chapter  2
26 Pages

Diaries

ONLY TWO diaries were found among Ruth Benedict's papers, each covering a few winter months — the first written in 1923, when she was just becoming acquainted with anthropologists as a professional group, and the second in 1926, after she had also come to know a group of poets. Taken together, they provide a small but precise dia­ gram of the different aspects of her life in the early 1920's. In con­ trast to her journal, the diaries record the small events of day-to-day life, but as each runs for no more than a few weeks, they suggest a habit of commencing the New Year with a resolution to keep track of events, personal and professional, which always lapsed as other preoccupations intervened.