6:1), suggesting that this royal record book stored memories as well as public events.
Archaeological research yielded a valuable corpus of astronomical diaries from the seventh to the first centuries BCE, recording public as well as royal affairs from Mesopotamia, and diaries of public, political, and military natures from Egypt that date from even earlier periods. 16 While this volume was in preparation, archaeologists discovered in Egypt the oldest papyrus ever found, and it was a diary-or, rather, a dated logbook that belonged to inspector named Merer, who supervised boatmen transporting limestone from their quarries to Giza for the construction of the Great Pyramid during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu [Cheops] (r. 2509-2483 BCE). 17 Its diurnal structure served royal and public bureaucrats for millennia, and in early modernity, they adopted the format for their own personal diaries, establishing the genre form.
While traces of public records are available and being discovered, the history of the personal diary in early antiquity is unknowable. Theoretically, it is in the realm of possibilities that literate individuals scribbled down their thoughts and events in their lives, yet such personal and confidential notes were lost forever. Personal meditative books are available from late antiquity, but they differ from diaries in that they are not diurnal. The biblical book of Ecclesiastes-which likely dates from the middle of the third century BCE, and the inclusion of which in the biblical canon still puzzles scholars 18 -is, among its other aspects, a personal philosophical reflection on life. Extant from the second century CE is Meditation by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-80 CE), which is popularly considered to be a personal and philosophical diary 19 yet also lacks the diurnal format. Its inclusion among the early diaries is anachronistic and is based on its title To Himself, which appeared on the version of the manuscript, now extinct, that was used for its first printed edition in 1559, 20 a period in which personal diaries were already written and known in Europe. The earliest syntheses of calendric records with the personal accounts of experience, thoughts, and emotions are found in Japan, China, and Arab lands from the eleventh century. 21 Evidence that such calendric records were later consolidated into the personal diary in the West are available from the sixteenth century.
Though some public diaries are mentioned, the essays in this volume mostly discuss personal diaries from different parts of the world and written in diverse circumstance. Whether a personal diary is published is of a secondary importance. Phillipe Lejeune wrote, I have avoided defining the diary in terms of privacy or secrecy; that is an important dimension, but a secondary one that is optional and recent [dating to the late nineteenth century]. 22 As a rule, most diaries remain unpublished, and the authors in the part 5 of this volume, The Private Diary, focus on diaries that were not necessarily intended for publication by their authors but that became visible to the public eye. Such diaries become public through original research, as Kimberly Katz and Marilyn Motz demonstrate in their respective chapters; or by the marketing of a private diary, as Elizabeth Podnieks discusses; or through hybridization and the linking the private diary to other forms of writing about the self, as Fran ois Simonet-Tenant observes.
The Structure of This Volume
The chapters in this volume explore the personal diary in society, examining the public face of private life on record through the perspectives of canonization, feminism, politics, literature, and social media. The volume has seven parts. The chapters in the first two parts, Diary Theories and The Creation of a Diary Canon, are primarily theoretical and historical, dealing with several analytical perspectives used in diary analysis, historical development of the genre and its definition. The essays in the first part examine the application of sociological, feminist, and literary theories and perspectives to the diary form.
In the first essay, Philippe Lejeune and Catherine Bogaert, citing France as an example, address the social basis of modern diary writing. They continue by identifying the attributes of the diary genre, its relations to time both conceptually and technically, and its relation to personality. The diary is functional in the construction of the self and the protective isolation of the individual from pubic and social pressures, maintaining boundaries between private and public spaces. Diary is literature of the self and for the self; yet paradoxically, notorious past diaries that broke through these boundaries become models for subsequent diarists, infusing in them the desire to follow suit.
Kathryn Carter s chapter, Feminist Interpretations of the Diary, distinguishes between two schools of women s diary interpretation: the psychoanalytic and the historical-materialistic approaches. Her interpretation of the latter concerns the diary materials, concentrating on the manuscript itself and relating the archival preservation of diary manuscripts as a material emblem of social class. Starting from a biographical standpoint, Julie Rak offers a unique analysis in The Diary among Other Forms of Life Writing. She examines the relations between life writing forms in the literary autobiography of Alison Bechdel, who incorporates her childhood diary within her adult autobiography. Drawing on this case study, Rak expands her analysis into similar relations in the works of other authors and discusses the position of the diary among other life writing forms as an independent, autobiographical genre with distinctive features.
The second part of this volume, The Creation of a Diary Canon, explores the ways in which crystallization of the modern diary as a distinctive genre has been a historical-literary process through four case studies. Dan Doll, Michael Braud, Steven E. Kagle, and Sergio Barcellos present the history of canon formation in four countries-England, France, North America, and Brazil, respectively. In any society that has such a canon, diaries in print and diaries in script interface with one another. The canon becomes a model for real diaries, for successive generations of diarists, and for editors who would like to publish them. Allowing for some social and historical variations, this process follows similar stages in the first three of those countries.
In British Diary Canon Formation, Dan Doll constructs such a literary history from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, when the Puritan spiritual diary became the canon foundation. Doll demonstrates that individuals were already writing diaries in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and that their use was sufficiently popular in England to be the subject of a joke in 1603 in Ben Johnson s satiric comedy Volpone : The Fox (act 4, scene 1, lines 133-34).
The term also appeared in print in 1581 in the writings of the judge, parliament member, and elected recorder of London William Fleetwood (1525-94). 23 Like Samuel Pepys in the seventeenth century, bureaucrats who maintained public records in their offices, became agents of transition, transferring their skills and practice from public to private space.
In France, diary writing began a century later. The style followed, as Michel Braud points out in The Diary in France and French-Speaking Countries, travel diaries rather than spiritual diaries, but by the nineteenth century, private diaries in print had become so prominent in French literature that they had a large following of diarists.
The earlier building block of the diary canon in North America consisted first of spiritual diaries, followed later by secular, travel, and literary diaries. Steven E. Kagle highlights the philosophical diaries of the transcendentalists, prominent women, explorers, and Civil War soldiers as integral parts of the American diary canon. Sergio da Silva Barcellos demonstrates that in Brazil the creation of the diary canon, diary writing, and the scholarship surrounding it are connected to postcolonial and internal political developments. He argues that the Brazilian canon is still in the making, affected by the waning of the dictatorship (1964-85) and the publication of diaries of those returning from exile alongside the translation of foreign diaries.
The third part, The Transformation of the Manuscript, touches on methodological issues related to diary publication, different editions of the manuscript, and different modes of diary preservation. Suzanne L. Bunkers s essay explores Anne Frank s diary, which has become canonic globally, not only nationally, and established Anne Frank as a secular saint, symbolically representing all the Holocaust victims. The popularity of Anne s diary, generated a preservation problem, protecting the materiality of the diary itself from over exposure. With the help of the facsimile edition, Bankers examines the complex transition of the diary from the hiding place of Anne Frank to the world stage as one of the sacred texts of the twentieth century. Her analysis is applicable to studies of other diaries.
Texts of other diaries can still be found in archives, museums, and libraries, ranging from the internationally known institutions to county libraries and historical societies. In her chapter Digitized Diary Archives, Desir e Henderson reports about the prospects and hazards of diary research in a digitized world, taking scholarship beyond canonization and enabling scholars to explore diary manuscripts and apply to them rigorous analysis without travel. Her chapter outlines the possibility of future diary scholarship.
The next four parts of this volume- The Travel Diary, The Private Diary, The Diary in Political Conflict, and Online Diaries -explore different diary types. The travel diary is one of the oldest forms of the genre and is still popular today. As such, it established several of the generic conventions of the personal diary: firsthand material, dated entries, precision and truthfulness, and an external gaze mixed with personal feelings and impressions. Travel diaries include different diurnal modes-bureaucratic, professional, and personal, both for pleasure and with purpose (for example, researching one s roots)-and are often intended for an audience of readers.
Tim Youngs s British and North American Travel Writing and the Diary discusses personal and professional diaries, distinguishing between travel diaries and retrospective travel narratives. Diarists travel abroad of their own accord, for adventurous, missionary, or scientific purposes. On travelers returns, their diaries function as authentication narratives that serve, after publication, as corroborative documents, distinguishing them from fictional travel narratives. However, public response cannot be constrained. Youngs describes two cases in which the diaries of particular scholars led to vastly different public reactions: Charles Darwin s (1809-82) diary authenticated his scientific reports, but the posthumous publication of the diary of Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) caused an uproar in the field of anthropology.
Although generally travel diaries record the search for the exotic, Agnieszka Sobocinska analyzes the search for the authentic in her chapter, describing how Australians from European descent traveled to Europe, and particularly to England, searching for their cultural roots. With the increase of migration and diaspora communities around the globe during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such travelers and likely their diaries are on the rise, and Sobocinska s chapter will serve as a reference point for how to analyze these works in the future.
China, the largest country in Asia, is a travel destination for its own people. Imperial China is an example of a literate society with a distinct language that was not colonized by European countries and was resistant to European cultural influence in the ninth century, when the first diaries were written in Chinese. China was a highly bureaucratic society, and its early travel diaries were record books of bureaucrats traveling to the provinces. In Travel Diaries in Imperial China, James M. Hargett analyzes travel literature and travel diaries in imperial China from 809 to 1911, demonstrating their relation to place, literary heritage, political stability, and sovereignty. In China, travel writing about Europe and North America appears only after its defeat in the First Opium War (1839-42), when diplomats, interpreters, and scholars began traveling and reporting about industrial, technological, and other developments in order to modernize China.
While most personal diaries are written in private and remain so, they sometimes gain a role in public life. Individuals who practice diary keeping have to negotiate their practice with their immediate family and friends and with their community at large. Diarists record their thoughts, feelings, struggles, and secrets. Publication is of secondary importance. Diaries not originally intended for publication are sometimes published after the diarist s death, and many of these diaries have been altered for publication. Literary authors often intended their diaries for publication, yet the diaries retain their personal and private function. The fifth section of this volume, The Private Diary, explores the ways in which the publication of a diary or the existence of an audience in the mind of the diarist and privacy and intimacy of writing are not mutually exclusive.
Fran oise Simonet-Tenant s The Contemporary Personal Diary in France examines the literary and social position of the diary in a single country, whereas the three chapters that follow deal with particular cases describing the diarist s use of the private diary in war, in a family, and in a literary profession. France is a country in which both diary writing and diary scholarship flourish, as three other essays in this volume by Lejeune and Bogaert, Braud, and Leonard V. Smith demonstrate. What are the contributing causes for the popularity of the genre? Simonet-Tenant points out that past stigma against diary keeping in France is now gone, with diarists admitting to their practice. Is this because of the canonic presence of diaries in French literature or because major French authors diaries were published by them or posthumously? Or is it because the educational system endorses, and encourages diary writing? Or all these factors combined? Any attempt to single out one such a cause is likely to be speculative, but awareness of the state of the diary in the country opens paths for further studies and explorations into more specific segments of the population as defined either regionally, ethnically, or professionally.
The social and historical situation that Kimberly Katz describes in her chapter about two Palestinian diarists living and writing during the two world wars of the twentieth century, contrasts sharply with the previous essay about the personal diary in France. Although, like most diarists, the two Palestinians had literary models to follow, they demonstrated high degrees of individualism that neither psychological nor anthropological scholarship associates with non-Western personality, let alone among the lower classes. 24 Katz thus helps debunk notions about the personal diary and the non-Western self.
Marilyn Motz reveals in her study of the use of the diary in romantic and family contexts among working-class people in the nineteenth-century American Midwest. Her case study demonstrates how sharing privacy through a diary helped a young couple create intimacy in courtship, establishing a confidence in their partnership that continued through their married life. Her study is exceptional in that it is a case in which a man writes a diary without concern about his masculine image.
The diaries of literary authors are unique within the category of personal diaries. With their professional understanding of writing, authors use the potentialities of the diary genre effectively by creating the personal diary as a private textual space that allows them to make public art. Even though the professional writer is never off duty, as Elizabeth Podnieks demonstrates in The Literary Author as Diarist, personal diaries of literary authors serve as confidants, as private spaces for introspection and catharsis, and as places where authors register personal and creative disappointments and successes, as well as reach their audiences, enhancing their reputations once their diaries are published.
The personal diary acquires a political and often tragic dimension when written under occupation, in war, or during times of political terror. In response to external crises, diarists turn to writing as resistance, historical commemoration, evidence for future testimony, an outlet for their anger and hopeful revenge, and in desperation to leave traces of their own lives for an unknown supportive reader in the future. The sixth part, The Diary in Political Conflict, includes studies of diaries written in such historical contexts. These diaries are their diarists means for physical and psychological survival. External pressure and hostility limit individuals ability to explore their private selves and personal identities. Nevertheless, despite horrific circumstances, many diarists struggle valiantly to maintain their individuality and optimism and often write honestly and with astonishing intimacy, qualities not found in memoirs and autobiographies that are written retrospectively.
This sixth section of the book also demonstrates the working method of corpus analysis. There are two types of corpus covered by the articles in the sixth part. Three of the chapters-those by Kimberly Harrison, Jochen Hellbeck, and Batsheva Ben-Amos-use a synchronous approach, analyzing whole corpuses of diaries. Corpus , in this case, refers to a cohort of diaries written under similar conditions, such as location, historical period, political reality, or life conditions, allowing for observation of collective trends in individual responses to similar compromising circumstance. Two chapters-by Elizabeth R. Baer and Leonard V. Smith-deal with another type of corpus: that of individual diarists who also produced other genres of writing on which the diaries shed light related to the process of writing. The corpus of writing of an individual writer has been used in genetic criticism of the diary since the 1990s, especially in France (see chapter 13 ).
In each of the essays in this part, the diarist experiences the external pressure from forces from a different position. In her essay The American Civil War: Confederate Women s Diaries, Kimberly Harrison explores the experience of civilian women whose backyards sometimes were the sites of military battles. The Civil War was one of the most traumatic conflicts in American history, and the diaries written during this time became, as Kagle points out, one of the building blocks of the American diary canon (see chapter 6 ). Though Confederate women can be said to have been on the side of power, individually, the diaries reflect the pain and terror that the women experienced during the war. They were observers of the external pressures that motivated them to write.
Leonard V. Smith in his essay Diary and Narrative: French Soldiers in World War I structures his analysis as a contrast between diary and narrative and, in doing so, confronts one of the most crucial issues in diary writing. People may be subject to experiences for which words are insufficient. Diary writing is suitable for describing everyday life, but even a diary cannot contain nor a diarist describe everyday death. It is an experience beyond human cognition, and the diarists that Smith describes required the distance of time to enable them to turn their experience into a narrative. Smith claims that the historian can never consider the diary s truth as completely interchangeable with the other modes of narrating but must be alert to its different conceptualization of time.
Such a distance was not available to the diarists whom Batsheva Ben-Amos describes in her chapter On the Holocaust Diary. Ben-Amos addresses two epistemological problems concerning the Holocaust diaries: how post-Holocaust scholars comprehend the human dilemma of Holocaust victims, and how the victims confronted their existential situation of no exit. The Holocaust was like no other period in human history, and as she writes, the Holocaust diary was not an ordinary diary.
The diaries of the American Civil War, World War I, and the Holocaust were written during a time-bounded conflict. The three other essays in the sixth part are about diaries that are not war related; rather, they are about diaries that were written under a prolonged repressive government or political power. Jochen Hellbeck s chapter, The Stalin-Era Diary, demonstrates, among other issues, the use of the diary genre for political and ideological suppression by the regime. His analysis demonstrates the power inherent in diaries to reveal the truth as the unwritten personal tragedy is exposed despite the diarists efforts to conform to the party s doctrine and writing goals.
The diary of Erna Nagel that Leena Kurvet-K osaar discusses in her chapter, Estonian Women s Deportation Diaries, was written for survival at the risk of death. Under repressive political conditions, diary writing is not only writing of the self for the self but also a means to retain the sanity of the self, to retain a semblance of personal integrity. It is an underground act of resistance. Elizabeth R. Baer states this diary function explicitly in her chapter, The Archive as a Diary of Resistance: Hendrik Witbooi, Nama Revolutionary, 1884-1905, albeit in this case the diarist struggles against not only political repression but also racism and dehumanization. In Africa the literacy that colonialism introduced became a means for reasserting human dignity of self and community.
