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Guests & Strong Martinis

What did Mozart do all day? A poster breaks down the daily habits and self-reported routines of hundreds of composers, painters, writers, scientists, etc to illustrate how people find the time to construct their work.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 30, 2014 - 68 comments

This Journal is a memorial. New entries cannot be posted to it.

Disch died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on July 4, 2008, and, if one so desires, Endzone can be read as a suicide letter. But then, so could his entire body of work; the reduction of any writer's output, whether it be that of Sarah Kane, David Foster Wallace or Hunter S. Thompson, to an explanation of his or her suicide divests it of intention and frisson. It reduces the novelist to a patient of post-mortem psychotherapy. Clute, reversing this impulse, wrote that Disch took his own life "to demonstrate that he really had meant what he had been saying over [his] career." -- Brendan Byrne reviews the last work Thomas M. Disch completed before his suicide: his Livejournal.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 6, 2013 - 13 comments

"450,000 handwritten words recounting his innermost thoughts and fears"

Actor Richard Burton's diaries were published last fall, and are reviewed: Richard Burton Was A Great Writer, Richard Burton's Notes To A Modern Journaler, The Great Actor Who Hated Acting, For Love Of Lit And Liz [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 28, 2013 - 11 comments

Dr. Livingstone's diary deciphered

For more than two years, scholars and imaging scientists have been using advanced scanning techniques to recover the mostly illegible contents of an 1871 field diary kept by the British explorer David Livingstone in Africa. Low on paper and ink, the explorer had resorted to writing on newspaper sheets, with ink made from berries, and over time the original document had become almost impossible to read. Now the team has unveiled an online “multispectral critical edition” with images, transcriptions, and relevant notes, making Livingstone’s first-person account accessible again. They’ve also created a “Livingstone Spectral Images Archive” to give anyone who wants it direct access to the images, transcriptions, and metadata the project has created, no strings attached. Almost everything in both the edition and the archive comes with a Creative Commons license that allows the contents to be reused with attribution. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 3, 2012 - 11 comments

5-3-1852: Prince Albert still won't get out of the can

The diaries of Queen Victoria, totaling 47,000 pages and running from the age of 13 until her death, have been digitized. The site will be free to UK users, but open access for the rest of the world only runs through the end of June.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 24, 2012 - 33 comments

Civil War Diaries and Letters

Love and Valor the movie is based on the book, Love and Valor – The Intimate Civil War Letters Between Captain Jacob and Emeline Ritner Both projects by Charles Larimer. Hear him discuss these letters on Talk of Iowa. Mentioned in this episode: University of Iowa Libraries Civil War Diaries and Letters. Crowdsourcing transcription of these letters.
posted by cjorgensen on Jul 1, 2011 - 1 comment

The Age of Uncertainty

The Age of Uncertainty is my new favorite blog. It's by a gentleman bookseller who works in a warehouse in Sussex processing lorryfuls of used books. He shares the most interesting things he finds, commenting with wit and sensitivity. He also writes entertainingly about his everyday life. Let me point you towards his series of extracts from a diary that came to his warehouse, detailing the life of Derek, an employee of the government who converted to Mormonism. It was a fairly normal life, but the excerpts are fascinating. Here are the entries in order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. He also posts beautiful images he finds, such as Victorian color plates: 1 and 2. Still, it is the remains of ordinary lives washing up on his shores that most enthralls me, such as this tear-inducing post about a family photo album which was sent to his used books warehouse.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 13, 2010 - 27 comments

Behind the Bookcase

In honor of the museum's 50th anniversary, the Anne Frank House has created a virtual tour of the Secret Annex and the rest of the house. The complete manuscript of Anne's diary has also gone on display at the museum for the first time.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 29, 2010 - 18 comments

The Bicycle Diaries

The Bicycle Diaries - UK cyclist Douglas Whitehead rides from England to India. He just left Uzbekistan.
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 17, 2009 - 17 comments

In the First Person -- an index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives

