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The Culture of WarLiterature of the Siege of Paris 1870-1871$
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Colin Foss

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621921

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621921.001.0001

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Letters to No One

Letters to No One

Chapter:
(p.119) Chapter 5 Letters to No One
Source:
The Culture of War
Author(s):

Colin Foss

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789621921.003.0006

During the Siege of Paris, sending personal letters beyond the blockade was almost impossible short of hot-air balloon post or messenger pigeons. This chapter shows how Parisians began writing diaries of their experiences, and how the genres of personal writing changed due to the extraordinary historical moment. Normally associated with intimacy and emotion, diaries became public documents, diarists intermingling their personal experience with public events. The “I” of diaries became plural, just as the intended readership expanded to include any potential reader, present or future, French or otherwise. This chapter focuses on the unpublished diaries of a handful of besieged.

Keywords:   Personal writing, Life writing, Diaries, Intimacy, Siege, War

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