Tuesday, February 11, 2014
~Jessica Natale, Diary As Fiction: Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground and Turgenev's"Diary of a Superfluous Man"
Diary fiction, and its related genre, epistolary fiction, attempt to mimic real life's ups and downs, ebbs and flows, in real time. What draws us to them? Is the attraction the "air of intimacy, immediacy and truth" that one gets from reading in this format, as author Kate Summerscale suggests, with the added piquancy of possibly being hoodwinked by only seeing one version of the action (she also says diaries can be the "most unreliable and corrupting of narratives")? Whatever it may be, we still read diary fiction today, even if the form is not as widely used as it once was. Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series, wildly popular in England, feature diaries from Adrian's life from age 13 3/4 to age 39 3/4. Wuthering Heights opens as Lockwood's diary. Winston, in Orwell's 1984, keeps a diary as an act of defiance to Big Brother. Bridget Jones is her own franchise. Here are some other novels you might enjoy that are written completely or in part as diaries:
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge [eBook]
Diary of a Nobody by Grossmith
Dracula by Bram Stoker
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady by Anita Loos
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
The Archivist by Martha Cooley
Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell [eBook]
Find more titles with a subject search of "Diary fiction" in the library catalog!Or, if you'd prefer novels in letters, check out our Epistolary Novels booklist.
Dear Diary, how did you become part of our literary culture?
Kate Summerscale on fictional diaries
Subject: Diary fiction [LibraryThing]