Diaries are not written for being public. They have a very personal leather cover over them. Yet the diary writers are hardly aware of the impact of their personal records.
Literary and Classical Culture
Diaries- personal to universal
Who in the world has never felt, there is something personal with him or her? Perhaps none. Some little secret. Not to be shared with anyone. Yet a strong desire to speak it out. Here comes blank pages bound in the shape of a notebook. A diary of course. Often children, who keep a secret record of their childlike thoughts and naughty activities, very innocently write at the front for Peeping Toms “I forbid you to go through it. It is personal.” As they say, time flies. Different phases of life— the softness of childhood to the wrinkles of old sagging age. But at one stage or the other diary appears before us as the lone confidante.
Diaries are not written for being public. They have a very personal leather cover over them. Yet the diary writers are hardly aware of the impact of their personal records. The diary writer may not be a famous writer or a poet or a politician, a sportsman or any at the top of any discipline dazzled by the glare of media lights. Press may not be awaiting the account of his personal sweets and sours. But hardly he knowsthat his accounts are nothing but sources of history. One will feel shy to admit if he has not gone through “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl”. The personal depiction written from June 12, 1942 to August 1, 1944 later became one of the most famous diaries in the world. The thirteen year old Anne Frank, writing the first line in her diary could never envisage the powerful impact the adolescent jottings would create. It was a clear depiction of the predicament of living in hiding under Nazi occupation. A personal diary written by an unknown girl helped history in understanding a particular black phase of German History during Second World War.
If we go a couple of hundred years back in seventeenth century England comes glittering the diary of Samuel Pepys. His diary has helped historians profoundly to understand the socio-political life of Stuart era England. He was no writer or historian, he was an administrator with a passion of diary writing. And he never knew that his rigorous efforts with very personal tinge at writing for almost a decade till his eyesight created no trouble, would be such a valuable document to the posterity for probing back in history.
With diary it is paradoxical that though it is very personal but with time it takes a universal impact.When you write diary, you jot down your personal feelings, your very own pangs and pain, your friends, your atmosphere, the aroma of the seasons you take as your very own and you know it is not to be shared. But you don’t know that you are contributing to the composite culture. You may not be a Shakespeare or a Kalidas but you also in your own way are touching the gamut of human emotion and surreptitiously the history of your times.
The Peeping Tom of history comes and peeps through you your era. Still, we can carry along with whatever childlike innocence is left in us “I forbid you to go through it. It is personal.”