Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

Knowledge, the ‘Moment of Writing’ and the Simulacrum Diaries of Johanna Brandt-Van Warmelo

Dampier, Helen and Stanley, Liz (2006) Knowledge, the ‘Moment of Writing’ and the Simulacrum Diaries of Johanna Brandt-Van Warmelo. In: Narrative, Memory & Knowledge: Representations, Aesthetics, Contexts. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 27-39.

Image (JPEG) - Cover Image
Download (40kB) | Preview
    PDF - Published Version
    Download (44kB) | Preview


      Diary-writing is usually defined around assumptions about the temporal and
      spatial circumstances of writing, which underpin what kind of knowledge
      diaries are understood to ‘hold’. The epistemological status of diaries is rooted
      in an assumed ontology, concerning the time/space of their writing and the
      temporal location of their writer in relation to the ‘entries’ written in them.
      This paper explores ‘what happens’ to the knowledge a diary is seen to hold
      when its ontological basis is disturbed by its assumed ‘present-ness’ being
      shown to be an artful (mis)representation. The case study discussed concerns
      the published diary Het Concentratie-Kamp van Irene [The Irene
      Concentration Camp] (1905), and also the manuscript diary, and the letters
      written concurrently with the preparation of the former for publication, of a
      South African woman, Johanna Van Warmelo (her pre-marriage name). The
      diary deals with the author’s experiences of six weeks spent as a volunteer
      worker in Irene concentration camp during the 1899-1902 South African War.
      In the secondary literature, knowledge-claims about the Van Warmelo diary
      not only assume referentiality but also the temporal interrelationship of ‘the
      moment of writing’ with ‘the scene of what is written about’. In particular, the
      assumption is that the time of its writing, narrative time in a diary-entry, and
      the temporal location of the writer in relation to the diary-entries, are all ‘of the
      moment’. However, important temporal disjunctures exist between the
      manuscript and the published diary. Detailed examples of this are examined by
      unpacking the ‘moments of writing’ of the manuscript and the published diary,
      by reference to family letters written by Brandt-Van Warmelo (her postmarriage
      name) over the period the diary was being prepared for publication.
      In doing so, we develop the idea of a ‘simulacrum diary’ in thinking about the
      relationship between the published and manuscript diaries and the complexities of their moments of writing.

      Item Type: Book Chapter
      Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
      Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
      Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
      School of Human and Health Sciences
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
      Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2009 15:41
      Last Modified: 30 Jul 2010 14:10


      Downloads per month over past year

      Repository Staff Only: item control page

      View Item

      University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©