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Nearly right, nearly…

Here's the opening of the New York Times editorial today:Looking at America Published: December 31, 2007 There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in…

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Louis Menand (and myself) on Diary Keeping

A photo of Louis Menand all chillin’ out ‘n’ shit. In front of books.
I have kept a diary on and off (but pretty much on, full on) since 1985. Holy Christ! That’s pretty much all my formative years and then some. So I’m always interested to read others’ diaries, or in this case a lengthy New Yorker article by Louis Menand on diary keeping. Here’s some choice passages:

And the superego theory, of course, is the theory that diaries are really written for the eyes of others. They are exercises in self-justification. When we describe the day’s events and our management of them, we have in mind a wise and benevolent reader who will someday see that we played, on the whole, and despite the best efforts of selfish and unworthy colleagues and relations, a creditable game with the hand we were dealt. If we speak frankly about our own missteps and shortcomings, it is only to gain this reader’s trust. We write to appease the father. People abandon their diaries when they realize that the task is hopeless.

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