The last part of this volume is also the latest chapter in diary history. Already a quarter century long, the digital revolution has transformed the basic principles of diary writing, skipping over boundaries of privacy, intimacy, and individuality and generating a new grammar for performance of the self in paradoxical communities dominated by anonymity. Kylie Cardell, in her chapter From Puritans to Fitbit: Self-Improvement, Self-Tracking, and How to Keep a Diary, focuses on a symptomatic publication phenomena, Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, that appeared shortly after the diary digital revolution began. This is a parody of the self-help genre and a transitional volume into the digital age, targeting the traditional diary genre with humor. 25 Cardell perceptively points out that through the quantified-self-movement the online diary made a full historical circle reaching to the initial phases of diary keeping as a record book. She concludes that how-to dairies are ideological texts that reflect social and cultural preoccupations with self-representation as a form of knowledge.
Other essays in this part offer detailed historical, cultural, and literary analyses of online sites and blogs and their rise, fall, and transformation and present explicit and implicit fundamental questions about society, culture, and humanity. For example, after offering a detailed description of the early history of online diaries and blogs, Jill Walker Rettberg observes that the ways we write about and record our lives are changing. Next, we may ask whether we are changing as well. Writing as a second-order linguistic representation of events did change human society; 26 will digitizing do so as well?
What are the possible changes that would occur in a society in which the internet becomes the primary mode not only of personal communication but also of writing, either about the self in private or in the performance of privacy in public? In her chapter A Journey through Two Decades of Online Diary Community, Lena Buford explores, with humorous intertextual reference to popular literature, the oxymoronic public intimacy of online diaries. Astutely, she follows their rise and fall on the web, delineating a typology and engaging in psychological and social functional analysis, following online diaries/web logs for a number of years. But she concludes her essay with an ominous diagnosis, observing the death of the online diary and diary communities as a consequence of the rise of the new technology of smart phones.
If web blogs and platforms are functional, why do they not survive? GeoCities, a platform that flourished and had within two years of its existence over one million homesteaders, was terminated in 2009 by Yahoo after fourteen years because of the corporation s profit motive and not due to any inherent features of its writing or writers. By focusing on its early years, from 1995 to 2001, in his article GeoCities and Diaries on the Early Web, James Baker explores the diarists own explorations of the new internet territory, where social rules are in their formative stage, the grounds of public and private spaces are shifting, and diarists test the boundaries of their self-presentation.
The new internet territory of diary writing has not attracted all diarists to migrate from their pages to the desktops. Diary writing continues, yet modern storage facilities make it more accessible; it is quite possible that the digital age will become the golden age of diary scholarship.
***
The diary is a private literature. When it is published, the diarist s private thoughts, emotions, and actions expose his or her intimate self to the public eye. When real, imagined, or vague future readers are in the writer s mind s eye, the diary is still conveying the private self. The diaristic impulse is writing of the self for the self. The diary is also an existential literature, and as a narrative, it does not have a teleological design. Leading nowhere, it is confined by the obscurity of the future. Temporally, it is a narrative of the present that, because of the circumstances of writing, may extend from a day to a longer period. Often the story line fumbles, thoughts are ill-inscribed, and wishes are vague, exposing the private humanity rather than the public face of the writer. Aesthetically, the diary is the literature of the mundane-but at times, of the sublime. Its heroes are writers from all walks of life, of any age, class, and occupation; it is a democratic literary form par excellence that does not require public approval to achieve notoriety. Diarists write to the furthest reaches of their knowledge: for the political leader, it might be a country, even the globe; for the teenager, it might be narrow circles of family and friends. During historical upheavals, the private diary assumes, for writers and subsequent readers alike, the role of testimony. Under all conditions, in war and peace, the diary is the epic of everyday life.
Notes
1 . Eva Sohlman, Neil MacFarquhar, and Sophia Kishkovsky, A Diary from a Gulag Meets Evil with Lightness, New York Times , January 4, 2018, C1.
2 . Dan Ben-Amos, Analytical Categories and Ethnic Genres, in Folklore Genres , ed. Dan Ben-Amos (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1976), 215-42; Ralph Cohen, History and Genre, New Literary History 17, no. 2 (1986): 203-18.
3 . Philippe Lejeune, The Continuous and the Discontinuous, in On Diary , ed. Jeremy D. Popkin and Julie Rak, trans. Katherine Durnin (Honolulu: University of Hawai i Press, 2009); originally presented in the series Continu et discontinue, Villa Gillet, Lyon, April 2, 2003, and printed in Signes de vie : Le pacte autobiographique 2 (Paris: Seuil, 2005), 73-90, 179.
4 . Hans Meyerhoff, Time in Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1955), 5. Voluminous literature is available about the subject. A selection is Honorat Aguessy et al., Time and the Philosophies (Paris: UNESCO, 1977); Patrick Baert, ed., Time in Contemporary Intellectual Thought (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2000); John Bender and David Wellbery, eds., Chronotypes: The Construction of Time (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991); L. Gardet et al., Cultures and Time (Paris: UNESCO Press, 1976); Frank Greenaway, ed., Time and the Sciences (Paris: UNESCO, 1979); Ernest J. McCullough and Robert Calder, eds., Time as a Human Resource (Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary Press, 1991); Adam Abraham Mendilow, Time and the Novel (New York: Humanities Press, 1952); Gary Saul Morson, Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994); Michael Shallis, On Time: An Investigation into Scientific Knowledge and Human Experience (New York: Schocken Books, 1983); Stuart Sherman, Telling Time: Clocks, Diaries, and the English Diurnal Form, 1660-1785 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996); Rebecca Steinitz, Time, Space, and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century British Diary (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 13-38; S. H. Vatsyayan, A Sense of Time: An Exploration of Time in Theory, Experience and Art (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1981); Eviatar Zerubavel, The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week (New York: Free Press, 1985); Ji Zeman, ed., Time in Science and Philosophy: An International Study of Some Current Problems (Prague: Academia, 1971).
5 . Philippe Lejeune, On Diary , ed. Jeremy D. Popkin and Julie Rak, trans. Katherine Durnin (Honolulu: University of Hawai i Press, 2009), 175-86.
6 . Ibid., 170.
7 . Elizabeth Podnieks, Daily Modernism: The Literary Diaries of Virginia Woolf, Antonia White, Elizabeth Smart, and Anaïs Nin (Montreal: McGill-Queen s University Press, 2000), 43-44.
8 . Lejeune, On Diary , 170.
9 . Ibid.
10 . See for example, Harriet Blodget, Centuries of Female Days: English Women s Private Diaries (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988); Suzanne L. Bunkers and Cynthia A. Huff, eds., Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women s Diaries (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996); Kathryn Carter, ed., The Small Details of Life: Twenty Diaries by Women in Canada, 1830-1996 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002); Philippe Lejeune and Catherine Bogaert, Le journal intime: Histoire et anthologie (Paris: dition Textual, 2006); Arthur Ponsonby, English Diaries (London: Methuen, 1923); Arthur Ponsonby, Scottish and Irish Diaries (London: Methuen, 1927); Robert Moses Shapiro, ed., Holocaust Chronicles: Individualizing the Holocaust through Diaries and Other Contemporaneous Personal Accounts (Hoboken, NJ: Ktav Publishing House, 1999).
11 . Clifford Geertz, From the Native s Point of View : On the Nature of Anthropological Understanding, Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 28, no. 1 (1974): 26-45; repr. in Geertz, Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1983), 55-70.
12 . Peter Heehs, Writing the Self: Diaries, Memoirs, and the History of the Self (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), 4.
13 . Jack Goody and Ian Watt, The Consequences of Literacy, in Literacy in Traditional Society , ed. Jack Goody (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), 62.
14 . Melford E. Spiro, Is the Western Conception of the Self Peculiar within the Context of the World Cultures? Ethos 21, no. 2 (1993): 107-53; Hazel Rose Markus and Shinobu Kitayama, Culture and the Self: Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation, Psychological Review 98, no. 2 (1991): 224-53; Vivian L. Vignoles and Ellinor Owe, Beyond the East-West Dichotomy: Global Variation in Cultural Models of Selfhood, Journal of Experimental Psychology 145, no. 8 (2016): 966-1000. See also Maureen Perekins, ed., Locating Life-Stories: Beyond East-West Binaries in (Auto)Biographical Studies (Honolulu: University of Hawai i Press, 2012). See also Franz-Josef Arlinghaus, ed., Forms of Individuality and Literacy in Medieval and Early Modern Periods (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2015); Claudia Ulbrich et al., eds., Mapping the I : Research on Self-Narratives in Germany and Switzerland , Egodocuments and History Series 8 (Leiden: Brill, 2015).
15 . It appears fifteen times in reference to the kings of Judah (1 Kings 14:29; 15:7, 23; 22:46; 2 Kings 8:23; 12:20; 14:18; 15:6, 36; 16:19; 20:20; 21:17, 25; 23:28; 24:5, 17; for the kings of Israel, 1 Kings 14:19; 15:31; 16:5, 14, 20, 27; 22:39; 2 Kings 1:18; 10:34; 13: 12; 14:15, 28; 15:11, 15, 21, 26, 31). Current biblical scholarship does not deal with this issue, and scholars often translate the term divrei as events, offering a meaningful rather than a literal translation. For studies of these formulas see Duane L. Christensen, Chronicles of the Kings (Israel/Judah), Books of the, in The Anchor Bible Dictionary , ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1991-92; Menahem Haran, The Books of the Chronicles Of the Kings of Judah and Of the Kings of Israel : What Sort of Books Were They? Vetus Testamentum 49, no. 2 (1999): 156-64; Benjamin Maisler, Ancient Israelite Historiography, Israel Exploration Journal 2, no. 2 (1952): 82-88; James A. Montgomery, Archival Data in the Book of Kings, Journal of Biblical Literature 53, no. 1 (1934): 46-52.
16 . For selected studies see Abraham J. Sachs, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia , ed. Hermann Hunger (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1996-2006); Tom Boiy, Date Formulas in Cuneiform Tablets and Antigonus Monophthalmus, Again, Journal of the American Oriental Society 129, no. 3 (2009): 467-76; Markham J. Geller, Babylonian Astronomical Diaries and Corrections of Diodorus, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 53, no. 1 (1990): 1-7: Dov Gera and Wayne Horowitz, Antiochus IV in Life and Death: Evidence from the Babylonian Astronomical Diaries, Journal of the American Oriental Society 117, no. 2 (1997): 240-52; Johannes Koch, Zur Bedeutung von ina UGU ur-ri in zwei Astronomical Diaries, Die Welt des Orients 29 (1998): 109-23; Robartus Johannes van der Spek, New Evidence from the Babylonian Astronomical Diaries Concerning Seleucid and Arsacid History, Archiv f r Orientforschung 44-45 (1997-98): 167-75.
For a selection of studies of such documents, see John Baines, Literacy and Ancient Egyptian Society, Man , n.s., 18, no. 3 (1983): 572-99; Alan H. Gardiner, The Delta Residence of the Ramessides, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 5, no. 2 (1918): 127-38; no. 3 (1918): 179-200; no. 4 (1918): 242-71; Ben Haring, Oral Practice to Written Record in Ramesside Deir El-Medina, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 46, no. 3 (2003): 249-72; Anthony Spalinger, A Critical Analysis of the Annals of Thutmose III (St cke V-VI), Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 14 (1977): 41-54; and Edward F. Wente, A Prince s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 32, nos. 1-2 (1973): 223-34.
See also about Pharaonic daybooks in Donald B. Redford, Pharaonic King-Lists, Annals and Day-Books (Mississauga, Ontario: Benben Publications, 1986), 97-126.
17 . Pierre Tallet, Les papyrus de la mer Rouge I: Le journal de Merer (Papyrus Jarf A et B), MIFAO collection 136 (Cairo: Institut Fran ais d Arch ologie Orientale, 2017), 27-98, 149-61; Pierre Tallet and Gregory Marouard, The Harbor of Khufu on the Red Sea Coast at al-Jarf Egypt, Near Eastern Archaeology 77, no. 1 (2014): 4-14; Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass, Giza and the Pyramids: The Definitive History (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2017).
18 . See Robert Gordis, Koheleth, the Man and His World (New York: Schocken, 1955); R. B. Y. Scott, Anchor Bible , vol. 18, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965).
19 . Marcus Aurelius, Meditations , trans. Martin Hammond, introduction by Diskin Clay (New York: Penguin, 2006), vii.
20 . Ibid.
21 . In Japanese literature there is a long diary tradition from the Middle Ages up to the modern time. A selection of diaries and their studies is Donald Keene, Modern Japanese Diaries: The Japanese at Home and Abroad as Revealed through Their Diaries (New York: Henry Holt, 1995); Marilyn Jeane Miller, The Poetics of Nikki Bungaku (New York: Garland, 1985); Fujiwara no Nagako, The Emperor Horikawa Diary (Sanuki no suke nikki) , trans. Jennifer Brewster (Honolulu: University of Hawai i Press, 1977); Herbert Eugen Plutschow, Japanese Travel Diaries of the Middle Ages, Oriens Extremus 29, nos. 1-2 (1982): 1-136; Edwin O. Reischauer, The Izayoi Nikki (1277-1280), Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 10, no. 3-4 (1947): 255-387; Mamiko Suzuki, Between the Public Persona and the Private Narrator: The Open Space of Kishida Toshiko s Diaries (1891-1901), U.S.-Japan Women s Journal 35 (2008): 6-25; George Makdisi, Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghd d-I, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 18 (1956): 9-31; George Makdisi, Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghd d-II, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 18 (1956): 239-60; George Makdisi, Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghd d-III, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 19 (1957): 13-48; George Makdisi, Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghd d-IV, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 19 (1957): 281-303; George Makdisi, Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghd d-V, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 19 (1957): 426-43; George Makdisi, The Diary in Islamic Historiography: Some Notes, History and Theory 25 (1986): 173-85. About Chinese diaries, see James M. Hargett s Travel Diaries in Imperial China, chap. 12 in the present volume.
22 . Lejeune, On Diary , 204.
23 . J. D. Alsop, William Fleetwood and Elizabethan Historical Scholarship, Sixteenth Century Journal 25, no. 1 (1994): 155-76.
24 . See notes 4-7 in this chapter.
25 . Christie Davies, Jokes and Targets (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011).
26 . Naomi S. Baron, Speech, Writing, and Sign: A Functional View of Linguistic Representation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981), 149-200.
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BATSHEVA BEN-AMOS is Adjunct Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of Comparative Literature and the College of Professional and Liberal Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a practicing clinician and has written about Holocaust diaries.
DAN BEN-AMOS is Professor of Folklore and Comparative Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of numerous titles, including Sweet Words , Folklore in Context , and Jewish Folk Literature (in Hebrew and Russian), and translator of In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov (with Jerome R. Mintz). He is editor of Folklore Genres, Folktales of the Jews , (vols. 1-3), Folklore: Performance and Communication (with Kenneth S. Goldstein), and Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity (with Liliane Weissberg). He is also editor of the Rafael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology at Wayne State University Press.
PART I
Diary Theories
1
The Practice of Writing a Diary
Philippe Lejeune and Catherine Bogaert

Translated from French by Dagmara Meijers-Troller 1
Who Keeps a Diary?
In present-day France, who keeps a diary? The question is difficult to answer for several reasons. It is a discreet activity. It is possible to keep a diary among family or in public without attracting notice, but more often, people do it out of sight, without mentioning it to friends and family. It is also an occasional or irregular activity. People keep a diary in times of crisis, during a phase of life, or to chronicle a voyage. They begin, let it slide, and then pick it up again. Few people adhere to a strict daily regimen of writing over a long period of time, recording as much as possible in detail. Most diaries follow a theme, an episode, a single thread of the fabric of a life. When the page has been turned, they are forgotten and sometimes even destroyed.
