One hundred years ago The Journal of a Disappointed Man—W. N. P. Barbellion’s remarkable account of his life, loves, and valiant fight and losing battle against multiple sclerosis—was published. The book, which the English author termed “a self-portrait in the nude,” begins as “a Diary of a Naturalist’s observations,” grows into a frank record of daily events, professional progress, artistic impressions, and “introspective muck-rakings,” and ends up a no-holds-barred chronicle of stoic suffering and painful decline. “My Journal,” Barbellion writes at one point, “keeps open house to every kind of happening in my soul.”

Seven months after its publication in October 1919, Barbellion died, aged thirty. The editorial note which followed the last entry in the

 
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