Personal history

A while ago I decided it would be a good idea to copy and paste my journal entries into a document so that I can keep them for posterity. After all, I don’t have time or energy to keep two journals, so my online one is basically it. I put this task off until now (and I am sorely regretting it… LiveJournal has never been so slow or so unreliable!) and now it occurs to me that if, for some reason, my journal was preserved for people hundreds of years in the future to peruse as a historical source, they will get some very interesting ideas. I get this from Prof Brentano’s ideas about the works we’re reading in History 4B. He’s brilliant, but he certainly does have some interesting ways of looking at sources. For instance, when we were comparing Beowulf to Saint Augustine’s Confessions he said, in his old-man-genius kind of way, that we should notice Beowulf’s use of color and visual detail, which doesn’t happen at all in Augustine.

Well, if someone just like Prof Brentano were reading my journal in a few centuries’ time, he would tell his students to look very carefully at my relationship with food. ‘We should by no means take Lisa as a typical example of her time, but I want you to examine very carefully the way she describes her food. You will find that some months she seems to describe nothing but what she eats, where she eats it and with whom she eats it. We don’t seem to find this in other sources. Personally, I think this is especially interesting because she clearly comes from a time period and a social class where food is not a primary concern. Just… think about her relationship with food when you’re reading.’ And the students listening will be intrigued but also groan inwardly at the thought of reading hundreds of pages of some ancient lunatic’s ramblings about food.

In this sense I think I’m glad I will probably not be known in a hundred years’ time. It would be nice to go down in history, but not in this way. Definitely not in this way.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]