Monday, July 7, 2014

Hasty and passionate scrawlings

English poet Siegfried Sassoon wrote in his diary on January 8, 1921 at age 34:

“For I want this to be a readable book, a memorial of vanished days, a consoling reminder of delights and speculations and disappointments, things which can no longer be regretted or remade.

At this moment I am paralysed by the excellence of my pen and paper. I am scared of making a blot on the first page. Nevertheless I am aware of the futility of diaries written (or composed) with laboured care. Self-revelation eludes such a plodding pursuit.

Let there be hasty and passionate scrawlings, exaggerated and cautious gropings after truth, or over-meticulous recordings of names, places, conversations, and episodes; but never an apparent pause for the most effective phrase, or the least hint that the diarist has an eye on his possible audience."

A little further on in the same entry, he wrote:

"Blast this journal, it is as pompous as hell already.”

From Siegfried Sassoon Diaries, 1920-1922, Siegfried Sassoon

Previous journal excerpts:
C.S. Lewis
Ralph Waldo Emerson 
Virginia Woolf
Sir Walter Scott

9 comments:

  1. Hasty and passionate scrawlings. I love that! So many people say they don't journal because they have illegible handwriting. Great one Christie!!

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    1. Thanks, Naomi! I loved this one, too. Especially that last bit. :)

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    2. So fantastic. I just copied it - handwritten - into my journal.

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    3. I love this, Naomi. Your enthusiasm is utterly contagious!

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  2. This is going straight into my journal too! I love everything about it :) All I can wish that my journal is as un-self-conscious as this :)

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    1. Hi Katie! I have the same wish. I feel like this particular journal entry gives us all permission to be un-self-conscious. :)

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  3. What a wonderful perspective! It feels like it's giving us permission to write anything. However, I've been know to leave the first page in a new journal completely blank; it takes the pressure off.

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    1. That's a great idea, to leave the 1st page blank. I like to leave first page for quotes & verses that move me from books & articles I read. Plus that way the first page I see isn't a wild rant every time but something hopeful, thoughtful, or positive.

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    2. Hi Susan and Leah - I'm totally going to try this in my next journal. Thank you so much for sharing a little about your own journals. It's fascinating to read about your processes. :)

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