Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, claimed at the beginning of this year that people are no longer concerned about privacy, many of us choosing to publicise our every movement on one or more of the many social networking and online publicity tools at our disposal. Zuckerberg’s vested interest aside, there’s something in the idea that attitudes to what might be considered private information have changed. Is the blogosphere an arena of exhibitionists (she asked her WordPress screen)? Would famous diarists of bygone times have been avid Tweeters? In writing a diary, is there always an element of performance – even if performer and audience are one and the same?
A Brief History of Diaries: From Pepys to Blogs, by award-winning diaries expert Alexandra Johnson, will consider the permutations of the form, why we write for ourselves and why we might make writing about ourselves more public, taking in (in no particular order) Thoreau, Pepys, Boswell, Woolf, Darwin, Anne Frank, Sylvia Plath and many more, and finishing right here in the blogosphere.
A Brief History of Diaries will be published in September of this year.
– E.R, Hespereus