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Disposable Diaries: Miranda Doyle

The latest instalment of our “Disposable Diaries” comes from Miranda Doyle the author of A Book of Untruths – published this week in paperback – a memoir which explores the lies we tell ourselves. In this photo series, the author was inspired by the bland and safe front door, like the selves that we feel we must present to the world once we leave the house. Doyle accompanies photos she has taken with her thoughts as well as quotes from literary figures and cultural figures.


Door number 1

Elizabeth Bowen, author of The Death of the Heart: ‘Never to lie is to have no lock on your door . . . ’ Front doors, like the guarded self, shut away our life-mess. Here is mine.

Door number 13

Saul Bellow, Canadian-American writer: ‘Everyone needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.’ The graffiti artist on a neighbouring street, his inside leaking out.

Blank Tape shop

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, American poet and Jungian psychoanalyst: ‘The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door . . .  If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.’ Our local blank tape shop, empty for years.

Glass door

Albert Camus, author of The Stranger and The Plague: ‘Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.’

Salvation Army

Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst: ‘Small and hidden is the door that leads inward, and the entrance is barred by countless prejudices, mistaken assumptions, and fears.’ The conflicts, oh the conflicts, what to vote this morning: Theresa, Jeremy . . . Jesus?

Carl Jung door

Carl Jung: ‘This meeting with oneself is, at first, the meeting with one’s own shadow. The shadow is a tight passage, a narrow door …’ The military recruitment office which lies on the way to a primary school; two children on our street have been recruited already.

Green door

Walter de la Mare, author of the post-war Collected Stories for Children: ‘All day long the door of the subconscious remains ajar; we slip through to the other side and return again as easily and secretly as a cat.’

Blue Door

John Updike, short-story writer, art critic and literary critic: ‘A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted.’ A decorative nowhere.

Sprayed door

Arthur Miller, American playwright,: ‘I cannot sleep for dreaming; I cannot dream but wake to walk about the house as though I’d find you coming through the door.’ The ‘Danger of Death’ sign and the bins bring only one Nigel to mind, and it’s no dream. It’s a nightmare.

Stone Street

Graham Greene, author of Brighton Rock and The End of the Affair: ‘There is one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.’ There is no door here, nor a house; no.9 Stone Street, like memory, is its own fiction.

Grey door

Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, fiction writer and essayist: ‘I see the poem or the novel ending with an open door.’

A Book of Untruths by Miranda Doyle is available in paperback here.