And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

1 November

1626
François de Bassompierre,
diplomat

‘Sunday, the 1st of November, and All Saints Day. I performed my devotions, and afterwards was to see the Duchess of Lennox and Secretary Couvai. A council was held to-day for my business.’

Bassompierre in London

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1919
Sergei Prokofiev,
composer

‘When I arrived in New York [. . .] a letter from London was waiting for me, proposing a production of Three Oranges at Covent Garden in June. Now this is an event of truly enormous importance! A year ago I entered into correspondence with Bakst trying to get Three Oranges produced in the autumn season in Europe, but it came to nothing because Bakst was relying on Diaghilev, and I already knew that there would be no resurrection (at least in the operatic sense) for Diaghilev in that season. But now Coates, the clever fellow, has had the excellent sense to take up the idea. It if works, then hurrah! in six months I shall have a quick and brilliant entrée into Europe.’

Finishing Three Oranges

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1924
Edward Weston,
photographer

‘The exhibit is over. The naked balcony walls presented a sad and stripped void as we glanced back to be assured no print was forgotten; but no time for tears, for already a new exhibit is on! Tina and I for the first time are showing together; indeed, it is her first public showing, and I am proud of my dear “apprentice.” We went directly from the “Aztec Land” and under the auspices of the Secretaria de Education Publica hung ten prints each in the Palacio de Mineria. It is a big affair: Rafael, Chariot, Felipe among our friends are also showing.’

Lost behind my camera

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1936
Zorina Gray,
actress

‘Made the acquaintance of Igor Markevitch, who is slightly mad, and who reminds me of Kyra Nijinsky in temperament. What is even stranger is that he knows her and said that Kyra has long, blond curls, which I find crazy, and that she expects a child!’

My knees felt like macaroni

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1939
David Gascoyne,
writer

‘And here (for the time being, at any rate), I close this journal. It has served its purpose. The most profound of the many intuitions I have recorded in it have all come ‘true’. The ploughing and the sowing have borne harvest. My life has passed on to another plane.

I am full of a great wonder and astonishment, and of exaltation. The world is very deep, the War is horrifying; yet the Future of this Century has begun to burn with an extraordinary, unseen and secret radiance, which I feel I can no longer speak of here, since it has become my task to proclaim it to those to whom it has not yet appeared May I be granted the grace not to fail or become discouraged before the purpose and responsibility of a new life.’ [This is the last entry in Paris Journal.]

The poet’s destiny

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1982
Jimmy Boyle,
prisoner and sculptor

‘I was taken to the gate where I waited for Sarah. These were the longest minutes of all. The gate officer said Mr Hills had called to say he was coming in. I stood on edge. Mr Hills drove in the gate. He didn’t look at me. He didn’t speak. Sarah arrived. Mr Hills gave the signal and the duty officer opened the gate. I stepped over to Freedom.’

This violent typewriter

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And so made significant . . .
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And so made significant . . .
is the world's greatest online anthology of diary extracts. It is presented in the same way as popular books like The Assassin’s Cloak and The Faber Book of Diaries, i.e. by calendar day, but contains more, and many longer, extracts than is possible in published books. Moreover, for each quoted extract there’s a link to a Diary Review article with some or all of the following: further extracts, biographical information, contexts, a portrait, and links to online sources/etexts. Furthermore, new extracts are added on a regular basis.

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Notes and Cautions
In general, these diary extracts are quoted as given in the published (book or online) source referred to in the reference articles. Each extract may be all, a large part of, or a small part of the complete entry for that day. I have tried to indicate where text has been removed from within a quote by the use of trailing dots in square bracket.

For any other use of these diary extracts other than browsing please refer to the original sources.

Any author, publisher or other copyright holder who takes the view that I am unacceptably breaching their copyright please let me know. I have tried to remain sensitive to copyright rules (using far fewer quotes, for example, when a book, by an author still alive, remains in print and popular), but it is not practical for me to seek authorisation for every quote and article, since I maintain these websites without any funding or advertis-ing. I take the view that publicity for the source books is a quid pro quo for my use of the extracts, but I am more than happy to remove the extracts if asked.

SITE DEVISED by Paul K Lyons

The Diary Junction is one of those wonderful privately maintained public resources for which the Internet is justly celebrated: a database of information about celebrated and obscure diaries[over 500] from all historical periods, with referrals to the dates the diaries cover, where the originals are held and bibliographic information on published versions.’ Laura Miller, Salon

The Diary Review, hosted by Blogger, publishes magazine-style articles on diaries and diarists, usually several every week. The blog has been publishing for over five years, and is the secondary source for the diary extracts in this online anthology.