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Dear World
Contemporary Uses of the Diary
Kylie Cardell

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

Dear World marks a shift from a view of the diary as private writing to a focus on the diary, in published form, as a central part of popular culture.”
—Leigh Gilmore, Harvard Divinity School

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 massmediated 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.


Author. Photo credit, Name

Kylie Cardell is a lecturer in the Department of English, Creative Writing, and Australian Studies at Flinders University.





“[Cardell] analyzes how the concept of diary has changed. . . . She contends that there are three major types of modern diary: those written during conflicts by soldiers, journalists and others caught in the crossfire; sex and confession blogging; and graphic journals.”
Library Journal

“Many scholars in the field of life writing have been awaiting just such a critical study as Kylie Cardell’s. Her work is highly original and important to the evolving study of forms of diary writing. Diaries, whether in print, online, and/or visual, are constructions that lead scholars to examine and assess such notions as facticity, authenticity, and good faith. Dear World makes a significant contribution to this examination and assessment.”
—Suzanne L. Bunkers, author of Diaries of Girls and Women



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Of Related Interest

The Travels of Increase Joseph Cover

Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online
Edited by Anna Poletti and Julie Rak

December 2014
LC: 2014012691 PN
192 pp.   6 x 9

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Paper $34.95 a
ISBN 978-0-299-30094-4
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