In the First Person "is a free, high quality, professionally published, in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world. It lets you keyword search more than 700,000 pages of full-text by more than 18,000 individuals from all walks of life. It also contains pointers to some 4,300 audio and video files and 30,000 bibliographic records." (Description from website.) You can also browse by repository, collection, subject and several other ways.
posted by cog_nate on Aug 7, 2008 - 9 comments

500 Miles To Hollywood

Mortified is a group in various cities that allows people to "share their own adolescent journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more." It's embarrassing, to be sure, but it's frequently also hilarious (NSFW). Recently they've set up a page to share videos of live performances, and the latest is my favorite so far. "500 Miles To Hollywood" features Elijah Wood, James Denton (Desperate Housewives), Busy Phillips (Freaks & Geeks), Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall) and Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds) "helping Jason Smith fulfill his dream and bring a 2-decade-old screenplay to life."
posted by ktoad on Apr 10, 2008 - 20 comments

"Dr. Freud gave me a narcissus." -Virginia Woolf

Why do we read diaries?
posted by anotherpanacea on Dec 6, 2007 - 31 comments

Lord Byron, Seen Through the Eyes of a Friend

The Diary of John Cam Hobhouse. Hobhouse (Wiki) (1786-1869) was a close friend of George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, and "Hobby-O's" diary contains a vivid account of Hobhouse's friendship and travels with Byron. As editor Peter Cochran writes: "Educated at Westminster and Trinity College Cambridge, [Hobhouse] travelled east with Byron in 1809, was Best Man at Byron’s wedding in 1815, travelled across Switzerland in Byron’s company in 1816 after the separation, around Rome with Byron in 1817, and lived with Byron in Venice in the same year. He met Byron at Pisa again in 1822, after Byron’s facetious poem on his imprisonment in Newgate, My Boy Hobby-O, had almost terminated their friendship. As a member of the London Greek Committee he encouraged Byron on his last journey in 1823; and had he insisted, Byron’s memoirs would almost certainly not have been destroyed in 1824." (Memoirs which, in hindsight, are considered a "missing masterpiece.") Also read Hobhouse's account of Byron's funeral.
posted by jayder on Nov 1, 2006 - 6 comments

Online Diaries

We know you can read Pepys diaries a page a day online. (Previous Mefi post here.) But there are more. Kafka's Diaries. W.N.P Barbellion's diaries (The Journal of a Disappointed Man, highly recommended.) The Diary of a Nobody (the page a day seems to be down, but the whole Punch series is here.) The Notebooks of Da Vinci. Henry David Thoreau, day by day. Fibroid Sludge, the cartoon diary of Irven Spence. A previous MeFi post on Martha Ballard's historical diary. And of course, that diary of one day, Ulysses, a page a day.
posted by OmieWise on Aug 26, 2005 - 11 comments

Get your own damn blog, indeed!

Blogging is good for your health? [via] Despite all the open hatred and backlash against online journaling (not to mention an infamous study indicating that diary-keeping could be bad for your health), there may be actual merit to telling someone that they should get their own (damn) blog!
posted by Lush on Mar 13, 2005 - 4 comments

Numeric Diaries: le collage - ooh!

The Numeric Diaries... So cool. After entering, use the side arrows to navigate back and forth, choose from the drop-down menu, or use the thumbnails to view images going back to October 1, 2003. Some images mouse over or click through for further treats or links. And when you're done, you can visit the main site at Trezart for a lot more art and fun. (French language, via the archives of the great gmtPlus9)
posted by taz on Feb 16, 2005 - 4 comments

A different kind of physics journal

Quantum Diaries - follow physicists from around the world as they experience the World Year of Physics 2005.
posted by Gyan on Feb 1, 2005 - 4 comments

Letter from Fallujah.

Letter from Fallujah. From an anonymous Army medic's journal entry.
posted by insomnia_lj on Nov 12, 2004 - 40 comments

It Hurts When My Fibula Snaps In Half, Doc...

