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An intimate journal or diary if written only for private viewing may elevate, depress, or upset. I doubt if any diarist ever really puts it down just for his own eyes. A rare bird might. If published it may tell us a great deal about the person who wrote the diary, even including an analysis of motives for publishing. If published behind the fumes of a smoke screen, a nom de plume, the motives are not hard to find. A diary kept during an internship or a residency in the early stages of "The Depression" by a perceptive person has additional features of interest especially intensified for those of us whose medical experience was partly or wholly contemporaneous with his. If the diary was kept by an alert and cultivated person with a sharp and selective taste in literature, music, and fine arts, we can enjoy being his guest. One's
Bean WB. One Little Gleam.. Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(4):561-562. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860100143023