Not long ago I was introduced to an interesting blog called “Dairies of Note.” Having spent much time involved in a diary of note, I was intrigued by the blog writer’s approach: quote, on each calendar day, a different diary entry written by someone on that very day sometime in the past. It is quite a feat to be able to draw upon so many varied diaries, and, from what little I’ve seen so far, the range is enormous, and utterly fascinating.
Each diary entry comes with some explanatory material, and links for further reading, but the main attraction is the diarist’s words in each instance. Yesterday, it just so happened to be Odd Nansen’s turn. It’s a horrifying entry, but all of you who have read Nansen’s diary know that the scene described is unfortunately by no means unique. As I have said in many of my lectures, it is Nansen’s inspiring humanity which prevents his diary from becoming simply a catalog of horrors.
Here is the 1944 entry from Odd Nansen’s diary that was chosen for August 31.
We are all inundated with more reading material than we can cope with these days, but this daily blog is unique, and worth a close look.