Friday, February 17, 2006

A Logorrheic Diarist

The blog of the Athanasius Kircher Society today features the world's foremost diarist. In a 1994 interview, Robert Shields of Dayton, Washington, said he'd been spending four hours a day for twenty years recording whatever he ate, did, dreamed, said, and heard. He said he had stopped traveling, because when he gets back "it takes me a day to catch up with the notes." His diary—now housed at Washington State University—ultimately included about 38 million words, stored in 81 cardboard boxes.

This reminds me of Joseph Heller's book Good as Gold, in which the President of the United States spends his first year in office writing a memoir of his first year in office.


Day 1: I ate breakfast. I took a nap. I said hello to the mailman. I read the junk mail. I ate lunch. I took a nap. I ate dinner. I watched TV. I wrote in my diary. I went to bed.
Day 9000: I ate breakfast. I took a nap. I said hello...


Wow. Replace "diary" with "blog," and that's my daily schedule.

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