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The House by the Sea: A Journal Paperback – 1995
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About the Author
May Sarton (1912-1995) was an acclaimed poet, novelist, and memoirist.
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I can see why some people find it irritating to read, although I never do. She contradicts herself frequently-- complains of how she never gets time to herself and then runs around the Eastern seaboard like a bandersnatch. She can be prey to muddled thinking and faulty logic and sounds as though she'd be a real pain to be around much of the time.
But still, it's inspirational to read as someone who wants to keep a journal. It's not a constantly ecstatic experience in the way that Annie Dillard can be or an idea journal in the vein of Walden, it's more like reading somebody fumbling through towards bigger ideas and willing to expose the joints and creaky bits in the process. There are moments of vision and transcendence, but also a lot of the petty crap that gets people down from day to day.
I like reading Sarton because she is so human. I feel like I miss her even though I never knew her, and reading her is like getting to know her-- in all her fulness as a flawed and talented human being.
I'd probably begin with A Journal of a Solitude, as I think it's the more complete work, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this as a follow-up.