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The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession (Vols 1-2) Hardcover – January 31, 1985
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From Library Journal
Inman (1895-1963), a sensitive would-be poet from a moneyed family, virtually withdrew from normal existence after a breakdown in early manhood. With necessities seen to by wife and staff, he concentrated on his immense diary, which filled 155 volumes at his death. He recorded not only striking descriptions of contemporary Georgia and New England, but a wild assortment of bigotries and fantasies. He kept in touch by reading and through ``talkers'' paid to discuss their lives in his darkened sickroom (females were required to go considerably beyond talking). Their stories, too, became part of the diary, abridged here to a hefty sampling of Inman's peculiar mind and habits. An unusual mix of social history and case study. For large collections. Starr E. Smith, Georgetown Univ. Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Daniel Aaron is Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature, Emeritus, Harvard University.
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Top customer reviews
Not great stuff, this Diary, but interesting stuff, despite Inman's fathomless self-delusion as to his merit, and better than the stuffy memoirs and press-agent puff that otherwise draped the events of Inman's time. A repellent but fascinating neurotic of the first water, but a shrewd judge of people in some ways as he vicariously lived and reported on their ordinary lives -- somewhat Proustian in its less-talented way. Whatever the source of Harvard's reluctance to publish more Inman (and it may have been a qualitative and commercial publishing decision that was quite warranted), one hopes historians of 20th Century Boston may find more of it worth mining at the Houghton Library, along with its many photographs and some 100 hours of sound recordings.
A hypnotic read in its way. Not something one might ordinarily pick up, but it was the imprimatur of Daniel Aaron as editor and HUP as publisher that made me think "there might be something here". And so there is.