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The Private Life of the Diary

Price: Standard £12, Senior Citizens £8

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The Private Life of the Diary

Dr Sally Bayley



12:00pm 1h
John Mackintosh Hall

Writer, teacher, researcher Dr Sally Bayley will lead an interactive lecture on the nature and art of diary writing. Working from published and unpublished examples of diary manuscripts and literary fragments of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson, Sally will show how diaries and private memorabilia summon and store the unconscious voices of writers as they work towards finding a literary voice.

The session will bring an array of rare literary and visual materials into play in an attempt to show how photographs, diary manuscripts and letters can be curated into a form of critical biography. Sally will work with her audience to generate a form of call-and-response voice work, a method of literary stitching between one voice-part and another. The aim of the session will be to show how submerged literary voices can be used to gain critical insight into published texts.


Bayley is a teaching and research fellow at the Rothermere American Institute and a lecturer in English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. She has written widely on visual responses to literature including Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath’s Art of the Visual, and is also author of Home on the Horizon: America’s Search for Space, from Emily Dickinson to Bob Dylan.

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