Monday, 1 February 2010

Advice to young journal keepers

I have just started reading Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann and am luxuriating in it in the manner of a warm bubble bath or long summer afternoon. Set in 1920, it is the story of Olivia Curtis as she turns 17 and is invited to her first dance, the source of exquisite agonies of anticipation.

The writing is utterly charming: packed with the kind of delicious detail that makes you feel you have escaped into a whole different world and are seeing it through the eyes of a frustrated adolescent, who is at once naive and astonishingly perceptive.

I am a third of the way through and Olivia has just started a diary. Here is her advice to young journal keepers. I was going to crop this, but decided I'd give you the whole page to convey the full glorious comfortingness of it:


Ovaltine in literary form, no?

Question: would the blogosphere be the poorer if we all took Olivia's advice to leave out our most shameful thoughts, actions and temptations? This would reduce half the blogs I read to a few bare bones rattling around an empty corner of the internet. Too much information is the modern bloggess's mantra...

... Like the idea of giving self all the good and interesting qualities one hasn't got, though. May try this to see if I can acquire them via some sort of mysterious osmosis...

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