Paperno quotes the painter Eugène Delacroix, who grandly defined his journal as “the history of what I feel.”


“Two years after her mother died, Virginia Woolf—another teen-age girl in crisis—began a diary, apparently seeking a stable narrative thread, and a more deliberate identity. But the Virginia she constructed, and would continue to construct, in journals, over the course of her life, lacks the robust unity of the Romantic “I.” This Virginia exists as a sequence of intense perceptions, which Woolf called “moments of being” plucked from the “cotton wool” of the everyday. She is a serial subject: open-ended, resilient, ever-changing. Who better to greet an unknown future?”

Original source: Dear Diary, the World Is Burning