What are diaries?

Essay by tschieffUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2004

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1. Introduction: What are diaries?

A diary can be a book or some sheets of paper in which personal feelings, thoughts and actions are daily written down. A diary is something very personal, intimate and secret. People, who write diaries, trust in their diary and tell it their secrets. A diary is like a friend, but it's not a human being, who could laugh at the diarist, detest or comfort him because of his deepest secrets. A diary does not give a feedback to the person who writes it. The aspect of secrecy is presented very well in a diary. A secret diary is of course the form for example for emphasizing the secrecy and intimacy of the confessions of a youngster. A diary is easy to write and everyone can keep one, because it is characterized by a lack of strictness. It does not even demand a leitmotiv or plot.

The writer is allowed to present a collection of spontaneous brainwaves instead of a continuously sustained train of thought. The author is free of special constraints of compulsions that are so often found in other literary genres. The make-believe aspect of a lot of diary novels is very strong. This means that they often pretend to be authentic diaries. The advantage of the presentation of a diary as a non- fictive document is that it guarantees interest from the reader. The reader experiences a diary as forbidden knowledge. There is a difference between a fictional diary and a non- fictional diary. A non- fictional diary belongs to the narrator, who writes down his or her personal feelings, thoughts and actions for him-/ herself. Whereas a fictional diary is written by a person, who does not take place in the diary and just writes down the experiences, thoughts and feelings...