Eternal Journals: Magnificent Obsessions

It’s the post-holiday catchup thing today. I normally blog once a day, but may have to increase frequency to deal with a backlog of good ideas. Noticed today that I still haven’t blogged about some things that happened in New York a couple weeks ago.

From some holiday reading at the in-laws’ house: I was amazed to come across a recent Newsweek piece about a man who set out to keep a journal of his daughter’s first year of life (following journalist Bob Greene’s idea in Good Morning, Merry Sunshine), but then decided he couldn’t stop and kept it up until the kid turned 18, writing almost every day. He now has several large books. Given that this blog, now almost 9 months old, is my longest continuous writing project, I’m agog. What amazing dedication and endurance.

From the current Newsweek, I was also bowled over by critic David Ansen’s “lifelong movie project.” Beginning at the age of 12, in 1958, Ansen wrote a review of every movie he ever saw, a collection that has now grown past 7,000 films. Again, what commitment. And reading the old reviews probably gives him innumerable glimpses into the vanished past and the child and young man he was.

By the way, reading these pieces made me even more dissatisfied with the “Life List” stuff I wrote a few weeks ago, which now strike me as pretty tepid and insufficiently ambitious. More on that in an upcoming entry.

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