Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Last thoughts on Caroline Lamb

Caroline Lamb's commonplace books are an extraordinarily interesting glimpse not just of one, let's be honest, troubled mind, but of an entire social construction of selfhood...many women kept these scrapbooks...mostly just with stuff in them that happened to interest them...newspaper cuttings and so on. What Caroline Lamb did with her second commonplace book (there are two in the archive) is to create a kind of fragmented space of self-invention...an open nakedness, as it were...and turn a private document into a public statement of who she was...her public being both Byron and, oddly, herself...so please forgive there being ten entries here...but the whole thing made me feel a bit fragmented myself, and I felt this was the appropriate response.

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