And yet, in 1988, in answer to the question Have you, in the course of the last twelve months, kept a diary of your impressions and thoughts?, 7 percent of those questioned responded yes. The survey, conducted by France s Ministry of Culture, was aimed at French people over the age of fifteen. 2 This means that about three million individuals turned to writing as a complement to their lives. In 1997, the positive response to the same question was 8 percent. Clearly, then, the practice is not outmoded. There are no statistics before 1988, but we can hypothesize that more diaries are kept today than in the nineteenth century and that there is a practical connection between diary writing and the school attendance rates of adolescents. The extension of the mandatory schooling age from fourteen to sixteen, decreed in France in 1958, by virtue of keeping a considerable number of adolescents out of the workforce and carrying their notebooks instead, certainly favored the growth of the practice of writing a diary.
Indeed, an analysis of the results shows that the practice of keeping a diary diminishes with age: 13 percent of adolescents between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, 11 percent of adults from twenty to twenty-four years, and 6 percent of the population thereafter maintain one. This descending curve can be seen as well for other forms of writing. It is true that when compelled by necessity, one may begin a diary at any time of life. But the practice is more likely begun during adolescence, especially among girls. The difference in journaling between girls and boys is huge: between the ages of fifteen and nineteen, 19 percent of girls said they kept a diary compared to 7 percent of boys. If the survey had considered the ten-to-fourteen-year-old age group, the difference would have been even greater: at that age, diaries are a group culture and a rite of passage for girls, while most boys are indifferent or even hostile toward the idea ( a girl s thing ). In adulthood, beginning at age twenty-five, the picture becomes more evenly balanced, with a slight female predominance. There is no surprise here: as a general rule, women read and write more than men.
Why do adolescent girls have such a passion for keeping diaries? Is it natural or cultural or a little of both? Whatever the case, it parallels historical conditioning: during the nineteenth century in France, girls were systematically pushed to keep a diary, often supervised. Today, girls still often receive locked diaries as a gift for Christmas or birthdays, a rare practice for boys.
Is there a psychological profile for a diarist? It is doubtful, because, as this chapter shows, keeping a diary can be the response to a number of compelling situations. There are as many different personality types among diarists as there are among nondiarists-especially since one is often a diarist on occasion, rather than by vocation, and because each one invents his or her own approach in a genre where there may be models but there are no rules. Nevertheless, all diarists have two undeniable things in common: a taste for writing and a preoccupation with the passage of time.
Is there a social profile? Yes: diary keeping is most frequent among the educated or those who live in cities. In a survey of people with a poor cultural capital, 3 sociologist Bernard Lahire was struck by his respondents incomprehension of the practice of keeping a diary, which they perceived as hypocritical: when you have something to say to others, you should say it to their faces! To sit alone in your corner writing things that nobody will ever read would seem abnormal.
Is it possible that we retreat into a diary nowadays because the bonds of community are weakening or to compensate for the fragmentation and depersonalization of social life? This idea can be formulated in a different way: the current development is part of a long-term trend. Since antiquity in the West, we have witnessed a gradual personalization of control over an individual s own life and time management. It s what was already spoken of poetically in the past as the heart of hearts, the shift from an external and social jurisdiction (the forum ) to a purely inward and personal tribunal, that of the conscience. The current growth of diary writing undoubtedly corresponds to this delegation of power, with individuals in charge of managing themselves, with their own complaint departments and archives.
The Diary and Time
What is a diary? The word itself tells us that it is day-to-day writing: a series of dated written records. For the moment, let us set aside the French expression journal intime (a diary). In German, it is simply referred to as Tagebuch . In English, it is either a diary or a journal. In Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, it is diario . In French, the distinction is often made between journal intime (diary) and journal (the news or newspaper) to avoid confusion, a problem that does not occur in other languages. But intimacy only became a part of the diary late in its history, as a secondary mode. If we need an adjective, we could speak of the personal journal or diary. The Greeks spoke of ephemerides (from hemera , or day); the Romans, of diarium (from dies , or day). The word diaire was still in use in Old French but disappeared in the course of the sixteenth century, while it persisted in the other Romance languages and in English. The French have recently borrowed the substantive diarist from English because French had no word to designate the person who keeps a journal ( journalist is already taken and intimiste is too limited in meaning): this borrowed language is in fact a return to a lost tradition. As for the word journal , it was originally an adjective, diurnalis , meaning daily. In sixteenth-century France, one still spoke of registres journaux or of papiers journaux , which was then shortened to journal or journaux .
The cornerstone of the diary is the date. The diarist s first act is to note the date at the top of the page he or she will write on. The words that are written under a given date are called an entry or note. A diary with no dates is ultimately no more than a simple notebook. The dating may be more or less precise and spaced out over time, but it is of vital importance. A diarist writes an entry at a specific moment, without any knowledge of the future, and can be certain that it will not be modified. A diary that has been corrected or edited at a later time may gain in literary value, but it will have lost its essential characteristic: the authenticity of the moment. When the clock strikes twelve midnight, I can no longer change a thing. If I do so, I have left the genre of diary and strayed into autobiography.
The diary is a trace : almost always handwritten, in the first person, colored by the distinctive effects of individual handwriting. It is a trace on a medium: notebooks chosen or received as gifts or loose leaves diverted from their scholastic purpose. Sometimes, this written trail is accompanied by other traces-flowers, objects, diverse signs plucked from daily life and transformed into relics-or by drawings and designs. When you read the same text printed in a book, is it truly the same? Like a work of art, the diary only truly exists as a unique piece.
A diary is a series of traces. It presupposes an intention to mark out a period of time by means of reference points. A single trace would have a different function: instead of accompanying the flow of time, it would fix it in a defining moment. Unlike a diary, a solitary trace would be a memorial : Blaise Pascal (1623-62) made note of only one single event in his life-his definitive spiritual conversion of Monday, November 23, 1654-on a dated parchment that he carried, sewn into the lining of his doublet, until the end of his life. A journal or diary, on the other hand, is a long-term affair. The series is not necessarily daily or regular. There are two types of diarist: those who adhere to regularity and worry if they miss a single day and those who write only when they actually have something to say. The diary can be either a tightly or loosely knit fabric of time.
This initial definition leaves aside any considerations of purpose , content , or form of the diary. It outlines a fixed core that the accounting books of Jucundus, found in Pompeii, and the diaries of modern-day teens have in common: the mastery of time. The purpose of diaries has constantly varied throughout history. In the beginning, diaries were collective and public, before also spreading into the private, then individual, and finally the most secretive intimate spheres. Suffice it to say that a diary always serves at the very least to build or exercise the memory of its author (whether an individual or a group). As for the content of a diary, it depends on its function: all aspects of human activity can provide the occasion for keeping a diary. After all, the form of the entries is entirely free. Assertions, narrative, lyrical prose-anything goes, as does any level of language or style, though the diarist may choose these based on whether he or she is writing just as a reminder or with the intention of appealing to others. The only formal traits that are universal follow from the definition proposed above: fragmentation and repetition. A diary is first and foremost a list of days, a sort of cogwheel mechanism that allows you to lock into gear with time. But it has managed to evolve into much, much more.
The Diary and the Individual
Since the end of the eighteenth century, the diary has come to serve individuals. And diarists have been among the first to analyze and critique their own practice. From the seventeen thousand pages of Henri-Fr d ric Amiel s Journal (1821-81), it has been possible to extract a small, somewhat pessimistic treatise on the practice of keeping a diary. 4 And there is another author, Eug ne Dabit (1898-1936), who wonders, hesitantly, about taking the first step of keeping a totally sincere diary, but when doing so, immediately sets the precondition of absolute secrecy:

June 3, 1932. . . . It s always the same thing. I have little taste for keeping a diary. Laziness, cowardice, ennui-it s a little of each. But, wouldn t I get to know myself better by learning to think more clearly, and even improve my writing? Yet the idea of putting my most intimate feelings down in writing is something I dread; I do not feel free. If I stir up monstrous or crazy thoughts, weak, incoherent or lowly thoughts, that I should experience desires, passions, hatreds-no one is witness to these aberrations or to my inner mental life-even I am barely aware of them. If I set this world down in writing I will suddenly have to grapple with it-and possibly more. I don t want anyone to lay eyes on this notebook. That is the only way I can confide in it completely.
I have never dared to before; have never delved into the depths of my own being. If I don t, what is the use of keeping a diary? The previous pages do not reveal much of my own self. It is about time to finish it or to quit. But wouldn t it be better to pursue the adventure? Because what good is writing if it doesn t serve to know oneself better? 5

For individuals, keeping a diary has become a potential way of living through or conducting a particular period of their lives. The text that is committed to paper in this way becomes a record of this course of action. What purpose can it serve?
Preserving Memories
We keep a diary primarily for ourselves: the author is his or her own future reader. I want to be able-tomorrow, in a month, or in twenty years-to find elements of my past: those I have noted and those associated with them in my memory (so much so that no one would be able to read my diary with the same understanding that I could). 6 To offer a personal example, I remember having written, in my teenage diary, that I was writing for my later self, For all Philippes of the future, I am sending myself a message to the future. So I have left a legible wake behind me, like a ship for which the course has already been set in its logbook. I would avoid imaginary or reconstructed memories. I would have my life at my fingertips. I might rarely or never reopen these notebooks, but I would know that I can at any time. And then the act of making notes on a daily basis, even if they are never reread, helps build one s memory: writing an entry presupposes that I have sorted through my experiences and organized them along axes; that I have given them a narrative identity that will make my life easier to memorize. This is the modern version of the art of memory ( Ars memoriae ) cultivated since antiquity. The diary is at once archive and action, hard drive and random access memory.
Survival
We keep diaries to anchor the past, which disappears behind us, but also in apprehension of our own future disappearance. Even if secret, unless we find the courage to destroy it or to take it to the grave, a diary calls out to be read at a later time: a transmission to some alter ego lost in the future or a modest contribution to the collective memory. A message in a bottle. It is also an investment: the value of the information in a diary grows over time. It s like a life insurance policy that we feed a penny at a time, day after day, with regular payments. On December 31, 1910, a woman of the petite bourgeoisie began her diary. Her twenty-four quarterly datebooks are sleeping in the Biblioth que Historique de la Ville de Paris (City of Paris Historical Library), but her fresh voice cries out to us in the second decade of the twenty-first century from the depths of the last century:

Why will I be writing these notes?
Someone told me that they might be of interest to researchers in the year 2000 and, although I can hardly believe that, I have decided to proceed.
So I shall recount my day-to-day impressions to my unknown readers, with a frankness all the more complete as they cannot intimidate me; but let them be forewarned that if they expect highly interesting details on the lives of Parisians in 1911, they may as well not even open these notebooks. . . .
Today is December 31st. Custom requires me to address my good wishes to these atoms. I do not remember which philosopher said, Happiness is never being born. Since I fully agree with this gentleman, I therefore wish that they never come into this world; they may miss some small joys, including that of reading my words, but in exchange, they will be spared so many sorrows!
Confidences
Paper is a friend. By using it as a confidant, you can release your emotions without troubling someone else. Your disappointments, your fits of anger, your sorrows, your doubts-but also your hopes and joys-the paper lets you give them a first airing without any restraint. A diary is a space where the self momentarily escapes from social pressures, takes refuge within a bubble, or a sealed chamber, where it can unfold without risk, before returning, relieved, to the real world. In a modest way, it contributes to social peace and to individual equilibrium. These spontaneous words are also like a first draft, a rehearsal of words and acts that will follow in reality.
Knowing the Self
Paper is a mirror. Once we have projected ourselves onto paper, we can step back and see. And the image of the self that takes shape has the advantage of developing over time: via both repetition and change, revealing contradictions, errors, and all the biases that allow us to start reexamining our certainties. Without a doubt, we cannot live without a certain degree of self-esteem, and the diary, like the autobiography, is like the construction site for this positive image. But it can also be the place for self-examination or questioning-a laboratory of introspection. In a diary, the self-portrait is never definitive, and any attention paid to the self will always be at the mercy of tomorrow s refutations. So the adventure of diary-keeping is often experienced as an exploratory voyage, all the more so because this knowledge of the self is not just a matter of curiosity but will determine the course of the rest of the voyage: we must choose and act.
Deliberation
The examination may concern not only that which is but also that which will be: a diary is oriented toward the future. I take stock today in order to be prepared to take action tomorrow. Within, there is a debate, a dialogue: I allow the different voices of my innermost self to speak. These discussions may be repetitive, leading to a decision or, on the contrary, urging hesitation. But writing compels us to formulate the issues and arguments, leaving traces we may return to on reflection. A diary also allows for following up on a decision made. This monitoring of conduct was one of the main arguments advanced by early Christians in favor of a written examination of conscience, and later journals of retreats always conclude with resolutions. So the diary is not necessarily just a passive undertaking but an instrument of action as well.
Resistance
How do we hold on when life subjects us to terrible hardships? How do we transform the innermost self into an entrenched camp where we can gather our strength and recharge our batteries? On the day after Alfred Dreyfus s (1859-1935) arrival at Devil s Island, where he was unjustly condemned to prison and would endure crushing mental and physical duress, he opened a notebook that would allow him to admonish himself, establish imaginary ties with those who were absent, keep track of time, and maintain his dignity. It is in exile, in prison, in grieving, and especially in illness that the diary reveals its usefulness. Particularly during illness, its purpose serves two seemingly opposite behaviors. The first presupposes secrecy: some patients spare their entourage their worries, keep them for their diary, and maintain a brave facade. That was the courageous approach of Johann Heuchel, a young boy who died of cystic fibrosis, whose diary I edited-a secret diary, discovered by his parents after his death. 7 After the fact, his father analyzed this exchange of implicit reciprocal support in this way:

We needed his courage in order to maintain our own, and he too needed for us to be brave, cheerful and peaceful around him, to keep from drowning in worry. This way, we reinforced this sort of reciprocal courage. But he was no fool. Even less so than us. He knew. And he knew that we knew he knew. But neither he nor we ever broke the spell that let him hold on. We felt that that must not happen. But what we could not say to ourselves, what he did not want to say to us, for fear of demolishing us, he was able to write. For afterwards.

The other, seemingly opposite behavior, consists of saying everything, of transforming an ordeal into a work of art to be shared with loved ones as it progresses, eliciting their admiration for the diarist s talent and courage. I am thinking of the chronicle written, and distilled day by day with her entourage until the end, by my friend Marie H l ne Roques, victim of a generalized cancer. 8
Thinking
When opening the notebooks kept by Sartre during the Phony War (1939-40), we discover another dimension of the diary: creation. At the outset, Sartre, like Dreyfus, began his diary in response to an ordeal-the mobilization that transforms an intellectual into a soldier. But it was the chance to embark on an original work, turning the observation of daily life into a laboratory for proving the validity of the ideas that he would later expound on in Being and Nothingness . 9 The form of this diary shifts the attention to the creative process, rendering thought freer, more open to its contradictions, and communicating to the reader the progression of reflection as much as the result. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, Pierre-Hyacinthe Aza s, a mediocre philosopher but passionate diarist, was already sensitive to this new process and theorized on it this way:

Sometimes I tell myself that, according to the form I have now given to this portrait of myself, I could never write any work that would be preferable to this one. Indeed, for some time now, I have been entering the thoughts, observations and feelings that I plan to bring together in a personal body of work. In my diary, these thoughts and observations are not always interconnected, but they are connected to me; they appear in the diary as they appeared to me, so they fall into place naturally, because it is my own nature that determined the time and the circumstances in which they entered my mind and my heart. This connection is more interesting and even more valid than an orderly, methodical approach. 10

This aesthetic of rough drafts and the process of bringing a work into being explains in part the gradual integration of the diary into the canon of literary genres since the nineteenth century and the public s taste for authors notebooks and for thinkers, from Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) 11 to Emil Cioran (1911-95), 12 who have merged diary and maxim and dated their thoughts. In a more general sense, we could say that the diary is a working method for many human activities.
Writing
Lastly, we keep a diary out of a love for writing. It is fascinating to transform ourselves into words and phrases and to invert the relationship we have with life by self-engendering. Notebooks, or loose-leaf notes that we have bound, where we tell our stories comprise a sort of symbolic body that, unlike our actual bodies, will survive. The pleasure is all the greater because it is free. Each person feels authorized to handle the language as he or she sees fit. There is no inhibiting fear of mistakes. We can choose the rules of the game: have several notebooks, mix genres, make our diaries simultaneously an observation of life and a pivot of our writing. A diary is rarely corrected, yet we feel that we are making progress. We are not so vain as to think we are authors, but we enjoy the sweet taste of existing in words and have hopes of leaving an imprint.
