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Well, someday, perhaps, all of this will pay off in a big way. For now, the pleasure of it is enough. I feel towards these publicity stunts the way I used to when I would get stories accepted by little magazines: I love to keep getting publicity and I rush to xerox each article, just the way I used to xerox my letters of acceptance and the stories in little magazines when they would finally appear. For two hours earlier this evening, I went through my papers and letters and mementos, throwing some stuff out.

Last July, I got rid of even more accumulated material: One day — if I ever have the money and interest rates ever go down — it would be great to own a house and have a sense of permanence. The humidity is awful, and we had more heavy rains today. The chilly May weather of New Hampshire will be bracing after this.

It makes so much more sense than schlepping everything there. It was great to have someone to commiserate with. Both Susan and I feel frustration and rage about the same things: Ragdale accepted Susan for July, and she wants to go because she loves Chicago and needs the chance to get away and write. Susan was also accepted at VCCA for June, but she may not go because of the need to teach this summer to get extra income.

My biggest problem is to believe in myself as a writer again. I think what I have to do is begin to write for myself the way I used to and not worry about being published by Knopf or Farrar, Straus. Remember how happy I was three years ago with A Version of Life , even though that was more editing than writing? Maybe it would be fun.

I salvaged what could have been a disaster after my Ph. New York, Florida, D.


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I no longer have to prove anything to myself or anyone else. Sean was only a kid, and we had nothing in common except affection. There seems to be no end to what I have to do before I leave and such little time to do it in. Well, today I did all I could. Dad came over this morning and we moved the couch into the warehouse. I also took over the table and a couple more cartons of stuff.

But I still have all my papers to get packed away and put in boxes. If I take over three or four boxes every day, that will make it seem a more manageable task. And then I remember that my deadlines are self-imposed. Anyway, getting anxious now will just assure that everything gets done. A lot of it just seems worse than it is: That was really a terrible time for me; just as I left, Grandpa Herb had gotten sick and it began to sink in that he had cancer and was going to die. And to the 19th century, no figure exemplified this tragic duality of talent and psychosis than the composer Robert Schumann.

When it came, in , his fall shocked Europe. One of the brightest of the musical generation of c which also produced Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Liszt , Schumann was struck down with insanity - when he was still in his mid forties and at the height of his creative powers. Assailed - as he put it - by 'the voices of demons … [wanting] to throw him into Hell', he first tried to drown himself in the Rhine. But when suicide failed, he resigned himself to voluntary incarceration in a private asylum, where he died two years later, emaciated, gibbering and insane.

The tragedy of Schumann's final years has fitted so perfectly with a certain Romantic stereotype - the demented and troubled genius - that it has exercised a captivating influence over his biographers ever since. Each time, for instance, Schumann recorded in his diary a moment of depression, melancholy or nervous exhaustion, it has tended to be identified as a warning of the storm to come.

Damian Thompson reviews Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician. It is this hindsight-laden interpretation of Schumann's career that John Worthen's fine and scholarly new biography sets out to undo. True, he concedes, Schumann suffered intermittent bouts of melancholy and depression. But the cause of his later mental collapse, Worthen argues, had a far simpler and entirely unrelated cause.

For Schumann had contracted syphilis at the age of 21, and - in age which knew almost nothing of the disease's pathology - was pronounced 'cured' a few weeks later when the external sores healed. Unbeknownst to himself or his physicians, he lived with the disease in its secondary stage for most of his adult life. Only in , however, did the syphilis enter its terrifying and fatal 'tertiary' stage, attacking his brain and causing the symptoms that were misdiagnosed as the 'onset of madness'.

If this explanation is correct and Worthen marshals impressive evidence that it is , it has major implications for how Schumann's personality and his development as a creative artist should be read. So my mother was right about The Female Eunuch. It has changed my life. My mother has not done any proper housework for days now. All she does is go to work, comfort Mr Lucas and read and smoke. I had to show him where to catch a bus into town. A man of forty not knowing where the bus stop is! Surely my father made a mistake. He must have meant who did get custody of me.

