Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why I'm glad my teenage self was too lazy to keep a diary

Ian Samson's review of John Fowles' Journals should be required reading for every morose high-schooler:
[T]his is John Fowles, 1949-65: 250,000 words of adolescent whining, groaning, anomie, enthusing about Antonioni films and wishing he were somewhere else, with more glamorous people, doing more glamorous things. A marathon of self-obsession, self-pity, misery, filth, shame, loneliness, isolation, and a lot of embarrassing stuff about sex. It's difficult to pick out the funniest bit in a book that is entirely lacking in humour, but 'apart from language, I am French' is pretty hard to beat. Or there's this, written in 1963, when Fowles was in his late thirties: 'Their minds don't work like mine, they aren't "free" or "authentic" in the senses I use those words.' How true. Particularly since Fowles's freedom and authenticity leads him to hang around the house all day watching women through a telescope[.]