Digital Readings@Seagull #2: Diary Writing, Memoirs and Letters
Time & Location
About the Event
17.4.2020 | Diary-writing, Memoirs and Letters | Diptarko Format: 5 minutes per reader, readings to be followed by discussion.
Link to Zoom meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/71776251297...
Meeting ID: 717 7625 1297 Password: 1DWMBB
We’ll be looking at how diaries written by individuals, or memoirs, journal entries and even letters can serve as tools to understand the life and times of the individual concerned and act as micro histories of meta-narratives. No matter how mundane or ‘ordinary’ these texts may have seemed in their own time, they went on to become sources to study ‘extraordinary’ and ‘larger’ events, with new perspectives and critical insights.
I will be reading out sections from Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. While the book contains mundane details of how a young girl was spending her days, locked up in her house, under Nazi terror, this diary is one of the most groundbreaking and influential texts in understanding the realities of Nazi terror. It gives us an insight into the micro histories of how individual Jews were living under Nazi oppression.
My readers and discussants are invited to read out sections from similar texts, fiction (novels, short stories using diary-writing or letter-writing as a narrative trope) as well as non-fiction, of their choice. These can even include extracts from their own journal entries and diaries, and we can explore interesting possibilities from that. We also look forward to vernacular texts in translation.Through this exercise, I’d also like for us to reflect on how diary-writing can be an invaluable exercise under the present conditions of a lockdown when we are leading apparently ‘mundane’ lives, but living under ‘extraordinary’ situations.