And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

25 September

1869
William Henry Jackson,
photographer

‘Decided to spend the day photographing, Saddled pony and started for the mountain taking camera and plate changing box with a dozen plates and during the forenoon made eight exposures, all on rock subjects. In passing the plate box from one to another in coming down over the rocks it slipped out of hand and in falling was damaged so that it would not work. This put an end of picture making for the time being and we all went back to camp and spent the afternoon fishing. Just before sunset, however, I repaired the plate holder and exposed the remaining plates on fish subjects.’

Set up the box

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1915
Hugo Ball,
artist

‘The philosophy with which the generals try to justify their actions is a coarse version of Machiavelli. The peculiar words of the language of government (and unfortunately not only of the language of government) go back to a stale Renaissance ideal: the “right of the stronger,” the “necessity that knows no law,” the “place in the sun,” and other similar terms. Machiavellianism, however, has ruined itself. The Machiavellians are being called by their true name; the articles of the law are being remembered and used against them. Machiavellian wars in old Europe no longer succeed.

There is, in spite of everything, a folk morality. Frederick II’s saying “When princes want war, they begin one and call in a diligent lawyer who proves that it is right and just” is being rejected. How might a man feel, how must he live, when he feels he belongs, and when he seems disastrously willing to apply all kinds of adventure, all con- fusion of problems and offenses to his own unique constitution? How could a person assert himself if he is someone whose fantastic Ego seems to be created only to receive and suffer the scandal, the opposition, the rebellion of all these released forces? If language really makes us kings of our nation, then without doubt it is we, the poets and thinkers, who are to blame for this blood bath and who have to atone for it.’

A wish or a curse

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1947
Arthur Crew Inman,
poet and recluse

‘Could I quite surrender to the idea that some historical and psychological value attaches itself to my efforts and believe accordingly that they were absolutely vain and trifling, I could at least be more at peace with myself, consider each entry a pleasurable venture in idle scribbling only. But I can’t, and for the simple reason that, when I come across a record such as this, I’m enraptured by it. The New York Times Book Section of week before last carries a front-page review of the journals of André Gide. I must read them. “My mind is becoming voluptuously impious and pagan. I must stress this tendency.” Did famous persons march across my pages, their merit might be differently weighed. Well, they don’t. Only nonillustrious persons of no consequence artistically or historically. Myself, I detest reading about the famous in memoirs and journals. Is that sour grapes?’

Consuming concentration

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1999
Alastair Campbell,
journalist and political aide

‘I went into the office first thing, then up to see TB. He was now sure. Cherie was pregnant. They worked out it happened at Balmoral. A royal baby!. He said he felt a mix of pleasure and horror. Thank God I’m a Christian, he said. It allows me to assume there must be a reason. We discussed it on the train. At the moment, TB, CB, Fiona and I were the only people who knew, and I was winding them up as to how much money we could make by tipping off the press.’

Call me Cherie

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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.