Saturday, September 16, 2006

Journal Keeping

For fans of Susan Sontag, the discovery of her private journals can be nothing short of thrilling. It is their chance to know the person inside the writer, life events that prompted her to make an entry. Her thoughts on keeping a journal would resonate with anyone who has done it for any length of time.

On Keeping a Journal. Superficial to understand the journal as just a receptacle for one's private, secret thoughts - like a confidante who is deaf, dumb and illiterate. In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself.

The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather - in many cases - offers an alternative to it.

There is often a contradiction between the meaning of our actions toward a person and what we say we feel toward that person in a journal. But this does not mean that what we do is shallow, and only what we confess to ourselves is deep. Confessions, I mean sincere confessions of course, can be more shallow than actions.

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