A Personal Diary: Praxis, Materiality, Text
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The text proposes an analysis of personal diaries using a concept whereby a diary is approached on a broader basis than just as a text (which is characteristic for a structural and post-structural tradition), namely, as a writing praxis of one's everyday life, a thing (material object) and a text at the same time. The author's understanding of diaries is first of all based on the works of Philippe Lejeune. Describing a diary as a writing praxis of one's everyday life the author points out the important role of motivations for keeping diaries and their functions (both in individual and socio-cultural perspective). In the analysis of diary's material dimension he underlines the consequences of literacy and 'careers' of the written word with their uses for the meanings of a diarist practice. Presenting the textual dimension of personal diaries, the author pays attention to the significant role of autobiographical character of this type of documents (connections with a diarist's life and experiences). The most important conclusion of the article is that a personal diary, having a primarily practical and existential dimension (material as well as textual one), may only be secondarily considered as a literary genre or a type of discourse.
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