Tag: diary

Newly Discovered Antarctic Diary Reveals Horrors of Infamous Expedition

Antarctica is a wild and mysterious continent, a place to remind us that awesome is not the synonym of the understated nice but is instead closer to the overwhelming, the tremendous. Known for its famous Midnight Sun—the continent’s season of uninterrupted sunlight—the landscape is just as often submerged in months of darkness. While many envision Antarctica as a flat, featureless expanse, the opaque snowdrift at the bottom of the globe, this is an inaccurate picture. Antarctica is home to a collection of what could just as easily be natural wonders or horrors—Deep Lake, so salty it never freezes, and the McMurdo Dry Valleys, where the wind is so intense and dehydrating that no snow can accumulate. There, only the lichens can survive, hiding deep within the rock. The only true no man’s land, Antarctica has seen only ten births, the first as recent 1979. But it has seen death.


Image Via Antarcticawinter.blogspot.com

Nobody owns Antarctica. But there was a lot of commotion over who might claim the discovery. In 1910, a dangerous race to the continent transpired between British Robert Falcon Scott and Norwegian Roald Amundsen, along with their respective crews. Their great ambition garnered both teams a less-than-great response—although Amundsen received funding to explore the North Pole, he kept his true objective a secret even from his own crew. Only once his vessel departed did he reveal his aim: the deadly Southern continent. And it was deadly—just not to Amundsen. Scott and his entire crew would die in the harsh conditions, martyred by their own ambitions. Today, a seller has revealed details of a long-lost journal, written by the man who discovered Scott’s body.


Image Via Earthmagazine.org


Through Scott’s own journals, we know of his crew’s devastating fate. Edgar Evans passed away first. Lawrence Oates died shortly after, his last words: “I am just going outside and may be some time.” Scott supposes he sacrificed himself to preserve the team’s dwindling resources—his sacrifice was in vain. It was his thirty-second birthday. Nearing their destination, three crew members remained. They were eleven miles away. But eleven miles becomes a lot further for someone too weak to move. In his last entry, Scott writes: “we shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.” The crew was on its return trip, the men loaded heavy with the truth: they had completed their journey to the pole, but they were not the first to do it. They had taken their chance at a place in history—it, in turn, had taken them.


Image Via Bbc.co.uk


Tryggve Gran, a Norwegian explorer, was part of the 1912 rescue mission to recover Scott’s team. Ultimately, he recovered only their bodies. In his previously unpublished journals, he describes the raw horror:


The frost had made the skin yellow & transparent & I’ve never seen anything worse in my life. [Scott] seems to have struggled hard in the moment of death, while the two others seem to have gone off in a kind of sleep […] We buried them this morning – a solemn undertaking. Strange to sea [sic] 11 men bareheaded whilst the wind blew. I must say our Expedition is not given much luck […] some sleep will do good after such a day as this. The sun shines lovely over this place of death


Gran also recalls using Scott’s skis instead of his own, a weighty gesture on behalf of a man he so clearly reveres. “They must finish the journey,” he writes, “and they will.”


In November, Gran’s son revealed the previously unknown journals to the world. Now, Herman Gran has sold his piece of history for a steep £150,000. Sophie Hopkins, a manuscript expert at Christie’s Auction House, marvels at the weight of the discovery: “he’s describing one of the most famous scenes in British history.” Further reading on the true account of heroism and horror includes Scott’s own journals, Scott’s Last Expedition; Amundsen’s previously known writings, My Life as an Explorer; and author Roland Huntford‘s non-fiction work, The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen’s Race to the South Pole.



Featured Image Via Gizmodo.com

open diary

You Can Now Buy and Read Strangers’ Diaries on eBay

From a grilled cheese with the Virgin Mary’s face on it to air from a Kanye West concert, you can definitely buy some pretty out there stuff on eBay — but did you know that you can also find hundreds of written-in diaries on the site?


The diaries span from the 19th century or even earlier to today, written by people from all walks of life: railroad workers, mothers, soldiers, teenage girls, you name it. You can find diaries from countries all over the world, too. Usually found at garage or estate sales, these written-in diaries can get pretty pricey if bidding picks up, especially for the more vintage ones.


Vintage diary

Image via Video Blocks


One diary from 1937, currently listed for $26, follows a young mother’s life in the Depression era, and even includes stories about the mysterious disappearance and murder of a sixteen-year-old girl in her town. Another one, selling for a cool $3,500, was written in the 1860s by a Civil War Union soldier and details his experiences in battle. There are so many stories out there, each just as rich as the next. 