Is It Good? Is It Bad?
My definition has turned into a defense: Is the diary under attack? Does it need to be defended? Yes, in France there is a debate about diaries and, in general, a feeling of uneasiness with autobiographical writing. In English- or German-speaking countries, however, there is a different atmosphere. There, journaling comes as naturally as breathing. People speak openly about keeping a diary. Critics have been studying them for a long time. They do not give rise to controversy. The first hypothesis about this phenomenon is that Protestantism encourages the practice of journal writing. In general, northern European individuals early on adopted the habit of taking care of themselves, in an atmosphere that is both practical and severe, while a preoccupation with self is viewed with suspicion in southern Europe and around the Mediterranean basin. This is a rather simplistic view, of course. But I was surprised to observe that there is no real tradition of spiritual journal-keeping during the classical period (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries): there was no encouragement, no model. Instead, there were incessant warnings about complacency toward the self and pride. The self is hateful, decreed Pascal in his Pens es . 13 On July 14, 1762, writing to Sophie Volland, Denis Diderot presented the idea of writing a diary as utopian despite the fact that it had been a reality in England for a century and a half. In France in 1887, the publication of the diaries of Marie Bashkirtseff (1858-84) and those of the brothers Goncourt (1822-96 and 1830-70) were controversial. 14 It took until 1952 for a critical book devoted to the diary to appear in France, and even then it was a psychologist, Mich le Leleu, who wrote it from a characterology perspective. 15 The paradox is that this dubious genre is nonetheless widely practiced, and often by the very people who see it as suspicious: outward distrust leads to a guilty conscience.
Is it good, is it bad? It is in fact by a form of inner debate, a sort of examination of conscience, that the diary is called into question. In the brief anthology of reflections by Amiel on his own diary, the cons largely outweigh the pros. Jules Romains, in book 18 of Hommes de bonne volont , entitled La douceur de la vie , 16 imagines that his protagonist, about to begin writing a diary, systematically reviews all of the arguments for and against, and this time it is the pros that win. 17 But aside from these nuanced debates, we find severe texts, like the short essay by Maurice Blanchot in Le livre venir (1959) or The Journalist , the satirical novel by Franco-American author Harry Mathews. 18
Let s examine the accusations before proceeding with the debate. Amiel wrote, While carnivores already make mediocre game, because they live off other living beings, an animal that lives on itself would probably be the worst to eat. A cat chasing its tail is, furthermore, a rather ridiculous beast. Well, then, doesn t a diary show us an individual devoted to these two sterile pursuits, chasing or dining on oneself? 19 Blanchot was similarly critical: There is, in any diary, the fortunate reciprocal compensation, one by the other, of a twofold nullity. Someone does nothing in his life but writes that he does nothing, and there, all of a sudden, something is done. One who lets himself be sidetracked from writing by the futilities of the day returns to these nothings to tell about them, bewail them, or take pleasure in them, and lo, there is a day fulfilled. . . . Finally, then, one has neither lived nor written, a double failure from which the diary wins its tension and its gravitas. 20
Keeping a diary would thus be sign of introversion, of ignoring the world, and of futility. The great creative geniuses would presumably not keep a diary. Yet in the nineteenth century, there were passionate diaries kept by Stendhal, Eug ne Delacroix, Jules Michelet, Victor Hugo, and Barbey d Aurevilly, none of whom one could suspect of lacking creative spark or awareness of the world. And then, why wouldn t psychological inquiry and spiritual adventure follow paths other than those of fiction or classic constructions? The diary is possibly itself the beginning of a new poetic and existential aesthetic, founded on fragmentation and resonance.
Apparently, keeping a diary would be the sign of a weak character or a dubious personality. That may happen, but the opposite can too. Undoubtedly one of the effects of the 1947 publication of The Diary of a Young Girl , by Anne Frank, was to provide a brilliant refutation of this bias. It would be difficult to find anyone with greater strength of character, healthy vitality and fervor for life than this young adolescent who forged her personality by keeping a diary under such extreme conditions.
Finally, keeping a diary is seen as a form of cowardice with respect to others, an artful dodge, a deferred punch, a delayed bomb, as Romains has his hero Jallez say. In this case, the argument is not without relevance, and therein lies one of the true dangers or weaknesses, though often involuntary, of posthumous publications. But it is compensated for by a kind of boomerang effect: aggression is rarely pleasing to readers, who are taken hostage by quarrels that do not concern them.
A diary, with its strengths and weaknesses, is simply human. And the forms it takes, the functions it fulfills, are so varied that it is quite difficult to address it as a whole. We must suspend our prejudices, which are often based on limited knowledge and sometimes on the anxiety that we all feel when confronted with our own inner life and the dizzying passage of time.
Notes
1 . Previously published in Philippe Lejeune and Catherine Bogaert, Un journal soi: Histoire d une pratique (Paris: Les ditions Textuel, 2003), 8-11.
2 . This survey was the basis of three successive publications: Olivier Donnat and Denis Cogneau, Les pratiques culturelles des Fran ais, 1973-1989 (Paris: La Documentation fran aise, 1990); Olivier Donnat, Les pratiques culturelles des Fran ais , Enqu te 1997 (Paris: La Documentation fran aise, 1998); and Olivier Donnat, Les pratiques culturelles des Fran ais l re num rique, Enqu te 2008 (Paris: La D couverte, 2009). The 2008 survey established that the advent of online diaries has not, in fact, diminished traditional handwritten diary practices in any way. Coauthor of this chapter Philippe Lejeune has personally conducted three surveys: the first in 1990, by questionnaire, La pratique du journal personnel: Enqu te . Cahiers de s miotique textuelle 17 (Paris: Universit Paris X, 1990); the second by a call for testimonials, Cher cahier . . . : T moignages recueillis et pr sent s (Paris: Gallimard, 1989); and the third by a call for testimonials and direct observations, Cher cran . . . Journal personnel, ordinateur, Internet (Paris: ditions du Seuil, 2000).
3 . Bernard Lahire, La raison des plus faibles: Rapport au travail, critures domestiques et lectures en milieux populaires (Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1993), 148-53.
4 . Henri-Fr d ric Amiel, Du journal intime , ed. Roland Jaccard (Brussels: Editions Complexe, 1987).
5 . Eug ne Dabit, Journal intime , ed. Edmond Robert (Paris: Gallimard, 1989), 84.
6 . Autobiographical interventions using first-person pronouns are from Philippe Lejeune.
7 . Johann Heuchel, Je vous ai tous aim s, Journal , preface by Philippe Lejeune (Paris: ditions du Seuil, 1998).
8 . Marie H l ne Roques (1948-2015). Her diary consists of three small booklets deposited in the collections of the Association pour l Autobiographie (APA, Association for Autobiography) in Amb rieu-en-Bugey (Ain, France): Carnet de voyage malade , Radionco , Sondages et faux tuyaux (call number: APA 3360).
9 . Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology , trans. Hazel E. Barnes (New York: Philosophical Library, 1956).
10 . Pierre-Hyacinthe Aza s, unpublished diary, October 6, 1801, cited in Philippe Lejeune, Aux origines du journal personnel: France, 1750-1815 (Paris: Champion, 2016), 626.
11 . Joseph Joubert published nothing in his lifetime, but he wrote notebooks and notes on scraps of papers that were collected by his wife and published posthumously. In English, the following books include their texts and their analysis: Joseph Joubert, The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert: A Selection , ed. and trans. Paul Auster, afterword by Maurice Blanchot (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1983); David P. Kinloch, The Thought and Art of Joseph Joubert (1754 - 1824) (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992); Patricia A. Ward, Joseph Joubert and the Critical Tradition: Platonism and Romanticism (Geneva: Droz, 1980).
12 . A selection of studies about his work is Aleksandra Gruzinska, ed., Essays on E. M. Cioran (Rasinari 1911-Paris 1995) (Costa Mesa, CA: American Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences Publications, 1999); William Kluback and Michael Finkenthal, The Temptations of Emil Cioran (New York: Peter Lang, 1997); Nicolas Cavaill s , Cioran, crire l encontre de soi (Paris: CNRS, 2011); Yun Sun Limet and Pierre-Emmanuel Danzat, eds., Cioran et ses contemporains: Essais (Paris: Roux, 2011).
13 . Blaise Pascal, Pens es , ed. L on Brunschvicg (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 1961), 190n455.
14 . See Philippe Lejeune, The Diary on Trial, in On Diary , ed. Jeremy D. Popkin and Julie Rak, trans. Katherine Durnin (Manoa: University of Hawai i Press, 2009), 147-67.
15 . Mich le Leleu, Les journaux intimes (Paris: Presses Universitaires des France, 1952).
16 . Jules Romains, The Sweets of Life, bk. 18 in Men of Good Will , English ed., trans. Warre Bradley Wells and Gerard Hopkins, vol. 10 (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1939).
17 . Jules Romains, Journal de Jallez (Paris: ditions des Cendres, 2004), 29.
18 . Harry Mathews, The Journalist (Boston: David R. Godine, 1994), 239.
19 . December 19, 1867, in Amiel, Du journal intime , 45.
20 . Maurice Blanchot, Diary and Story, in The Book to Come , trans. Charlotte Mandell (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), 185-86.
Bibliography
Amiel, Henri-Fr d ric. Du journal intime . Edited by Roland Jaccard. Brussels: Editions Complexe, 1987.
Blanchot, Maurice. Diary and Story. In The Book to Come , translated by Charlotte Mandell. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003.
Braud, Michel. La forme des jours: Pour une po tique du journal personnel . Paris: ditions du Seuil, 2006.
Cavaill s, Nicolas. Cioran, crire l encontre de soi . Paris: CNRS, 2011.
Dabit, Eug ne. Journal intime . Edited by Edmond Robert. Paris: Gallimard, 1989.
Donnat, Olivier. Les pratiques culturelles des Fran ais l re num rique, Enqu te 2008. Paris: La D couverte, 2009.
---. Les pratiques culturelles des Fran ais , Enqu te 1997 . Paris: La Documentation fran aise, 1998.
Donnat, Olivier, and Denis Cogneau. Les pratiques culturelles des Fran ais, 1973-1989 . Paris: La Documentation fran aise, 1990.
Fabre, Daniel, ed. Ecritures ordinaires . Paris: POL, 1991.
Gruzinska, Aleksandra, ed. Essays on E. M. Cioran (Rasinari 1911-Paris 1995) . Costa Mesa, CA: American Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences Publications, 1999.
Gusdorf, Georges. Lignes de vie . Vol. 1, Les critures du moi . Paris: Odile Jacob, 1990.
---. Lignes de vie . Vol. 2, Auto-bio-graphie . Paris: Odile Jacob, 1990.
Heuchel, Johann. Je vous ai tous aim s, Journal . Preface by Philippe Lejeune. Paris: ditions du Seuil, 1998.
Joubert, Joseph. The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert: A Selection. Edited and translated by Paul Auster. Afterword by Maurice Blanchot. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1983.
Kinloch, David P. The Thought and Art of Joseph Joubert (1754 - 1824) . Oxford: Clarendon, 1992.
Kluback, William, and Michael Finkenthal. The Temptations of Emil Cioran . New York: Peter Lang, 1997.
Lahire, Bernard. La raison des plus faibles: Rapport au travail, critures domestiques et lectures en milieux populaires . Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1993.
Lejeune, Philippe. Aux origines du journal personnel. France, 1750-1815 . Paris: Champion, 2016.
---. Cher cahier . . . : T moignages recueillis et pr sent s par Philippe Lejeune . Paris: Gallimard, 1989.
---. Cher cran . . . : Journal personnel, ordinateur, Internet. Paris: ditions du Seuil, 2000.
---. La pratique du journal personnel: Enqu te. Cahiers de s miotique textuelle 17. Paris: Universit Paris X, 1990.
---. Le moi des demoiselles: Enqu te sur le journal de jeune fille . Paris: ditions du Seuil, 1993.
---. On Diary . Edited by Jeremy D. Popkin and Julie Rak. Translated by Katherine Durnin. Manoa: University of Hawai i Press, 2009.
Lejeune, Philippe, and Catherine Bogaert. Un journal soi: Histoire d une pratique . Paris: ditions Textuel, 2003.
Leleu, Mich le. Les journaux intimes . Paris: Presses Universitaires des France, 1952.
Limet, Yun Sun, and Pierre-Emmanuel Danzat, eds. Cioran et ses contemporains: Essais . Paris: Roux, 2011.
Mathews, Harry. The Journalist. Boston: David R. Godine, 1994.
Pachet, Pierre. Les barom tres de l me: Naissance du journal intime . Paris: Le Bruit du temps, 2015.
Simonet-Tenant, Fran oise. Journal personnel et correspondance (1785-1939) ou les affinit s lectives. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Academia Bruylant, 2009.
---. Le journal intime, genre litt raire et criture ordinaire. Paris: T ra dre, 2004.
Simonet-Tenant, Fran oise, and Catherine Viollet, eds. Journaux personnels. Special issue, Genesis , no. 32. Paris: Presses Universitaires de la Sorbonne, 2011.
Pascal, Blaise. Pens es . Edited by L on Brunschvicg. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 1961.
Romains, Jules. Journal de Jallez . Paris: ditions des Cendres, 2004.
---. The Sweets of Life. Book 18 in Men of Good Will . English edition translated by Warre Bradley Wells and Gerard Hopkins. Vol. 10. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1939.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology . Trans. Hazel E. Barnes. New York: Philosophical Library, 1956.
Ward, Patricia A. Joseph Joubert and the Critical Tradition: Platonism and Romanticism . Geneva: Droz, 1980.
PHILIPPE LEJEUNE is Professor Emeritus of French Literature at Universit Paris-Nord. He is the author of On Autobiography and On Diary . He founded the French Association pour l autobiographie (APA, the Association for Autobiography), which collects and archives unpublished ordinary autobiographical writings.
CATHERINE BOGAERT is an active member of the APA. She curated an exhibition at the Biblioth que Municipale de Lyon dedicated to the diary and is coauthor (with Philippe Lejeune) of Un journal soi: Histoire d une pratique .
DAGMARA MEIJERS-TROLLER (1956-2018) was an experienced translator from French into English. A member of the American Translators Association, she was educated at Indiana University Bloomington, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, and London Metropolitan University.
2
Feminist Interpretations of the Diary
Kathryn Carter
FEMINIST CONCLUSIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS the appropriate conclusions in our consideration of women s life writing, wrote Marlene Kadar, the noted critic of autobiography, provocatively at the start of a 1992 collection of essays. 1 At the time, there was a critical history (explored here) that gave context to her statement. Since then a number of convincing arguments, broadening the scope of inquiry, demonstrate that feminist approaches have much to offer. However, let us begin by acknowledging that women s diaries are more specific than Kadar s general category of women s life writing. In both popular and scholarly discussions, a diary stirs up something extra, especially if the diary was labelled private. Consider, for example, the following statement overheard by Jane Carlyle (wife of Thomas Carlyle) and recorded in her nineteenth-century diary: What else could a husband do when his wife keeps a journal except murder her? 2 Although meant to be flippant, the intense and violent degree of control exerted on written expressions deemed to be private was evident to Carlyle and her later readers. As Carlyle noted, There was a certain truth hidden in this light remark. 3 The truth of this remark emerges from assumptions that underpin some particular readings of diary writing, and Kadar s comment highlights the fact that early feminist interpretations of diary writing fortified rather than challenged these same assumptions.
