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You should read this story about "the most ambitious diary in history"

This recent story about a 65,000+ page diary of a now-deceased publisher/printer/professor named Claude Fredericks, goes some unexpected directions.

This is one of my favorite passages... about the author's feelings after reading many parts of the journals:

This experience generated a profound dissonance. For all the effort that Fredericks put into completing his journal project—and promoting it to others—an essential element is missing: he was not a good writer. He did not instinctively make judicious choices on the page, whether recounting a dramatic episode or offering a lengthy evocation of the pleasures of gardening in Vermont at the height of summer. His prose rarely displays the ingrained sense of control that true writers have even when jotting off a postcard.

At the end, the author ultimately deremines that, after devoting several years of his life to the reading of the journals... that he "sometimes wonder[s] if it would have been better had the vaults never been open."

Either way - this article is worth opening.

The Most Ambitious Diary in History by Benjamin Anastas in The New Yorker.


November 14, 2021


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