Is this super creepy or super cool? It depends on your perspective, but I think it’s a really interesting way to glimpse lives that are different from your own and see what life was like in another decade or even another century. The more recent authors are, for the most part, completely anonymous, so you would never know who wrote them. When else do you get the chance to get inside another person’s head like that? 


What do you think? Would you read a stranger’s diary?


Featured Image via Toronto Star


Check out These 7 Photos of Famous Authors’ Diaries

Lets face it, it’s really wrong to read someone else’s diary. It crosses all sorts of boundaries that you don’t want to cross. It also makes you completely untrustworthy and kind of a piece of shit, unless of course the diary belongs to one of our favourite authors. Then it’s totally okay.


The main difference between diary entires written before the great wave of Facebook and Twitter and those written after is that before people started offloading every little detail of their lives onto their public profiles, writers actually wrote concisely what they really feel into their diary. It wasn’t a chore, like “Oh man, I should have journaled today.” It wasn’t for others to read, it was a way to organise your life or share your deepest and darkest.


Here are some photographs of author’s diaries, ranging from Jack Kerouac to Charlotte Brontë.


1. Charlotte Brontë’s Diary



Image Via Pinterest


2. Jack Kerouac’s Notebook



Image Via StumbleUpon


3. John Steinbeck’s Journal Page



Image Via The Morgan Library


4. Leonardo da Vinci’s Copious Notes


Da Vinci

Image Via Twitter


5. David Foster Wallace’s Draft of The Pale King.



Image Via Stumble Upon


6. Jennifer Egan’s Journal



Image Via Stumble Upon


7. Notes of Issac Newton



Image Via Pinterest


Bonus: The Diary of Frida Kahlo



Image Via Twitter


Frida clearly wins most beautiful and imaginative diary award, followed closely by David Foster Wallace, who, for some reason, I was not expecting such beautiful handwriting from.


Feature Image Via The New Yorker

Anne Frank

10 Anne Frank Quotes That’ll Remind You Not to Let Go of Your Ideals

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is one of those required books everybody reads at a young age and you never hear anybody complaining about. It’s obviously emotional, but it’s also surprisingly uplifting and humorous. She showed such wisdom at such a young age, and her idealism in the face of cruel Naziism can give anyone a reason to keep their chin up.


Anne Frank’s diary is rightfully required reading, and should be required re-reading and re-re-reading. But in the situation that a re-reading has thus far eluded you, here are some of the most insightful thoughts that Anne Frank left us.


1. I’ve found that there is always some beauty left—in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.


2. I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.


3. People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn’t stop you from having your own opinion.


4. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.


5. In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.


6. Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.


7. Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.


8. You can be lonely even when you are loved by many people, since you are still not anybody’s one and only.


9. I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.


10. It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.


Anne Frank

Image Via Biography


Feature Image Via Wikipedia

Flannery O'Connor

Famed Short Story Writer Flannery O’Connor’s Teenage Diary to Be Published!

Flannery O’Connor is one of the most canonical American short story writers, if not the most. English majors across the US read her works in awe. Whether it’s ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find’, ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’, or one of her many essays, O’Connor’s work has helped shape young minds for generations. And now, thanks to the quarterly journal Image, we’ll now get a look at O’Connor’s young mind.


Image 94

Image Via Image


O’Connor’s journal will be released in Image’s 94th issue, which will ship in November. The journal, which O’Connor titled “Higher Mathematics”, was written when she was eighteen years old. She covers all the topics you’d expect of a young person: her relationship with her mother, her college classes, etc. However, the sharp eye O’Connor had for social paradoxes, and her understated wit are on display as well.


What’s perhaps most inspiring and infectious (two words not usually associated with O’Connor) about this journal is her anxiety over her career. She’s conflicted. She understands and is often elated by her writing abilities. However, she’s extremely anxious nothing will come of her literary ambitions. As evidenced by the journal itself, O’Connor always had words that needed to be shared. Imagine the uncertainty she felt not knowing whether or not she’d be read.


Image has provided a brief excerpt from the journal which you can read here:


Jan. 11, ’44. If I should begin to feel sorry for myself—however erroneously—I could easily move myself to a liquid-eyed condition, and that would be disastrous. I have such an affection for myself. It is second only to the one I have for Regina [her mother]. No one else approaches it. I realize that joyfully just now. If I loved anyone as much or more than myself and he were to leave, I would be too unhappy to want myself to advance; as it is, I look forward to many profitable hours. I have so much to do that it scares me.


If you are in need of O’Connor’s words, you can order it here. A good man may be hard to find, but Image just made it a lot easier to find a good journal.


Feature Image Via WBUR