The following overview traces early critical perspectives on diary writing and the challenges made against those perspectives. Generally, the debates break into two camps: one that finds the diary genre primarily feminine, using a psychoanalytic approach, and another that insists on the diary as a cultural and discursive practice with historical specificities. The second camp favors a materialist or new historicist approach that asks readers to look at the ways in which economic and social realities shape the seemingly individualized and allegedly private act of expressing one s thoughts in a diary. Both camps agree that gender is a factor when thinking about both the shape of the life recorded (what kind of life could the diarist lead given psychosocial constraints?) or the ways in which the life is represented. The question, in some ways, is whether to foreground in interpretive acts the life or the text. But surely the question is more complicated because the diary, as a text, is one that is constrained by unknown plot developments of a life yet to be lived. An imaginary future continuously shapes how the diarist will write about the present. Neither the life nor the text are static, but in a process of cocreation. Therefore, if life and text cannot be untangled, readers must search for an ethical relationship to the exigencies of the text-in-process and the reverberations of the life that it simultaneously documents and creates. Ethical readings of diaries, grounded in feminist methodologies, must pay attention to the ways in which diary writing calculates its strategies with respect to the gendered position of the diarist within a particular culture. This paper begins by mapping the complications that occur when life and text intersect in women s diaries.
What Is a Woman s Diary?
Historically, women s diaries have been consigned-literally or figuratively-to the dustbin of history, and many critical readings of women s diaries remain alert to the consequences of recuperating women s texts that might otherwise remain neglected. Evidence from around the world, including literary diaries written in tenth-century Japan, 4 shows that since the Middle Ages, women kept records of their lives. Diaries, letters, journal letters, scrapbooks, and florilegium name a few of the manuscript formats. Not all of these manuscript forms were saved for posterity, and clearly the surviving examples of manuscript diaries deposited in public and private archives are fewer than the total produced. Fewer still escaped external or internal censorship. An illustrative example of censorship is the journal of Elizabeth Egerton. Written in seventeenth-century England, it might have remained wholly unknown except for the fact that it was transcribed after her death into a manuscript titled True Coppies of Certaine Loose Papers left by the Right Honorable ELIZABETH Countesse of BRIDGEWATE R [,] Collected and Transcribed together here since Death Anno Domini 1663. 5 Her husband s signature on the papers suggests that he oversaw the transcription, and readers have no way to know what was revised, edited, or thrown away. An eighteenth-century descendant observed that the limited circulation of the papers within the family demonstrated a very uncommon piety and celebrated the fact that Egerton s manuscript would never be unlocked to the profane eye of the public at large. 6 Her diaries, like many others, were likely edited, excised, and censored before finding their way into the archive. The fact that Egerton s diary was saved, when so many are lost, and then the further alterations to the manuscript itself highlight the practical difficulties of making definitive and comprehensive statements about a body of writing called women s diaries. When we talk about women s diaries, do we mean the manuscript diary? A fair copy? An edited version? These factors complicate critical responses to the text.
What Gets Saved?
Simply finding women s diaries is a challenge for feminist scholars. To address the internal problems of archives and the paucity of published primary texts, early reclamation work by scholars sought to identify manuscript texts in archives. As a result, bibliographies produced throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s cataloged women s diaries. Cynthia Huff, Cheryl Cline, Margaret Conrad, Kathryn Carter, Lillian Schlissel, Margo Culley, and Laura Arskey inventoried diaries that were extant in published or unpublished formats within the national contexts of the United States, Britain, and Canada. 7 Elizabeth Webby did similar detective work to find writing by colonial women in Australia, and Christina Sjoblad traced women s diary writing in Sweden starting in 1737. 8 Diaries are often hidden in archival collections named for their husbands and fathers, a curatorial practice that drew fire from feminist historians. In 1978, for example, Canadian historian Veronica Strong-Boag urged archives to reassess their collection policies and reimagine time-worn classification systems which emphasize the activities of political, military, diplomatic, and economic elites. 9 Her remarks remain salient but cannot address the gender-biased oversights that shaped archival holdings before that time. The challenges inherent in finding surviving diaries illuminates other challenges in turn. For one thing, the lack of a comprehensive or representative body of texts makes it difficult to properly define diary writing as a field of study, and the editing and excising that happened before a diary reached the archive makes it difficult to assess how much the diarist herself authored the final document. Is Elizabeth Egerton properly named as the only author of her diary? Diary editors-whether a well-meaning husband or a conscientious feminist scholar-exert a particular kind of control that modifies the text, even if their editorial eyes are calibrated to different value systems. Helen Buss, a prolific critic of Canadian autobiography, reflects on this when she states, As a twentieth-century feminist rescuing the female subject from the oblivion of the unread archive, I am as capable of malformation as any. 10 Critic Jane Hunter agrees that the unviolated diary was rare, so this material fact presents a significant hurdle for readers who hope to make comprehensive statements about this writing as a genre or those who hope to gain access to an unadulterated portrayal of inner life by way of a particular example. 11
External editing was not the only factor that modified the content of a diary. In addition to the heavy hand of external censorship, the exigencies of imagined audiences exerted a compelling internal effect. Unspoken rules about what a woman should be writing infuse diary writing at every turn. Sometimes these audiences were immediately present and real. When the author Louisa May Alcott kept a childhood diary, her father (like many nineteenth-century parents) encouraged her but kept careful watch over what she wrote in its pages. 12 Sometimes these audiences were imaginary. Fanny Burney s diary, addressed to Nobody-which she began in 1768 and kept for seventy-two years-was at least twice revised: once when she burned the pages written before she was fifteen and a second time when she heavily edited the texts for publication. 13 Likewise, Queen Victoria-in her highly visible role-would have been aware of a potentially public readership while writing her diary. The private dimensions of Victoria s diary, explains Cynthia Huff in her analysis of that diary, could never and cannot now be separated from public expression and political familial editing and censorship. 14 The diary of Anne Frank, arguably one of the most famous examples of the genre, underwent revisions at the hand of its author and then of her father. Anne Lister s diary is another key example. Referred to by her nineteenth-century contemporaries as Gentleman Jack because of her way of dressing, Lister felt the need to conceal sexual liaisons and money issues (among other topics) in her diary by using code. Of course, it was not only a regard for a target reader but also for the normative cultural image of women in European societies that led to this kind of internal censorship.
If the accidents of history predetermine which manuscripts make it into the archives, then a further, more profound silence emerges based on race and class. For example, archival collections in the Caribbean have few examples by women of color; the memoirs, journals, and letters by women that have survived are by outsiders, British for the most part, or [women belonging] to the white Creole elite. 15 Some reclamation work has been attempted, such as Mary Helen Washington s 1988 collection of writing by black women between 1860 and 1960. Her starting point is the autobiographical work of Harriet Jacobs, and she makes the case that private writing for black women provides evidence of the rich cultural history of black women that is to be found in non-traditional sources. 16 Given the limitations of the archive with regard to race, historians have tried to evince nuanced readings from the documented experiences of white women settlers in colonial spaces that are more likely to be found in colonial archives. 17 Notable critical work in this vein has been done by Australian scholar Gillian Whitlock, who is keenly attuned to the ways in which women s life writing responds to the demands of writing occasions dictated and shaped by cultural and historical specificities. 18 Even though Whitlock s early work focused on autobiographical writing by Canadian emigrants Catharine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie, who did not keep or publish diaries in the traditional sense, her critical approach works well for diaries. Predating Whitlock s work, but using a similar approach, is Delys Bird s examination of Australian women s diaries of the nineteenth century. She demonstrates how diaries expose the contradictions and ambiguities inherent in the Australian bush myth, primarily its exclusion of the feminine in any of its aspects. 19 An essay on a farm wife s diary written in Prince Edward Island, Canada, 20 or Laurel Thatcher Ulrich s monograph on the diary of an American midwife show how the scant details of the most parsimonious diary can reveal historically rich details about the contributions of women in colonized spaces and the conditions of their lived experiences, 21 but what these works cannot do is correct the historical imbalance that already exists (and often persists) in the archives.
Class is clearly another determining factor. Working-class diaries in early periods are rare partly because literacy rates were lower than they would be when universal education became mandatory. There is, however, the much-discussed diary of Hannah Cullwick, a Victorian maidservant who secretly married Arthur Munby, her employer, in 1873. Historians were initially excited to find a document that seemed to offer firsthand accounts of the daily activities of a maidservant, a job that often included dirty work such as chimney sweeping and blacking (or shining) boots. It promised a window into the world of the servant class, which is often only visible in testimonies and court records or in the margins of the biographies of the powerful (if there at all). However, Cullwick makes it clear that she is writing the diary at the behest of Munby, in yet another example of a response to the expectations of an audience. 22 Because she was compelled by her employer to keep a diary and because he took voyeuristic pleasure from her descriptions of dirty work, critics disagree about the level of agency Cullwick brought to her acts of writing. Was she being manipulated by Munby? Would he have fired her if she did not keep a diary? Was she manipulating Munby through her writing? To what extent is she representative of working-class Victorian women? Can we regard her as both a constrained subject and an active agent in her own self-representation, as Helen Merrick asked? 23 Surveying the analyses on Cullwick s diaries, historians summarized the critical debate in this way: Hannah Cullwick s diaries, and their contested use by feminist historians, speak eloquently of the problems and paradoxes of women s private writing in history. 24 The diaries remain intractable, making it impossible to know exactly what she represents and for whom she speaks. Cullwick s class position makes her an attractive subject for feminist reclamation, but the material complications of her writing situation make it difficult to assess how transparent and illustrative that writing might be within the realm of factual social history.
Why Should We Read Them?
Undaunted by the limitations of the archives or altered documents, early feminist readers (like Mary Helen Washington, mentioned earlier) were undoubtedly correct to insist on the importance of diaries because they do offer firsthand insight into lives in a way that few other documents can. Additionally, feminist scholars saw political value in unearthing these records, in terms of the ways in which these documents might disrupt prevailing narratives about history or literature. Critic Rebecca Steinitz described the impetus thus: As the field of women s studies coalesced around the project of reclaiming women s experiences for scholarship, women s diaries, of which it turned out there were many, became essential source material for new work in women s history and literature. 25 Reading for reclamation and reading for disruption are both situated in worthy motives, but they can both lead to misreadings. Readers who turn to diaries in search of unadulterated firsthand experience confront what Steinitz called the theoretical desirability but practical difficulty of assessing possibly altered records pulled from biased archives. 26 The theoretical desirability and attraction to these documents is undeniable: reading about the minutiae of everyday life or universal emotions like love or longing can create strong bonds of empathy between the diarist and her reader. However, if the reader proceeds here only with good intentions and without ethical and critical consideration, a violent discourse emerges. Significant misinterpretation becomes a possibility, a misinterpretation that leads back to nineteenth-century assumptions about diaries. A poem by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer recounts the excitement of finding a manuscript diary, and it offers this evocative image: Opening these little books / Is like opening clean graves. 27 The relationship formed at this moment of discovery between reader and diary writer is an interpretive relationship that is colored by, freighted by, heightened political or personal expectations and a tactile experience of discovery. Opening a grave, murdering a diary writer, degrading the sacred space of the diary, violating the unviolated diary-the language suggests invasiveness, as if the (private, secret, hidden) diary manuscript is a synecdoche for the body.
While the relationship between reader and diary can be complicated by the motivations underlying interpretive acts, it is additionally complicated if the text is imagined as a metaphorical substitute for the body. A manuscript diary is a slippery object. Papers get loose and find their ways into the wrong hands. They are regarded as messy, in need of tidying up, editing, excising, censoring. If factual accuracy and transparency are made impossible by the ways in which diaries are created, saved, and circulated, and if there is an imaginary elision blurring together the text and the body, then feminist scholars are obligated to unpack the ethical relationship between diarist and reader; they are compelled to undertake more nuanced work in terms of parsing out motivations, audiences, readerships, and modes of production. Valerie Raoul, Veronica Strong-Boag, and other feminist scholars urge readers to question their biases in acts of archival preservation or textual editing in order to understand that the task is never simply curatorial. 28 What gets cleaned up? What do current readers want to tidy up? What is the ideal relationship between the curator or editor and the diarist? A feminist mode of analysis asks us to reflect on all of these material factors. The following sections tackle the predominant theoretical modes we have used to read diaries while attending to feminist concerns.
Theoretical Approaches: Psychoanalytic
The diary, in critical discourse, becomes a malleable document that can be edited and interpreted to serve many political purposes, both those that are well intentioned and those that are not. Well-intentioned feminist critics went astray in early scholarship by suggesting that the fictions of gender coherence could map synchronously onto genre. These are the arguments in early scholarship that sparked a negative reaction from Marlene Kadar. 29 Where early feminist interpretations went wrong was when they relied on stereotypes about women and their lives as a way to make generic arguments. For example, some early theories took direction from Paul Delany, who noted in his work on autobiography that women tend to identify with others and that this shaped the narrative voice in their acts of life writing. 30 Following in this vein, diary critic Suzanne Juhasz wrote in 1984, Women have always written in journals, not only because the journal was often the only kind of writing available to them . . . but because private writing is suited to private life. 31 In the same article, she suggests that women s lives, like the journal, show less a pattern of linear development towards some clear goal than one of repetitive, cumulative, cyclical structure. 32 A 1974 anthology of women s diary writing commented on the parallels between women s lives and diary writing as both emotional, fragmentary, interrupted, modest . . . private, restricted, trivial, formless, and concerned with self. 33 The approaches of these early critics dovetailed nicely with psychoanalytic approaches to autobiographical writing as described in the 1980s by Sidonie Smith or Shirley Neuman, among others. These critics identified the normative subject of autobiographical writing as male and the ideal story elicited by the generic demands of autobiography as male-oriented, leading Smith to state that a woman s subjectivity and therefore her text unfold narratively in patterns tied to her psychosexual development. 34 Not surprisingly, around the same time, Cynthia Huff lauded diary writing for knowing no boundaries and for demonstrating a subversiveness that feminist critics have celebrated. 35 Valerie Raoul admitted hesitation about labeling literary genres as masculine or feminine but came to the conclusion in a 1989 article that diary writing, as influenced by the French journal intime , was more demonstrably feminine . . . than the novel. 36 The feminist conclusions of early critics fortified rather than challenged stereotypical assumptions about the meaning of feminine .
An interpretive approach that too closely aligns a woman s text with her life or her psychosexual development is dangerous because it rests on the same assumptions about the synecdochic connection between (private) text and (writing) woman that led a nineteenth-century husband to laughingly suggest the murder of his diary-writing wife. It advances a popular notion of the diary as feminine, emotive, private, a notion that persists even to this day. 37 Moreover, the robust and ongoing debate in the field of women s literature has shown that it is impossible to characterize what it means to write as a woman. Feminist theorist Denise Riley convincingly argues that women can be very differently positioned so that the apparent continuity of the subject women isn t to be relied upon; women is both synchronically and diachronically erratic as a collectivity . . . for the individual being a woman is inconstant. 38 Understanding the diary as a place to air grievances, to subversively counteract literary standards, to discover an inner self, or to chart a path to personal growth is to ignore the multiple ways in which diaries have functioned at particular historical moments; understanding the diary as a particularly feminine form of writing is to ignore the many purposes diaries have served for their writers; and understanding women as having an identifiably coherent and collective approach to writing is to misunderstand the variations between individual women and their experiences of what it means to write as a woman or, indeed, to be a woman. It s just wrong, and it is underpinned by misunderstanding two key issues that emerge with respect to diaries: the first is that diaries reveal some kind of evidentiary truth because they are grounded in experience, and the second is that they are inherently truthful because they are private and somehow at a remove from public strictures. We turn first to this issue of experience and then to the debates around privacy.
Enthusiasm about reclaiming female voices from diaries leads critics onto treacherous ground when those personal narratives are mined for an explication of female experience. Historian Joan Scott illuminated the issues here when she wrote persuasively about this kind of appeal to experience as uncontestable evidence and as an originary point of explanation. Her concern was that a foundational framing around the primacy of experience would weaken the critical thrust of histories of difference. 39 What she means is that there may be gaps and silences in a text that remain unreadable by me as an interpreter if I assume that I can read the diarists experiences through the lens of my own experiences. There may in fact be explicit descriptions of experience that remain illegible if I operate uncritically from a position of empathy. A heuristic appeal to experience in the case of women reading women s dairies tends, in addition, to rely on the abstraction of a re-depersonalized we women. So Nancy Miller asked this simple but pointed question in an early work on women s autobiography: Do all women share a single personal narrative? 40 Of course not; therefore, there must be more nuanced readings of the ways in which women have sought to represent their lives in diaries. In summary, early feminist interpretations of diary writing were motivated by a desire to find the subversive and to challenge normative history; however, because they legitimized its claims on the authority of experience, 41 they also erased the voices and viewpoints of other marginalized groups, and they erased any substantial reading of difference.