My Broken Leg Diaries Everything you ever wanted to know about your broken leg, and lots of anecdotal anecdotes.
posted by keli on Sep 30, 2004 - 1 comment

Stalking the Bogeyman

"The entry is dated June 1981, and while I have no memory of writing it, the penmanship is unmistakably my own. There, between accounts of my grandfather dying and a game-winning double I hit in Little League, is an account of my being raped three years before. I concluded the entry by wondering what I would do if I ever met the man who'd raped me on the street once I myself was a grown man." Original article is a few months old but the follow up (here) is fresh. [romenesko]
posted by dobbs on Jul 8, 2004 - 19 comments

Diaries of a Working Man

Diaries of a Working Man - the Alexander Goodall diaries

[By way of Neurastenia]
posted by tenseone on Mar 4, 2004 - 2 comments

Journal of a Schizophrenic

Journal of a Schizophrenic

Over the next several weeks I heard the voice every once in a while, but always in the house, when I was by myself. I became used to it, looked forward to it on occasion. I started playing pool with it. We would play a regular game of eight ball, me with the right hand and the voice with the left. I had never shot with my left hand before, but the voice won as often as not.
posted by moonbird on Feb 21, 2004 - 32 comments

Camping with the Sioux: The Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher

Camping with the Sioux: The Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher. 'In the Fall of 1881, Alice Fletcher traveled to Dakota Territory to live with Sioux women and record their way of life, accompanied by Susette La Flesche, an Omaha Indian, and journalist Thomas Henry Tibbles... '
More online anthropological collections from the Smithsonian, including selections from William Duncan Strong's 1933 Honduras Journal, and Kiowa drawings.
posted by plep on Feb 1, 2004 - 3 comments

Operation Teenage Angst Fest

Operation Teenage Angst Fest. Is all the war talk getting you down? Make like your younger self and wallow in some self-obsessed teen angst. You might even want to dig our your old journals and submit. Keep in mind the cardinal rule, though: it has to suck.
posted by maud on Mar 29, 2003 - 7 comments

Nature Diaries

Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary. 'My diary describes a year in the life of woodland, field, marsh, river, canal . . . and a fairly wild back garden . . . in the Calder valley in coal measures country near Wakefield.'
Richard Bell's nature diary has been online since 1998.
The site's links page leads to more nature diaries and related resources :
Ackworth School's natural history diary, Roseberry Topping, an environmentally friendly slug trap, Yorkshire dialect verse, wildscapes from Texas, Notes from Pure Land Mountain (a journal from countryside Japan), and more.
Although it's not linked, An English Country Garden, chronicling a garden in a small village in Dorset, would not be out of place here; neither would Blackberry Creek Journal, 'a country newsletter about the seasons, animals, gardens and people of a small Michigan farm'. There is a huge collection of gardening journals and homepages here. [more inside]
posted by plep on Mar 20, 2003 - 8 comments

Secret Diaries

Secret Diaries from the Lord of the Rings.
posted by Ron on Jan 9, 2003 - 22 comments

Laurel Wellman thinks blogging is dumb.

Laurel Wellman thinks blogging is dumb. Well, you knew that was coming.
posted by brookish on Jul 2, 2002 - 32 comments

"There should be a law about these people

"There should be a law about these people with web diaries or they should all wear identifying clothing or something, so that innocent bystanders who don't need some perverse kind of public fame can know to steer clear." Or, using Google to flush out potential dating disasters.
posted by Psionic_Tim on Mar 16, 2002 - 73 comments

This is one amazing found diray!

This is one amazing found diray!
Once you start reading this transcription, it is very hard to stop. Incredible. From the site:
Walking to work the week before Christmas, 2000, I found a notebook on the sidewalk, on 5th street between Mission and Folsom. I thought to find a phone number in it and return it, but after reading it, I couldn't find any contact info at all. What I did find was a diary, spanning about nine months of someone's life. Here is the contents of the notebook, reproduced as faithfully as possible.
posted by DragonBoy on Jan 17, 2001 - 46 comments

Andrew's launched Diaryland.com.

Andrew's launched Diaryland.com. This is the same person that brought you pitas.com, he's making easy web interfaces for all those things that people usually learn HTML for. It looks pretty cool for people just starting out. So he's done weblogs, and now diaries, I wonder what's next?
posted by mathowie on Sep 23, 1999 - 1 comment

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