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The Great Diarists

$107 Limited inc GST / $96
The Great Diarists

<p>An entertaining look at some of the great diarists of the English language: Samuel Pepys, Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin, Joe Orton and Kenneth Williams. Learn why reading about the everyday lives of

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An entertaining look at some of the great diarists of the English language: Samuel Pepys, Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin, Joe Orton and Kenneth Williams. Learn why reading about the everyday lives of famous people is so fascinating and rewarding.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Pepys Selected Diaries (any edition)
  • Anais Nin’s diaries (any volume)
  • A Writer’s Diary, Virginia Woolf
  • The Orton Diaries, edited by John Lahr
  • The Kenneth Williams Diaries, edited by Russell Davies


COURSE OUTLINE
COURSE OUTLINE (see sample below)

  • Samuel Pepys and the accidents of history: The diary as a literary form. Publication and popular consumption of diaries. Historical incidents as recorded in the diaries. Sexuality and secrets. Illness and discomfort. Capturing a social history through diary writing.
  • Virginia Woolf and the writer’s diary: The role of the editor. Forbidden love. Professional records and creative journeys in the diary. States of mind the unreliable narrator.
  • Anais Nin and the diary as friend: The diary as inspirational text. Expurgation and double lives. Ideas, anecdotes and intended readers.
  • Joe Orton and the confessional: Sex and homosexuality. The diary as betrayer. The vexed question of confidentiality. The place of celebrity. Shaping new generations of thinkers.
  • Kenneth Williams and the unexpected ending: There’s always a joker. The two faces of every celebrity. Showbiz and life-biz. Charting a decline. The diary when there is nobody else.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Recognise the history of the diary as an important literary device.
  2. Describe some of the great diarists and what made them stand out.
  3. See how new social movements are foreshadowed in diaries, and how those diaries later become artefacts of liberationist narratives.
  4. Discuss the psychological importance of the diary and how it is used as a confessional device.
  5. Consider the vexed question of readership – how was the writer seeing this text, as something people would eventually read, or as a true confessional and private device.