What will he do with all that money? My mother says he will buy another bigger house. How stupid can you get?


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  • If I had thirty thousand pounds I would wander the world having experiences. When I came back from the world I would be tall, brown and full of ironical experiences and Pandora would cry into her pillow at night because of the chance she missed to be Mrs Pandora Mole.

    I would qualify to be a vet in record time then I would buy a farmhouse. I would convert one room into a study so that I could have somewhere quiet to be intellectual in. I can lie in bed and watch the late-night horror.

    The Vampire Diaries 8x11 Stefan kills Enzo, Bonnie turns Stefan human with Elena's blood

    I expect people are in awe of me. This weekend with Nigel has really opened my eyes! Without knowing it I have been living in poverty for the past fourteen years. I have had to put up withinferior accommodation, lousy food and paltry pocket money. Today is the day that Jesus escaped from the cave. I expect that Houdini got the idea from him. I asked Mr Vann which O levels you need to write situation comedy for television. My father is in trouble for staying out late last night.

    He is the same age as the milk jug so surely he can come in what time he likes! It is all round the school that an old lady of seventy-six frightened Barry Kent and his dad into returning my menaces money. His gang are electing a new leader. Finished last bell at Know just how Rembrandt must have felt after painting the Sistine Chapel in Venice.

    It was quite a shock to see Doreen Slater for the first time. She is as thin as a stick insect. She has got no bust and no bum.

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    Maxwell started to cry, the dog started to bark, so I went back to my black room and counted howmany things were now showing through the paint: I was feeling rebellious, so I wore red socks. My father was in bed when I got home; he was having his impotence cured. Mrs Ball has got a daughter who is a writer.

    The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

    I asked her how her daughter qualified to be one. At 5 AM they decided to climb the mountain! My protest fell on deaf ears. Had a long talk with Mr Dock. I explained that I was a one-parent-family child with an unemployed, bad-tempered father. So much for pastoral care! It was on the news today that the British Museum is thinking of banning school parties. We are doing Russia at school so I speak from knowledge.

    My father has got no work or worries yet he looks dead haggard. I am seriously thinking of giving everything up and running away to be a tramp. I would quite enjoy the life, providing I could have a daily bath.

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    My mother reads anything; she is prostituting her literacy. It is dead good. Apr 25, Manny rated it liked it Shelves: April 25 I start reading a book called Diary of a Nobody. It is boring and not much happens, also Mr. Pooter is pretty dim. I don't get it.

    A Young Writer’s Diary Entries From Mid-April, 1984

    Why would anyone want to write a book about a nobody who takes himself far too seriously? I decide that I will write a book about myself that will be quite different, it will be full of important things I do and extremely interesting. Perhaps I will call it Diary of a Somebody.

    But then people won't know which somebody it is, since everyone is somebody. I dec April 25 I start reading a book called Diary of a Nobody. I am just about to start writing some important things when my mother reminds me that I said I would tidy up my room. I will write about them when I have finished tidying. They both want to be in my diary. This is a bit strange, since my diary is secret, but I write back to say I will put them in if they do some silly things with yoga, teddy bears and toffee apples. I think this is very original, and shows I am a Somebody. April 27 I have received another letter from MJ.

    He says he wants his own days in my diary, so I will not mention anyone else today. I had not understood that keeping a diary was so complicated.

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    April 28 I am trying to imagine what Miss Knig-o-lass looks like. I see her as a beautiful, treacle-haired temptress, like Pandora at school. I am hoping that she will also send me a request. Miss Knig-o-lass does not seem as demanding as MJ. Perhaps this is because she is a nicer person, or perhaps it is just because she hasn't noticed me. It's often hard to tell with girls. April 29 Miss Knig-o-lass has also sent me a request!

    I don't really understand it, but there is a card with a stretched-out picture of a lady and something about how chocolate can't get you pregnant. I must make sure that Pandora does not find out about my friendship with this sophisticated older woman. April 30 MJ has sent me another message! He says he might be jealous. I think he must be Miss Knig-o-lass's regular boyfriend.

