Diaries often have printed material at the front (and sometimes back, or between pages). Including recipes, household tips, lunar and solar movements, international dialling codes... this material is dubbed a 'paratext'. Paratexts = information Information = knowledge Knowledge (can be seen to) = a way of knowing the world Knowing the world, describing the world (can be viewed as) = a form of control over it. Diarists write about their lives. The narrative structure diarists give to their lives in the pages of their diaries provides some a sense of structure, even, perhaps, a sense of reality and control in [...]
These are the privately kept, and now public, diaries of a teenage girl, now a mother and Doctor.
For the next few weeks we will be exploring - diaries and their uses. People use their diaries for all kinds of reasons. Here are some common uses: A place to keep a dated record... Places to keep account – of lovers, as well as money… They are also known as a place to write down appointments, a place to store memories and as therapy or secular and silent confession or secrets… Some diarists use them as a creative outlet... Well-documented examples of writers using their diaries as writerly gymnasiums: include Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolfe, and Katherine Mansfield or the [...]
Our spotlight romantic Mr ? writes of himself the following: Me. 5 [foot] 6 [inches] 11-12 stone Non-smoker Music lover Car [and] house owner Moderate drinker Retired Good health. Crosswords Reading Cinema Pub lunches Country walks Tactile Aromatherapy Solvent Keeping fit History Auburn/gray Bifocals Stocky Prefers casual wear Leather shoes.’
Our romantic diarist looks for the following in a lady: NOTES 2002: Aquarius [and] Gemini [and] Libra VG. Aries – fair. Size 12 or 14 Non-smoker Car owner Retired or semi retired Wine love Intelligent House/flat owner Cinema goer Music lover 5 [feet] [to] 5 [feet] 5 [inches] tall Nice boobs Tactile
The GDP archive has stacks of diaries that deal with LOVE: we have multiple teenage girls listing the boys they: "‘Love’, ‘Hate’, ‘Passion’, ‘Friendship’, ‘Courtship’, ‘Flirtship’, ‘Marriage’" & retired chaps sowing their oats with ladies on the internet…. The diversity of these texts illustrates that: across ages, generations, gender, sexual preference, and cultural and geographical differences………. the ups -and -downs of LOVE/SEX etc are up –and -down. We have what Philosophers, Psychiatrists and Neuroscientists and Pseudo-scientists tell us about love, in diaries we have what we remember. The following is an extract from a diarist's entry on a second date [...]