Dear World: Contemporary Uses of the Diary

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Where has the personal diary gone - and what forms has it taken - in the digital age? From the diary spaces of reality television and the how-to diary and its audience of self-helpers, in the emerging genre of the graphic diary or the online diaries of sex bloggers, in the published diaries of war correspondents or the urgent personal writing of Arab women under conflict, this book explores a new wave in diary publication and production. It also provides a fresh look at the diary as a contemporary form of autobiography. In Dear World, Kylie Cardell is sensitive to how changes to our notions of privacy and the personal - spurred by the central presence the Internet has come to occupy in our daily lives - impact how and why diaries are written, and for whom. She considers what these new uses of the diary tell us about the cultural politics of self-representation in a time of mass attention to (and anxiety about) the personal. Cardell sees the twenty-first-century diary as a vibrant and popular cultural practice as much as a literary form, one that plays a key role in mass-mediated notions of authenticity, subjectivity, and truth. Dear World provides much-needed new attention to the innovation, evolution, and persistence of a familiar yet complex autobiographical mode.