    He used a Latin word I didn't know, I wish I had been paying more attention in biology yesterday when we were doing Human Reproduction. Since I started keeping this diary my life has become more and more interesting. I am definitely a Somebody. View all 12 comments. Jul 05, Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it Shelves: It's been a long time since I've even picked up an Adrian Mole book or watched the TV show, and reading this one I was expecting lots of unnecessary teen drama.

    Surprisingly Adrian is actually a very witty main character and this book is much more funny than griping, full of weird mishaps and Adrian's musings of his peers, daily life and quirky family. Anybody who's ever been a teenager can probably relate to his concise observations, and the whole thing is a lot of fun to read through. Best of It's been a long time since I've even picked up an Adrian Mole book or watched the TV show, and reading this one I was expecting lots of unnecessary teen drama. Best of all, Adrian isn't the only well-developed character in the story. Each character, even the minor background characters, are given a consistent personality making everything more vibrant and real.

    May 24, Susi rated it really liked it. I've just read this to my daughter who is exactly this age.

    The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

    I'd read the book when it first came out but it was great to revisit both it and the memories that it stirred. Reliving the Falklands War, the Royal Wedding, mass unemployment, stress over the changes to the school system etc was fascinating if only to realise how little has changed!

    We almost had to stop reading at one point as each day's literary Mole catastrophe coincidentally seemed to then occur in my daughter's real life: We both loved it and she has been inspired to start a diary! I've read everyone of the Mole books - the Weapons of Mass Destruction will remain my favourite for obvious reasons! Word of warning though: I came close to crashing when one anecdote in The Capuccino Years blinded me with tears of hysterical laughter just outside Colchester. I had to stop the car to recover and compose myself with a hefty dose of R4 Woman's Hour instead.

    Nov 06, Valerie rated it liked it.


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    The Diary of Adrian Mole is like a snarky one-liner that continues for pages. Adrian is a self-centered, irreverent British year-old whose diary entries include nuggets of wisdom such as: Pandora and I are in love! She told Claire Neilson, who told Nigel, who told me. I told Nigel to tell Claire to tell Pandora that I return her love. I am over the moon with joy and rapture. I can overlook the fact that Pandora smokes five Benson and Hedges a day and has her own lighter. Whe The Diary of Adrian Mole is like a snarky one-liner that continues for pages.

    When you are in love such things cease to matter. It was entertaining, but never really got beyond the point of a quick, light read. I did learn that there was a short-lived BBC series based on the book. The intro is actually pretty sweetly tacky: View all 7 comments. Oct 11, Amanda rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Harry Potter in case he needs another book to stab.

    Recommended to Amanda by: It was forced on me! I will deny every argument against this! Yes, I hate this book so much, I killed its sole, lonely star. As this was a school assigned book, I have written a much more formal review from an objective point of view for my English class. I also wrote a review purely for me, from a very subjective point of view.

    Feel free to just read the objective one but if you want to see how bad the book was for me, personally, read to the end. From an objective point of view, The Secret Diary of Ad 1 dead star. As he goes through puberty, he must struggle with conflicting emotions, parent troubles, pimples, and first love. I would have preferred the diary to be on a more interesting character and lifestyle but that is just my personal preference. The mundane, everyday updates could provide many points for the reader to relate to.

    Adrian is, quite frankly, an ungrateful, arrogant kid, but in the underlying messages, you can tell he does have an understanding of love. The things his family goes through would be pretty tough for a teenager who also has his own internal problems. I did not like him very much, as some of the things he said were pretty insulting. Teenage boys will probably find traits they can relate to, but, as I am a girl, I did not find any.

    He had one of the more interesting stories but he was not a main focus of the novel. The plot was not very well done. I understand that it is meant to have a very natural, raw feel to it, being a diary of a teenage boy, but I felt that it was very random and disjointed. The events had no order to them, which I find really annoying as I like things to be organized. There was no climax, even in the background themes. It was a sequence of mundane events with no big event to tie everything together.