a 30 year old diary


Richard Grayson says he’s written in his diary everyday since the summer of 1969–and it makes me further embrace my commitment to my personal journal, the literal written word.

He has posted on Champion’s blog, excerpts from his diary while at Breadloaf 30 years ago. While he is afraid the excerpts might be a terrible bore, I was touched by his personal thoughts, and fascinated by the moments he encountered while there…moments that clearly, in the writing, show great interest and passion and innocence…and precede a greater literary writing life.

He narrates moments that we do not realize are great until hindsight, such as his mention of Toni Morrison’s reading of her new novel (at the time) Song of Solmon and John Irving’s reading of his upcoming book The World According to Garp:

We made it back to the Little Theater just in time for John Irving’s reading of the start of his forthcoming novel The World According to Garp, which sounds like it will be hilarious; I wasn’t bored for a minute.

I nearly gasped as I read his impression of one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. I was born too late to experience the newness of these beautiful works–by the time I could read them, they had already established themselves in the literary canon. What was it like to experience these works as they were born into the world?

Richard Grayson’s diary posts are amazing in that way–I was able to see how someone experienced these things for the first time.

It makes me wonder what I am capturing in my life and how I can share my thoughts and impressions with the world–with the ultimate goal of providing illumination and perspective that was not there before.



Filed under Writing

2 responses to “a 30 year old diary

  1. I heard Michael Cunningham read from pages of The Hours before it was published; it was breathtaking. I treasure that memory.

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words. I just posted the rest of it, which probably does get a bit too verbose.

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