The Diary of Samuel Pepys Essay

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In a recent study, Stuart Sherman has argued that the diary's fundamental momentum derives from time itself, an innovative 'minute-wise' conception of time as comprised by new pocket-watch, pendulum technology. The diary is a self-conducted time-and-motion study of a radically innovative kind; its whirlpool of details can be explained by Pepys's attempt to capture and frame time itself. The narrative has no final destination or objective except its very mobility; tracing the movement of Pepys himself through time. Sherman maintains that the diary's isochronous progression is its one constant, otherwise its scripted content varies infinitely. As narrative time must compress real time, so Pepys is free to decide how much (or how little) attention each temporal unit or entry, given an a priori equivalence, should then receive: 'Pepys fills the blank [entry] by forms and criteria of his owndevising, even to the extent of determining its dimensions as...

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This section contains 1,240 words
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Buy The Diary of Samuel Pepys Study Guide
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