Nonlinear Thought
Briefly

Keeping a diary is an act of self-mythology, an attempt to overcome the contradictions inherent in the self. However, diaries become unmanageable archives as the author continues to accrue more material, and the true end of a diary is unreachable.
The myth of Icarus, for instance, has survived due to its decisive ending and moral weight. But self-mythology-whether in the form of a journal, internet persona, or daydreaming-is a molten and ever-incomplete process.
The publication of a writer’s full diaries typically occurs after their death, as it allows readers to see their obsessions, limitations, and casual voice laid bare. Works excerpted from private notebooks usually focus on a limited time period.
While it's true that some writers publish books excerpted from their private notebooks while still alive, such works are typically focused on a limited time period: Audre Lorde's The Cancer Journals, for instance, or so many writers' travelogues, or, heaven help us, anyone's pandemic diaries.
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