There was and has been critical divergence from approaches that rely too heavily on essentialist narratives about women s lives and women s experience or uncritical empathic identification between reader and diarist. As early as 1991, Harriet Blodgett admonished readers of the New York Times Book Review that it was wrong to read the diary as frank confessional or consciousness raiser ; she suggested it was misunderstanding of recent vintage ripened by feminism. 42 In response, Valerie Raoul and Rebecca Hogan tried to tease out the political tasks that lay concealed in these early critical approaches to women s diaries, as did Marlene Barr, who wrote that diary criticism ran the risk of separatism if it continued to focus only on feminist interpretations. 43 In later responses, critics have tried to imagine the diary as a performative, iterative space where the writer can test out versions of identity. Shifting the emphasis from a presumed stability or coherence of identity to the constructedness of self as mobilized by the act of diary writing has been a very useful step forward. For example, Anne Marie Millim took this approach to British nineteenth-century diaries in a 2013 study to argue that the construction of the self does not simply happen in the diary but rather through the diary. 44 The diary must be read, she wrote, as a technology that affords a self-reflexive attempt to grasp and collect different facets of an ever-changing self. 45 Millim, like contemporaries Rebecca Steinitz or Catherine Delafield, no longer reads the diary in an attempt to find the historical woman but examines what the generic features of the diary make possible for those who are constructing identity as they write it; the emphasis is on process. The diary is performative in the nineteenth century because it is an element in gender signification within the regulatory frame of femininity, wrote Delafield in a concise statement that is representative of recent, carefully articulated feminist approaches to diary writing. 46
Historical-Materialist Approaches
Conceptually separating the manuscript diary from the diarist (and not assuming that one represents the other) has further productive effects in terms of scholarship: it enables scholars to consider the manuscript diary as a thing. Marxist and materialist feminist approaches that advanced in the 1990s, explained in the work of someone like Rosemary Hennessy, 47 reoriented discussions so that scholars could imagine the manuscript diary as a token in particular kinds of economies, and more recent work (by feminist studies scholar Sianne Ngai in 2005, for example) has dismantled assumptions about how aesthetic classifications are applied within capitalist culture, why diaries might fall into a category marked as lesser than literature, and how diaries function within overarching economic systems. For example, Ngai wrote that in the nineteenth century, the antebellum fiduciary system . . . provided a site for an instrumental yet highly unstable convergence between money, written texts, and feelings. 48 In this complex system, diaries operated as account books (economically, morally, and emotionally). This observation is given full investigation in an examination of account book diaries by Molly McCarthy entitled The Accidental Diarist . 49 Not only did this critical turn enliven debates about the cultural meaning of the manuscript diary, but it also liberated scholars to focus on the haptic qualities of a manuscript. Manuscript studies have been enriched by a number of such investigations, including Ellen Gruber Garvey s body of scholarship on nineteenth-century American scrapbooks over the last two decades, in which she read scrapbooks as a way for their makers to process and organize an overwhelming barrage of print material. She wrote in her 2013 monograph that scrapbooks were a nascent technology forging a new way of thinking about materials and data 50 within a print culture of mass production that was unprecedented. Similarly, Samantha Matthews framed the Victorian autograph album as a kind of technology that prompts acts of memorialization. The diary-as-object is a generic technology: it performs identifiable operations within specific economies, and it signifies as an object in all of the complicated ways that Bill Brown would have us understand of things. 51 The fascination of another person s diary is . . . due to its factuality or historicity, its being there-ness, wrote one author in the mid-1990s, and fictional diaries mimic or stimulate the factuality and historicity of real diaries. 52 The diary-as-object in archival or fictional settings is a rich artefact for cultural investigation.
What diaries are said to signify is the feminine, the emotive, and the private . The putative privacy of the diary is the last topic of this overview but a crucial one. Peter Gay expressed typical assumptions about the diary when he wrote that the diary was, for the bourgeois man, the silent and discreet solace of his inviolable inner life 53 even though historical evidence strongly suggests that the diary is not always private. To understand the diary as a private document has particular consequences for diaries because of the underlying assumptions about who is (or who should be) at a remove from public life. 54 Indeed, this assumption is often projected onto the diaries too, even though as a general category, the nineteenth-century diary is something like a family history, a souvenir, meant to be shared like a Bible, handed down through the generations to be viewed not as an individual story but as the history of a family s growth and course through time. 55 Scholarly discussion for the past twenty years, according to Jennifer Sinor, has debated whether a diary is a public or private document. 56 She cited work by Kathryn Carter, Molly McCarthy, Amy Wink, and Cynthia Huff to show that recent scholarship works from the assumption that diaries are both public and private, delighting in the ways such spaces are negotiated. 57 Rebecca Steinitz advanced the conversation when she stated that public and private may be the wrong binary on which to pin diary writing and that domestic or intimate writing may be a more accurate phrase: Diaries slip back and forth across the boundaries of textual circulation, putting those very boundaries (and the typologies they generate) into question. 58 Reviewing the historical evidence, Steinitz concluded that the diary flourished in a sphere most accurately termed intimate. 59 If there was ever confusion about the so-called privacy of the diary in general or the woman s diary in particular, that confusion has been thoroughly obliterated in the wake of Web 2.0. No one can regard the diaristic features of Facebook, for example, and convincingly argue that it is a private genre. The privacy that might once have been taken for granted (if wrongly) has lost its foothold in a world where Facebook functions as a social diary and privacy no longer functions as it once did given new and constantly changing technological affordances. One recent scholar mining social media in order to bring new insights the role of the personal diary in the digital age is Kylie Cardell, in her insightful 2014 work Dear World . 60
Conclusion
Feminine . Emotive . Private . These terms associated with diaries were the very categories that attracted feminist scholars in the first place, motivating them to scour the archives and reclaim these texts for scholarly study. Feminist investigations of diary writing shows that the silences-silences in the diaries as well as the silence of diaries that did not survive-can be more revealing than the explicit content. The investigations reveal gender-biased corruptions to a body of work that might have looked quite differently if other cultural conditions had existed, and they illuminate the intense degree of control exerted on privately written expressions. In the past three decades, each of the categories (feminine, emotive, private) has been dissected and turned inside out by successive waves of feminist insight and analyses. How can diaries be feminine if the term itself is so unstable? What damage do scholars unwittingly enact by insisting on a contiguous relationship between a diary and its writer? If the diaries are indeed emotive, do they operate within a discourse of affect or within libidinal economies, and how can we unpack those operations? They are most certainly not private and must be read as slipping back and forth across the boundaries of textual circulation. 61 At the very least, recent developments in digital diaries-in blogs, on Facebook, or elsewhere-make it abundantly clear that privacy is an artifact modulated by the technologies used to record the life.
Reading diaries through the lens of feminism has been proven to be a kind of Rorschach test eliciting strong opinions about privacy, the self in the community, the individual in society, the aspirational self, and the social and cultural self as well as requiring a consideration of where and how these concepts intersect with historically situated cultural attitudes about writing. Feminist literary theories offer new heuristics to help readers gain purchase on the silences and gaps in texts and encourage the next wave of critics to advance more nuanced arguments that do not rely on a notion of diary writing as an uncomplicated or transparent window into inner lives, nor a kind of genre that is ideally suited to a universal notion of women s psychosexual development. The diary is not a clean grave because that speaks of absence, sterility, death. A diary is a cacophonous space where the author wrestles with imagined audiences, cultural expectations about gender, and historically freighted assumptions about writing. Ultimately, diaries resist and escape any totalizing theoretical approach because they are written about actual human lives; they are not fiction. The messiness of human life complicates interpretive acts and awkward attempts at self-identification on the part of the critic; it interrupts the desire to speak with the dead or the absent. Despite all of that, and in concert with all of that, amidst the cacophony, feminist approaches to the diary offer increasingly precise language and a wide range of interpretive tools to imagine what is happening when a diarist picks up a pen and poises it over the empty page or when a reader opens the musty pages of a manuscript-and what those activities signify in the wider culture.
Notes
1 . Marlene Kadar, ed., Essays on Life Writing: From Genre to Critical Practice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 7.
2 . Jane Welsh Carlyle, Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle , ed. Thomas Carlyle and James Anthony Froude (New York: Scribner, 1913), 2:37.
3 . Ibid.
4 . Donald Keene, Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), 8.
5 . Betty S. Travitsky, Reconstructing the Still Small Voice: The Occasional Journal of Elizabeth Egerton, Women s Studies 19 (1991): 195.
6 . Ibid.
7 . Cynthia Huff, British Women s Diaries: A Descriptive Bibliography of Selected Nineteenth-Century Manuscripts (New York: AMS Press, 1985); Cheryl Cline, Women s Diaries, Journals and Letters: An Annotated Bibliography (New York: Garland Science, 1989); Margaret Conrad, Recording Angels: The Private Chronicles of Women from the Maritime Provinces of Canada, 1750-1950 (Ottawa: CRIAW Papers, 1982); Kathryn Carter, The Small Details of Life: Twenty Diaries by Women in Canada, 1830-1996 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002); Kathryn Carter, Diaries in English by Women in Canada, 1753-1995 (Ottawa: CRIAW Papers, 1997); Lillian Schlissel, Women s Diaries of the Westward Journey (New York: Schocken Books, 1982); Margo Culley, A Day at a Time: The Diary Literature of American Women from 1764 to the Present (New York: Feminist Press at CUNY, 1985); Laura Arskey et al. American Diaries: Diaries Written from 1492 to 1844 , vol. 1 (Detroit: Gale Group, 1983); Laura Arskey et al., American Diaries: Diaries Written from 1845 to 1980 , vol. 2 (Detroit: Gale Group, 1987).
8 . Elizabeth Webby, Colonial Voices: Letters, Diaries, Journalism, and Other Accounts on Nineteenth-Century Australia (St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland Press, 1989); Christina Sjoblad, From Family Notes to Diary: The Development of a Genre, Eighteenth-Century Studies 31, no. 4 (1998): 517-21.
9 . Veronica Strong-Boag, Raising Clio s Consciousness: Women s History and Archives in Canada, Archivaria 6 (1978): 73.
10 . Helen Buss, Constructing Female Subjects in the Archive: A Reading of Three Versions of One Woman s Subjectivity, in Working in Women s Archives: Researching Women s Private Literature and Archival Documents , ed. Marlene Kadar and Helen Buss (Waterloo, Ontario: WLU Press, 2001), 16.
11 . Jane H. Hunter, Inscribing the Self in the Heart of the Family: Diaries and Girlhood in Late-Victorian America, American Quarterly 44, no. 1 (1992): 60.
12 . Kerry A. Graves, ed., The Girlhood Diary of Louisa May Alcott, 1843-1946: Writings of a Young Author (Mankato, MN: Blue Earth Books, 2001), 7.
13 . D. D. Devlin, The Novels and Journals of Fanny Burney (London: Macmillan, 1987), 54.
14 . Cynthia Huff, Private Domains: Queen Victoria and Women s Diaries, A/B: Auto/Biography Studies 4, no. 1 (1988): 47.
15 . Bridget Brereton, Gendered Testimonies: Autobiographies, Diaries and Letters by Women as Sources for Caribbean History, Feminist Review 59, no. 1 (1998), 145.
16 . Mary Helen Washington, Invented Lives: Narratives of Black Women, 1860-1960 (New York: Anchor Books, 1987), xxvi.
17 . For more discussion on this topic with regard to the silence around indigenous women s diaries, see Kathryn Carter, The Circulating Self: Frances Simpson s 1830 Journal of a Voyage from Montreal . . . Australian Canadian Studies 22, no. 1 (2004): 9-34.
18 . Gillian Whitlock, The Intimate Empire: Reading Women s Autobiography (London: Cassell, 2000).
19 . Delys Bird, Born for the Bush : An Australian Woman s Frontier, Australian and New Zealand Studies in Canada 2 (1989): 13.
20 . Kathryn Carter, An Economy of Words: Emma Chadwick Stretch s Account Book Diary, 1859-1860, Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region 29, no. 1 (1999): 43-56.
21 . Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (New York: Knopf, 1990).
22 . Liz Stanley, From Self-Made Women to Women s Made Selves ? Audit Selves, Simulations, and Surveillance in the Rise of the Public Woman, in Feminism and Autobiography: Texts, Theories, Methods , ed. Tess Coslett, Celia Lury, and Penny Summerfield (London: Routledge, 2000), 46.
23 . Helen Merrick, A Story No-One Would Believe : The Diaries of Hannah Cullwick, Limina 2 (1996): 30.
24 . Mary Spongberg, Ann Curthoys, and Barbara Cains, eds., Companion to Women s Historical Writing (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 436.
25 . Rebecca Steinitz, Time, Space, and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century British Diary (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 100.
26 . Ibid., 2.
27 . Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, The Old Diaries, in Five Poems, Boundary 25, no. 3 (1977): 882-84.
28 . Valerie Raoul, Women s Diaries as Life Savings: Who Decides Whose Life Is Saved? Biography 24, no. 1 (2001): 140-51; Strong-Boag, Raising Clio s Consciousness, 73.
29 . Kadar, Essays on Life Writing .
30 . Paul Delany, British Autobiography in the Seventeenth Century (London: Routledge and Kagan Paul, 1969).
31 . Suzanne Juhasz, The Journal as Source and Model for Feminist Art: The Example of Kathleen Fraser, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 8, no. 1 (1984): 16.
32 . Ibid.
33 . Mary Jane Moffat and Charlotte Painter, introduction to Revelations: Diaries of Women , ed. Mary Jane Moffat and Charlotte Painter (New York: Random House, 1974), 5.
34 . Sidonie Smith, A Poetics of Women s Autobiography: Marginality and the Fictions of Self-Representation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 13.
35 . Cynthia Huff, That Profoundly Female and Feminist Genre: The Diary as Feminist Practice, Women s Studies Quarterly 17, nos. 3-4 (1989): 7.
36 . Valerie Raoul, Women and Diaries: Gender and Genre, Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 22, no. 3 (1989): 57.
37 . Steinitz, Time, Space, and Gender , 2.
38 . Denise Riley, Am I That Name? Feminism and the Category of Women in History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), 2.
39 . Joan W. Scott, Experience, in Feminists Historicize the Political , ed. Judith Butler and Joan W. Scott (New York: Routledge, 1992), 24.
40 . Nancy K. Miller, Getting Personal: Feminist Occasions and Other Autobiographical Acts (New York: Routledge, 1991), 16.
41 . Scott, Experience, 24.
42 . Harriet Blodgett, Dear Diary: How Do I Need You? Let Me Count the Ways, New York Times Book Review , September 22, 1991, 24.
43 . Raoul, Women s Diaries as Life Savings ; Rebecca Hogan, Engendered Autobiographies: The Diary as Feminine Form, in Autobiography and Questions of Gender , ed. Shirley Neuman (London: Cass, 1992), 95-107; Marleen Barr, Deborah Norris Logan, Feminist Criticism, and Identity Theory: Interpreting a Woman s Diary without the Danger of Separatism, Biography 8, no. 1 (1985): 23.
44 . Anne-Marie Millim, The Victorian Diary: Authorship and Emotional Labour (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2013), 25.
45 . Ibid., 16.
46 . Catherine Delafield, Women s Diaries as Narrative in the Nineteenth-Century Novel (London: Routledge, 2009), 3.
47 . Rosemary Hennessy, Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse (London: Routledge, 1992).
48 . Sianne Ngai, Ugly Feelings (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 58.
49 . Molly McCarthy, The Accidental Diarist: A History of the Daily Planner in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).
50 . Ellen Gruber Garvey , Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 249.
51 . Bill Brown, Thing Theory, Critical Inquiry 28, no. 1 (2001): 1-22.
52 . Susan Rubin Suleiman, Diary as Narrative: Theory and Practice, in The Search for a New Alphabet: Literary Studies in a Changing World , ed. Harald Hendrix et al. (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1996), 235.
