The End of A Diary

eBook - 2015
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"[Manguso] has written the memoir we didn't realize we needed." -- The New Yorker

In Ongoingness , Sarah Manguso continues to define the contours of the contemporary essay. In it, she confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for twenty-five years. "I wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened," she explains. But this simple statement belies a terror that she might forget something, that she might miss something important. Maintaining that diary, now eight hundred thousand words, had become, until recently, a kind of spiritual practice.

Then Manguso became pregnant and had a child, and these two Copernican events generated an amnesia that put her into a different relationship with the need to document herself amid ongoing time.

Ongoingness is a spare, meditative work that stands in stark contrast to the volubility of the diary--it is a haunting account of mortality and impermanence, of how we struggle to find clarity in the chaos of time that rushes around and over and through us.

"Bold, elegant, and honest . . . Ongoingness reads variously as an addict's testimony, a confession, a celebration, an elegy." -- The Paris Review

"Manguso captures the central challenge of memory, of attentiveness to life . . . A spectacularly and unsummarizably rewarding read." --Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, 2015
ISBN: 9781555973360
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Sep 09, 2017

Sparse, thought-provoking and relatable; beautiful at times.

Aug 06, 2015

Not by any means a book for everyone, this brief volume is a highly personal exploration of many aspects of memory and how we discover the meaning of time. I found it hard to put down and kept coming back to it. For the right reader, a real gem.


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