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Diary of a Body

by Daniel Pennac

Scatological, erotic, poetic, moving and funny, this fictional diary hits plenty of home truths. I was fascinated by its insights into the male psyche and the stories the body revealed about the narrator.

Extract

Thursday 19 November, 1936
13 years, 1 month, 9 days

When I was thinking back on all my fears. I drew up a list of feelings: the fear of heights that crushes my balls, the fear of being punched that paralyses me; the fear of being afraid that distresses me all day; anxiety that gives me diarrhoea; emotion (of any kind, even delightful) that gives me goose bumps; nostalgia (thinking of Papa, for example) that brings tears to my eyes; surprise that makes me jump (even a slamming door!); the panic that makes me pee; the slightest little sorrow that makes me cry; fury that suffocates me; shame that shrinks me. My body reacts to everything. But I don't always know how it will react.

Parallels

Essays by Michel de Montaigne
The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
The Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend
 

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