04 September 2007

Diary of a Nobody - George Grossmith

Date: September 4, 2007
Recommendation: A diary for nobody

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That this novel was published in 1892 is, in itself, quite remarkable. While reading it, I couldn't help but make allusions to Seinfeld. The premise of both Grossmith's classic comedy and NBC's hit comedy of the 1990s is that nothing happens. Quite simply, the plot of the 'Diary' is the daily ramblings of Mr. Charles Pooter. Having said that, the styling is quite humorous, if not antiquated. Pooter is a social misfit; as with many Victorian novels, the protagonist plays a certain class figure, while all the more thinking himself as not belonging to this class. In Pooter's case, he thinks of himself as well-off, when, in essence, he is an excellent example of the burgeoning middle class of late 19th Century London. This really is the first novel of life in the suburbs; it would seem as though over 100 years later, the denizens of these often mocked neighborhoods have not improved their lot so very much. But at least we can laugh at their misfortunes in trying to understand, if not climb, the class ladder!

Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see - because I do not happen to be a 'Somebody' - why my diary should not be interesting.