What sort of diary should I like mine to be?
"I might in the course of time learn what it is that one can make of this loose, drifting material of life. . . . What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art."
from A Writer's Diary
(As quoted in "Some Deep Old Desk or Capacious Hold-All": Form and Women's
Autobiography, Suzanne Juhasz, College English, Vol. 39, No. 6. (Feb., 1978), pp. 663-669.)