53 . Peter Gay, The Bourgeois Experience, Victoria to Freud , vol. 1, Education of the Senses (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 403.
54 . For a full discussion of the gendered aspects of privacy as they intersected with diary writing, see Kathryn Carter, The Cultural Work of Diaries in Mid-Century Victorian Britain, Victorian Review 23, no. 2 (1997): 251-67.
55 . Schlissel, Women s Diaries of the Westward Journey , 11.
56 . Jennifer Sinor, The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing: Annie Ray s Diary (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2002), 36.
57 . Carter, Cultural Work of Diaries in Mid-Century Victorian Britain ; McCarthy, Accidental Diarist ; Amy Wink, She Left Nothing in Particular: The Autobiographical Legacy of Nineteenth-Century Women s Diaries (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2001); Cynthia Huff, Private Domains, 46-52; Sinor, Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing , 36.
58 . Steinitz, Time, Space, and Gender , 82-83.
59 . Ibid. , 83.
60 . Kylie Cardell, Dear World: Contemporary Uses of the Diary (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2014).
61 . Steinitz, Time, Space, and Gender , 82-83.
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---. Dear Diary: How Do I Need You? Let Me Count the Ways. New York Times Book Review , September 22, 1991.
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---. The Cultural Work of Diaries in Mid-Century Victorian Britain. Victorian Review 23, no. 2 (1997): 251-67.
---. Diaries in English by Women in Canada, 1753-1995 . Ottawa: Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women Papers, 1997.
---. An Economy of Words: Emma Chadwick Stretch s Account Book Diary, 1859-1860. Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region 29, no. 1 (1999): 43-56.
---. The Small Details of Life: Twenty Diaries by Women in Canada, 1830-1996 . Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.
Cline, Cheryl. Women s Diaries, Journals and Letters: An Annotated Bibliography . New York: Garland Science, 1989.
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Culley, Margo. A Day at a Time: The Diary Literature of American Women from 1764 to the Present . New York: Feminist Press at CUNY, 1985.
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Gay, Peter. The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud . Vol. 1, Education of the Senses . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.
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Hennessy, Rosemary. Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse . London: Routledge, 1992.
Hogan, Rebecca. Engendered Autobiographies: The Diary as Feminine Form. In Autobiography and Questions of Gender , edited by Shirley Neuman, 95-107. London: Cass, 1992.
Huff, Cynthia. British Women s Diaries: A Descriptive Bibliography of Selected Nineteenth-Century Manuscripts . New York: AMS Press, 1985.
---. Private Domains: Queen Victoria and Women s Diaries. A/B: Auto/Biography Studies 4, no. 1 (1988): 46-52.
---. That Profoundly Female and Feminist Genre: The Diary as Feminist Practice. Women s Studies Quarterly 17, nos. 3-4 (1989): 6-14.
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Moffat, Mary Jane, and Charlotte Painter, eds. Revelations: Diaries of Women . New York: Random House, 1974.
Ngai, Sianne. Ugly Feelings . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.
Riley, Denise. Am I That Name? Feminism and the Category of Women in History . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988.
Raoul, Valerie. Women and Diaries: Gender and Genre. Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 22, no. 3 (1989): 57-66.
---. Women s Diaries as Life Savings: Who Decides Whose Life Is Saved? Biography 24, no. 1 (2001): 140-51.
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Sinor, Jennifer. The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing: Annie Ray s Diary . Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2002.
Sjlobad, Christina. From Family Notes to Diary: The Development of a Genre. Eighteenth-Century Studies 31, no. 4 (1998): 517-21.
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Suleiman, Susan Rubin. Diary as Narrative: Theory and Practice. In The Search for a New Alphabet: Literary Studies in a Changing World , edited by Harald Hendrix, Joost J. Kloek, Sophie Levie, and Willie van Peer, 229-38. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1996.
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KATHRYN CARTER is Associate Vice President of Teaching and Learning at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. She is editor of The Small Details of Life: Twenty Diaries by Women in Canada: 1830-1996 .
3
The Diary among Other Forms of Life Writing
Julie Rak
IN HER GRAPHIC MEMOIR FUN Home: A Family Tragicomic , Alison Bechdel reproduces a variety of personal documents as a way to provide support for her story of family secrets: her father s closeted identity as a gay or bisexual man and Bechdel s growing into her identity as a butch lesbian. One of the most important ways that Bechdel folds together the beginning of her own work as a cartoonist, her concern with the importance of documentation, and the composition of Fun Home itself is in a section of the book about her own compulsive propensity to autobiography, 1 as she struggles (and fails) to keep her first diary because she has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). When Bechdel was ten, her father-in a rare demonstration of care-gave her a wall calendar from one of his funeral home suppliers and showed her how to just write what s happening. 2 Bechdel began to do this, switching to an insurance agency book so that she could write more each day.
But soon, Bechdel s OCD manifested itself in her compulsion to tell the exact truth of what happened, accompanied by her fear of somehow misrepresenting events. She began to distrust language s power of reference and inserted I think into her entries. Eventually, she invented a symbol as shorthand for I think, an inverted V . She drew the symbol at first beside, then over her words, and then over whole entries, casting into doubt her own ability to relate an event and leaving out the impact of major events as she did so. My feeble language skills could not bear the weight of such experiences, notes one panel, depicting a scene where she and her brothers discover a giant snake that disappears by the time her babysitter Bill goes to kill it. Bechdel reproduces her diary entry for that day beside the scene of discovery. The entry mentions almost nothing about the profound impact of the event, saying only that we saw a snake. We had lunch. The we is obliterated by the upside-down V . 3 Did the children really see the snake? Did Bechdel invent seeing it? Did she, as she thought at the time, feel like she failed an initiation rite for masculinity because she could not kill the snake herself? And if she did think this, why doesn t this thought appear in her diary?
Bechdel s diary in Fun Home is meant to track these uncertainties. But it also is meant to show how Bechdel s diary is what turned her OCD into a positive art practice and herself into a cartoonist who can represent the truth of an event in the midst of uncertainty, for Bechdel literally re-created every page of her childhood diary in Fun Home and even shot photographs of herself holding her original diary exactly as she would have done when she was ten years old. This process creates what Hillary Chute called a shadow archive that allowed Bechdel to document events and reflect on their meaning and to use Bechdel s technique of diary composition as the method for constructing Fun Home itself. 4 Bechdel s act of making the V and then retracing that mark turns a moment of unintelligibility, uncertainty, and failure in her diary into a moment of realization. The V was cartooned: it represented what Bechdel has called a triangulation between unreliable language and appearances that can deceive. 5 The V made Bechdel into a cartoonist who could draw the truth as a caricature and link the visual and the verbal, someone who could create from the space of OCD rather than letting it silence her. 6 That moment of diary writing, Bechdel has said, is one of the key moments on which Fun Home itself is based: the book is an expansion of my childhood diary, in that it s this perseveration on detail. Chute called this Fun Home s concern with representing the nature of the truth in its unusual attention to the archive. 7
The diary in Fun Home has received extensive treatment from a variety of perspectives, including a queer archival reading of diary making, 8 Chute s reading of diary production and trauma, and Cynthia Barounis s recuperative reading of the diary through disability studies and research about OCD. 9 Bechdel herself has reflected on how she understands diary making as a cartooning process in Fun Home and its sequel, Are You My Mother? 10 For the purposes of this chapter, I am interested in how Bechdel s diary, appearing as it does within a larger work of life writing that Bechdel claims grew directly from it, demonstrates the proximity of diary writing to other forms of life writing, such as autobiography, and at the same time demonstrates just how different the diary is from other ways to represent a life. The appearance of the diary form in Fun Home offers us a way to consider how diaries do and do not act like other types of life writing and what role diary analysis has played in life writing studies in the last three decades. To think about diary writing as life writing is to think about what affinities diaries have with other forms of self-writing but also to think about what was, as Philippe Lejeune said, developed blindly by individuals, 11 a secret genre that was not learned formally, a form of writing often not meant to be read by anyone else but the writer. It makes the most sense to think about the diary form as connected to other self-making practices, some of which are also considered to be life writing. Diaries have affinities with these other ways to write about daily living. And, as we shall see, they have important differences that affect how we read and think about them.
Affinities: The Development of a Self-Practice
In the 1980s, diary practice was connected to the study of autobiography through its contribution to the development of contemporary identity. In a landmark collection by James Olney called Studies in Autobiography , Felicity Nussbaum made a strong argument for theorizing the diary form and its proliferation in Britain in the eighteenth century as part of a shift from oral communication to print literacy, a transition to a new sense of time measured by devices, and a development of selfhood as a practice connected to liberal ideals of privacy, empiricism, and idealism. 12 Like other life writing forms in the eighteenth century, including the journal, the letter, and even the epistolary novel, the diary contributed to the development in its writers of a secret self, a private sphere where those with secrets could keep them. Building on ideas about privacy developed in the late seventeenth century, Nussbaum writes, the diary was a technology of self-confession when the increased importance of intimacy in family and other settings also created a need to articulate zones of privacy and autonomy. The diary developed at the same time as the dumbwaiter, the corridor and the ha-ha, a garden feature that marked off private property without appearing to disrupt the view. Diaries sold with locks on them have similar ways of materializing the need for privacy. 13 Contemporary forms of autobiography and biography also developed at the same time and for similar reasons, connected as they were to delineating the boundary between private and public spheres and the operation of confession as a way to cross that boundary. Diaries can be understood as a parallel or even generative self-practice that created the kind of self capable of writing a life story or of a life that could be written about by others. The diary could have created the space of written secular confession, a consolidation and maintenance of the self, through reflexive practices, that depends on the revealing of a secret that helped form liberal ideas about identity and discourse during this period. If someone can confess, there must be a self that confesses, whether that confession is in response to an institutional demand or a requirement of being public. 14
In a similar investigation, Philippe Lejeune traced the development of the diary in France in his essay Counting and Managing, translated for the collection On Diary . 15 The account book, the train timetable, the clock, and the calendar created ideas about time and personal management that developed in eighteenth-century Europe at the same time that the diary form came into use. In fact, just as Alison Bechdel used the calendar that her father gave her, some of these account books were actually used as diaries, connecting the management of time directly to the recording and dating of entries. 16 This is probably why in English even today we keep a diary as an account of our lives and thoughts, much as we keep financial accounts. Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) famously employed a similar practice of self-accounting and management in his chart of virtues, published for public edification in his autobiography, 17 connecting the self-practice of diaries with the more public writing of a published work. In another essay, O My Paper!, 18 Lejeune theorized that the direct address to a diary, or to the materiality of writing within an entry, marks an important point in the development of Western subjectivity because it is an instance when diary writers stop writing diaries as if they were letters to another person and began to directly address the diary itself, what Lejeune called a new posture of self-address . 19
Alison Bechdel s observation that her childhood diary practice marked the beginning of her becoming a cartoonist is another way to connect self-development to diary making. In the process, as many other diarists have discovered, she wrote and drew herself into being an artist who could work with words and images at the same time. Because her diary had no audience at first, Bechdel had to act as producer and consumer of it, until she could no longer write on her own. 20 Bechdel has described her diary making and rereading practice as a way of making sense of her past but also as a replacement for a core self she did not sense she had as she was growing up. As she said, the diary and other forms of life writing act as a replacement self : I do often still go back and reread it with great curiosity about what I was thinking or doing at an earlier moment in my life, still looking for some kind of answer to . . . I don t know, who am I? I mean, that s ridiculous, I am lacking some kind of structure of the self that I m hoping to replace with all this self-narration that I m doing. 21
Life writing scholars who are interested in diaries have often noted that diary work-which includes writing, rereading entries, and even, in the case of Lejeune s own practice, copying past entries 22 -is associated with people who either were not allowed to participate fully in the public sphere or who were not taken seriously when they did occupy it. As a lesbian who came out before it was publicly safe to do so in the United States and as a child writer, Bechdel is someone who would not have been able to be public about her identity or who would not have been taken seriously because of her age and her sexuality. The diary form allowed her to explore events without external censure and, except for a few conventions, without rules other than those the writer imposed on herself. This is why, as Lejeune wrote, so many young female writers have kept diaries-because of all cultural producers, they are taken the least seriously. In France, diaries have even been characterized as dangerous for young people: a waste of time for them and a prelude to narcissism! 23
In English studies, the advent of feminist literary criticism also created a rationale for studying the diary form as an expression of what Suzanne L. Bunkers called the diversity of women s lives and experiences, 24 a way of bringing into view diaries as more than historical documents. The feminist turn in literary criticism, history, and autobiography studies was central to diary scholarship. Feminist diary critics from the 1980s onward understood diaries as autobiographical, with their own concerns and rhetorical strategies, made by women who either could not have published their work in the public sphere or whose concerns about the domestic worlds they wrote about were not valued there. With many other critics, Bunkers has argued that diaries should expand our understanding of autobiography, opening it to consideration as life writing, as Marlene Kadar had argued should happen in feminist studies of letters, diaries, and other ephemera. 25 This view of diaries by women not only chronicles their lives but also brings into focus the male-dominated character of much published autobiography that does not include their experiences. 26 Rooted in these concerns, a robust critical industry about women s diaries in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia sought to analyze the rhetoric and composition of diaries by women as life writing, often connecting the poetics of diary writing, and its emphasis on contingency, with women s lives, whether they were farm women or writers who were diarists, such as Virginia Woolf, Ana s Nin, or Maria Bashkirtseff. 27 Important feminist collections such as Shari Benstock s The Private Self contain essays about diaries that understood them as life writing. 28 Suzanne L. Bunkers and Cynthia A. Huff s introduction to their collection Inscribing the Daily: Essays on Women s Diaries has a detailed argument for taking women s diaries seriously as life writing, connecting diaries to important feminist criticism of autobiography in its treatment of canonicity, gender, poetics, and the advent personal criticism. 29
In addition to the critical introductions to important published diaries by established female authors like Woolf, Sylvia Plath, or Nin that read their diary practices through a feminist lens, collections of excerpts from women s diaries implicitly contain the argument that diary writing connects its readers to the everyday lives of the women who wrote them. The act of reading and writing about these diaries is in itself an act of feminist recuperation as these texts are made available. 30 But this last mention of the importance of feminist recovery work and publication of women s diaries within a feminist life writing context ultimately leads us to think about how unlike the diary is from published forms of life writing. As Anna Jackson argued, diary poetics does not resemble other types of life writing rhetoric and cannot be read in gender essentialist terms as simply reflective of women s lives, an argument also made by Nussbaum in her discussion of women s diaries and seventeenth-century commonplace books in Benstock s collection The Private Self . 31 The next section considers how diaries do not have an affinity with published autobiographical writing such as memoirs or biographies. The circumstances of their composition and circulation, of necessity, make them different, and different critical tools are required to read them effectively and sensitively.
Differences: Materiality and the Trace
Let us return for a moment to Alison Bechdel s Fun Home to show how diaries are ephemeral, like letters or zines, and not as much like published forms of life writing. 32 The young Bechdel begins a diary when she is ten years old because she is, in the words of Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, coaxed into taking up the genre when her father gives her that funeral supplies calendar and shows her how to write an entry, as if he were giving me [Bechdel] a jumpstart. 33 Smith and Watson discuss autobiographical coaxing or coercion occurring when others ask for a life story to be told or for a life to be reproduced in a certain way. 34 But unlike the more rhetorical gestures Smith and Watson discuss as part of coaxing, such as family requests for a life story or invitations by publishers, diary writing is connected to the material conditions of its making. The materiality of the calendar actually determines what can be written there. It contains what in genre theory are called exigencies, the discourses that create the rules for a genre that its user is expected to follow. 35 Bechdel is given a calendar, a physical object, and it determines how she will write.
