Diary entry by Kenneth Williams, Thursday, 22 August, 1963

Kenneth Williams

The following is the entire diary entry by Kenneth Williams from that date:

Saw a terrible film & returned to the flat at 4 o’c. The madness screaming up inside me. So many awful thoughts. This terrible sense of doom hanging over me. I wonder if anyone will ever know about the emptiness of my life. I wonder if anyone will ever stand in a room that I have lived in, and touch the things that were once a part of my life, and wonder about me, and ask themselves what manner of man I was. How to ever tell them? How to ever explain? How to say that I never found Love – how to say that it was all my own fault – that when presented with it, I was afraid & so I spurned it, or laughed at it, or was cruel, and killed it: and knew that in the process I was killing myself. Who can say where it all goes wrong? Now I’m thinking all the while of death in some shape or another. Every day is something to be got through. All the recipes of the past are no longer valid. I’ve spent all my life in the mind. I have existed. I know everything vicariously. I have entered into nothing. I’ve given some sympathy but never empathy.

I’ve so far read more than a fourth of his published diaries – which were posthumously published, not by his wishes – and they’re human. Short sentences, small things, big things. Words like “awful” and “lovely” crop often, while his sadness is overhanging, everywhere, casting a completely different picture than his larger-than-life Carry On personality let some people think. Little wonder. Honesty shows. It’s harrowing, lovely and, above all, seemingly honestly registered and human at the core.

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