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ERIC Number: ED422583
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Waiting for the Words of Annie Ray.
Sinor, Jennifer
Literary scholars like Lynn Bloom consider truly private diaries as "bare-boned" works which are "written with neither art nor artifice." In 1995, a "pile of bones" arrived at one person's door delivered by Federal Express. They were the bones of her great aunt Annie Ray--fragments of the diary she kept from 1881 to 1885, the years she homesteaded in the Dakota territories with her husband, Charley, a blacksmith who worked up and down the West. Maybe because these diaries belonged to a relative, or because the relative wondered how Annie spent her days alone on the high prairie, or because Annie writes to a relative at a time when the recipient of Annie's diary has also begun keeping a diary, or maybe for all of these reasons, the diaries' recipient finds herself engaged in a project of dual discovery--finding a privileged place for private diaries and fulfilling her duty to Annie's memory. When Annie writes of her lonesomeness, the relative places herself on that empty plain and waits for the mail with her, reading about how the fiction that Annie read reminds her of "the heartache, suffering, and pain" of her own life. The paper suggests that a diary is not a narrative, it is a testimony and, unlike a narrative with a beginning, middle, and an end, testimony is raw and unassimilated, and the best the relative/reader can do is to witness Annie's testimony. (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A