The materiality (and torture) of diary keeping for Bechdel extends to her handwriting. In Fun Home , we read Bechdel s handwriting as it grows increasingly erratic until we see the neat hand of her mother, taking dictation from Bechdel until my penmanship improved. 36 But the problem of partiality remains, even as her mother becomes a cowriter: Bechdel tells her mother to write Dad and I watched the sunset. It was beautiful, 37 but the next panel describes the infinite gradations of color in a fine sunset and shows Bechdel and her father in silhouette, watching a sunset that leaves her father wordless and that Bechdel cannot represent in the blue-wash palette she has chosen. 38 Bechdel s diary has become orderly, but it is no longer a diary, because it has become a performance for her mother and part of her OCD recovery regimen. It still cannot capture what it actually was like for her to watch a sunset with her father. Cartooning itself cannot capture the experience either, a reference to Bechdel s ongoing struggle to represent events, even when the medium she uses cannot possibly represent things as they happened. Bechdel tries to respond to coaxing, but the material form of diary keeping contributes to her failure to live up to the goal of representation she set for herself. But conversely, the material of the diary is what eventually makes her an artist.
Materiality within diary writing is both a possibility and a problem for the young Alison Bechdel, and no wonder, for diary discourse, its difficulties and its pleasures, is intimately connected to the materiality of writing. In English, diary can mean the book one writes in or the act of writing-sometimes called keeping -a diary; in French, the word for diary is journal intime , a term that closely resembles the diary s other name in English, journal , which also describes a type of blank book. They can be handwritten, as Bechdel s entries are, but even if they are not, the experience of keeping a diary is connected to how it feels to the writer to write and read: as Philippe Lejeune observed through his own experience in the essay The Diary on the Computer, keeping an online diary changed how he wrote because he could erase text or follow the lead of a blinking cursor, experiences he did not have when he wrote or typed on loose sheets of paper. What remains of me, if I don t write by hand? he asked at one point. 39 The act of writing a diary itself has the potential to leave a trace of the body in handwriting, or in the inclusion of sketches in a travel diary, 40 but perhaps the writer leaves no trace of the body at all, typing one s entries or even dictating them. As critics who connect the creation of blogs to online and paper diary writing have noted, the shift of diaries to online environments resulted in the evaporation of privacy that had been part of paper diary writing. However, the somatic sensations associated with paper writing survived in the design of digital environments, as did the confessional discourse and other rhetorical features contained within many of the earliest examples of personal diaries online. 41
What is more, the diary itself is a trace of a process rather than the full representation of a life, a trace that approximates a gap between the thoughts and experiences of the writer. The diary entry cannot, as Alison Bechdel discovered, get at the kernel of an experience or even fully describe it. And yet diaries are bound up with confessional discourse and the need to describe. The author of a diary may not even want to fully describe an event, or he or she may record an emotion for therapeutic reasons that seem true enough when put on paper but then disappear. But the trace remains. In the case of diary writing, the trace is partial in its rhetoric because there are no rules the writer must follow, unless we accept Lejeune s suggestion that there is an obligation not to invent that is like the law of gravity: inescapable. 42 The diary has no audience to impress or flatter, because those diarists not writing for publication only write, as Lejeune noted, for a future self whom you do not know. 43 Although there are diaries written and edited with publication in view, as much of Anne Frank s diary was, most diaries are by authors who will not publish them or who did not give permission for them to be published. 44 They do not know who will read what they have written, if they themselves do not. The lack of audience for most diaries creates what Anna Jackson called the open-endedness of diary writing as a formal characteristic in itself. 45 Jackson enumerated some of the rhetorical devices in diaries that create this open-endedness, speaking about parataxis, the use of incomplete sentences, and notations such as the ampersand. She even discussed the em dash as an important part of diary rhetoric not found in other life writing, because a writer does not have to complete her thoughts if she does not wish to; she is aware of the context in which she writes and does not need to provide it for others. 46 Bunkers discussed gaps and silences in diaries as something that critics must learn to interpret, since most diarists did not intend for their diaries to be read by others. Diaries are, she argued, records of a process, not a finished product, and must be read that way. 47
Lejeune characterized the diary an art of the fragment because of its emphasis on process. 48 This quality is not shared by most published autobiographies. In fact, as Lejeune pointed out in the provocative essay The Diary as Antifiction, diaries kept for oneself perhaps do not have fictional qualities. Lejeune observed, providing an interesting illumination of the young Alison Bechdel s struggle to be as truthful as possible in her diary, that even (and especially) when no one else is reading it, diaries may be partial in their accounts, but the traces they leave have a kind of veracity of their own, if only because no one is there to judge the author for what he or she decides to write. It is why diaries, when they are created within fictions or as part of a hybrid fictional form, do not seem to Lejeune to be convincing as diaries , for the diary grows weak and faints or breaks out in a rash when it comes into contact with fiction. Autobiographies, biographies, and history books are contaminated: they have fiction in their blood. 49 Lejeune deliberately overstated his case here to make a point: Autobiographies contain fictional elements in their rhetoric-such as beginning with one s birth-because they are published and edited for others to read, just as novels are. Diaries, meanwhile, can just begin where the diarist wants them to, pursue as winding a path as the writer wishes and, unlike autobiographies or fiction, do not end. They stop, sometimes without warning, suspended or exhausted or finished as the lives of their writers continue elsewhere, unless they themselves have died. But that death is not recorded, except in extraordinary instances when the author dies in the very moment of writing. Even that, according to Lejeune, can only be received as a trace, a pool of ink and an almost illegible word, followed by a scrawl, and even then, we cannot know if this was the author s last mark. 50
Conclusion: The Matter of Time
Virginia Woolf famously called her diary a capacious hold-all and did try to record as much of her daily life as she could, chastising herself in the diary if she missed a day or did not describe something in enough detail. 51 Woolf saw her diary as a way to practice writing and to experiment as well as to record the details of her life, almost as if she were afraid that without the memory recording of a diary, something precious would be lost. Alison Bechdel, too, longed to accurately and fully represent everything happening to her when she was a child, but the form of the diary itself-momentary, partial, unedited, unseen-works against this desire of hers. What the trace of a process came to mean for her, when she was an adult, was a way for her to reread her own diaries and even recopy them, much as Lejeune rewrote his, to discover what she has called the mystery of her own identity and the meaning of her experiences. Like Lejeune, Bechdel seeks to mine the trace of her diary, to recollect her diary within the genre of memoir without eradicating its alien nature. She has taken up what Lejeune called a wager on the future, a trace of the past left for that future reader so that we are helping each other across time. 52 Diaries are not written in the past tense, but in what Margo Culley called the continuous present of diary time as they unspool, reflect on events, and perhaps gesture toward the future until they suddenly stop. 53
As a practice more than a product (unless they are published), diaries are many things: private documents, historical accounts of someone s life, traces of a life and of a writing practice, records of self-making, part of the history of confessional discourse, and a form of life writing that is closer to the letter in practice than to published forms. Uniquely, they can be created without anyone but the diarist knowing they exist, forming part of a secret history of genre, since diary writing can be (and is) done by anyone, at any age, without censure and without an audience. They can be literary but do not need to be. The authors can tell lies in them if they wish, but if Lejeune is right, this is rarely the case. They are bound to the conditions of their material production, whether they are typed, handwritten, or drawn; whether they are in notebooks, on a screen, or on a single sheet of paper. After more than three hundred years, they form part of the history of the self that is still ongoing, every time a diarist begins a diary. Above all, diaries are records of the passing of time in their dated entries, and they can spur awareness of attempts to capture time, for the future. As Virginia Woolf said on January 20, 1919, when, at age thirty-seven she imagined herself as an elderly fifty-year-old using the diary to help her write her memoirs, the lady of 50 will be able to say how near to the truth I come; but I have written enough for tonight (only 15 minutes, I see). 54 Woolf made her wager with the future, using her diary as a way to document her life for her memoir one day, helping her future self across time, even as she teased herself-as she often did-for not writing enough. She could not know that her biographers, and many others, would read the diary she imagined that her older self would use to create a memoir. And she could not know how many fifty-year-old readers would smile at her observation that ladies are elderly at that age, including this one, almost a century after Woolf wrote this to herself in her diary.
Notes
1 . Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), 140.
2 . Ibid.
3 . Ibid., 143.
4 . Hillary Chute, Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), 188.
5 . Ibid., 189.
6 . Cynthia Barounis, Alison Bechdel and Crip-Feminist Autobiography, Journal of Modern Literature 39, no. 4 (2016): 146-47.
7 . See Chute, Graphic Women , 188-203, for a complete discussion of Bechdel s method of composition and diary making.
8 . Valerie Rohy, In the Queer Archive: Fun Home , GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 16, no. 3 (2010): 341-61.
9 . Chute, Graphic Women ; Barounis, Alison Bechdel.
10 . Lynn Emmert, The Alison Bechdel Interview, Comics Journal 282 (2007), http://www.tcj.com/the-alison-bechdel-interview/ ; Marina Popova, Alison Bechdel on Writing, Therapy, Self-Doubt, and How the Messiness of Life Feeds the Creative Conscience, Brain Pickings , May 9, 2016, https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/05/09/alison-bechdel-are-you-my-mother-design-matters-interview/ .
11 . Philippe Lejeune, On Diary , ed. Jeremy Popkin and Julie Rak, trans. Katherine Durnin (Honolulu: University of Hawai i Press, 2009), 93.
12 . Felicity A. Nussbaum, Towards Conceptualizing Diary, in Studies in Autobiography , ed. James Olney (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 131.
13 . Ibid., 135.
14 . Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality , vol. 1, trans. Robert Hurley (1978; repr., New York: Vintage Books, 1990), 59.
15 . Lejeune, On Diary , 51-60.
16 . Ibid., 59.
17 . Benjamin Franklin, M moires de la vie priv e de Benjamin Franklin crits par lui-m me, et adress s a son fils; suivis d un pr cis historique de sa vie politique, et de plusieurs pi ces, relatives ce p re de la libert , trans. Jacques Gibelin (Paris: F. Buisson Libraire, 1791); Benjamin Franklin, Works of the Late Doctor Benjamin Franklin: Consisting of His Life Written by Himself: Together with Essays, Humorous, Moral and Literary, Chiefly in the Manner of the Spectator: In Two Volumes , ed. Benjamin Vaughan and Richard Price (London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1793); Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin s Autobiography: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Criticism , ed. J. A. Leo Lemay and P. M. Zall (New York: W. W. Norton, 1986).
18 . Lejeune, On Diary , 93-101.
19 . Ibid., 94.
20 . Judith Thurman, Drawn from Life: The World of Alison Bechdel, New Yorker , April 23, 2012, 48-54, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/04/23/drawn-from-life .
21 . Kaulie Lewis, Always This Mystery: The Millions Interviews Alison Bechdel, The Millions , March 24, 2015, http://www.themillions.com/2015/03/always-this-mystery-the-millions-interviews-alison-bechdel.html .
22 . Lejeune, On Diary , 326.
23 . Ibid., 158-59.
24 . Suzanne L. Bunkers, Midwestern Diaries and Journals: What Women Were (Not) Saying in the Late 1800s, in Olney, Studies in Autobiography , 190.
25 . Marlene Kadar, Introduction: What Is Life Writing?, in Reading Life Writing , ed. Marlene Kadar (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), ix-xv.
26 . Bunkers, Midwestern Diaries and Journals, 191.
27 . Critical analyses that have argued that women s diaries should redefine how autobiography should be understood include Helen Buss, Mapping Our Selves: Canadian Women s Autobiography in English (Montreal: McGill-Queen s University Press, 1993); Estelle Jelinek, The Tradition of Women s Autobiography: From Antiquity to the Present (Boston: Twayne, 1986); Judy Nolte Lesinke, Expanding the Boundaries of Criticism: The Diary as Female Autobiography, Women s Studies 14 (1987): 39-53; Felicity A. Nussbaum, Eighteenth-Century Women s Autobiographical Commonplaces, in The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women s Autobiographical Writings , ed. Shari Benstock (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), 147-72; Nussbaum, Towards Conceptualizing Diary ; Personal Narratives Group, Interpreting Women s Lives: Feminist Theory and Personal Narratives (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989). Significant feminist criticisms of women s diaries include collections such as Suzanne L. Bunkers and Cynthia A. Huff, eds., Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women s Diaries (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996); Margo Culley, ed., A Day at a Time: The Diary Literature of American Women from 1764 to the Present (New York: Feminist Press at CUNY, 1985); Estelle Jelinek, ed., Women s Autobiography: Essays in Criticism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980). Feminist arguments for connecting diaries by women to a discourse of dailiness and contingency include Penelope Franklin, ed., Private Pages: Diaries of American Women, 1830s-1970s (New York: Ballantine Books, 1986); Cynthia Huff, British Women s Diaries: A Descriptive Bibliography of Selected Nineteenth-Century Manuscripts (New York: AMS Press, 1985); Cynthia Huff, Private Domains: Queen Victoria and Women s Diaries, A/B: Auto/Biography Studies 4, no. 1 (1988): 46-52; Cynthia Huff, That Profoundly Female, and Feminist Genre : The Diary as Feminist Practice, Women s Studies Quarterly 17, nos. 3-4 (1989): 6-14; Sarah Gristwood, Recording Angels: The Secret World of Women s Diaries (London: Harrap, 1988); Judy Simons, Diaries and Journals of Literary Women from Fanny Burney to Virginia Woolf (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1990); Rebecca Hogan, Engendered Autobiographies: The Diary as a Feminine Form, in Autobiography and Questions of Gender , ed. Shirley Neuman (London: Frank Cass, 1991), 95-107; Katie Holmes, Spaces in Her Day: Australian Women s Diaries in the 1920s and 1930s (St. Leonards, Australia: Allen and Unwin, 1995); and Elizabeth Podnieks, Daily Modernism: The Literary Diaries of Virginia Woolf, Antonia White, Elizabeth Smart, and Ana s Nin (Montreal: McGill-Queen s University Press, 2000).
28 . Shari Benstock, ed., The Private Self: Theory and Practice of Women s Autobiographical Writings (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988).
29 . Suzanne L. Bunkers and Cynthia A. Huff, Issues in Studying Women s Diaries: A Theoretical and Critical Introduction, in Bunkers and Huff, Inscribing the Daily , 1-22, esp. 7-10.
30 . See Harriet Blodgett, Centuries of Female Days: Englishwomen s Private Diaries (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988); Bunkers, Midwestern Diaries and Journals, 190-210; Kathryn Carter, ed., The Small Details of Life: Twenty Diaries by Women in Canada, 1830-1996 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002); Christl Verduyn, ed., Must Write: Edna Staebler s Diaries (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2005); Lillian Schlissel, Women s Diaries of the Westward Journey (New York: Schocken Books, 1982).
31 . Anna Jackson, Diary Poetics: Form and Style in Writers Diaries, 1915-1962 (New York: Routledge, 2010), 4-5; Nussbaum, Eighteenth-Century Women s Autobiographical Commonplaces, 147-71.
32 . Anna Poletti, Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2008), 4-5.
33 . Bechdel, Fun Home , 140.
34 . Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives , 2nd ed. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), 64-67.
35 . Carolyn Miller, Genre as Social Action, in Genre and the New Rhetoric , ed. Aviva Freedman and Peter Medway (London: Taylor and Francis, 1994), 3-42.
36 . Bechdel, Fun Home , 149.
37 . Ibid., 150.
38 . Ibid.
39 . Lejeune, On Diary , 286.
40 . Susan Snyder, Beyond Words: 200 Years of Illustrated Diaries (Berkeley: Bancroft Library, University of California, 2011).
41 . Laurie McNeill, Teaching an Old Genre New Tricks: The Diary on the Internet, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 26, no. 1 (2003): 24-47.
42 . Lejeune, On Diary , 204.
43 . Ibid., 324.
44 . Ibid., 237-66; Lynn Z. Bloom, I Write for Myself and Strangers : Private Diaries as Public Documents, in Bunkers and Huff, Inscribing the Daily , 24-25.
45 . Jackson, Diary Poetics , 19.
46 . Ibid.
47 . Bunkers, Midwestern Diaries and Journals.
48 . Lejeune, On Diary , 325.
49 . Ibid., 204.
50 . Ibid., 198.
51 . Virginia Woolf, The Diary of Virginia Woolf , ed. Anne Olivier Bell, 5 vols. (New York: Harcourt, 1977), 1:266; Jackson, Diary Poetics , 88-89.
52 . Lejeune, On Diary , 324, 334.
53 . Margo Culley, introduction to Culley, One Day at a Time , 20.
54 . Woolf, Diary of Virginia Woolf , 8.
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