Robert Shields (diarist)

Robert Shields (diarist)

Rev Robert Shields (May 17 1918 – October 15 2007)citeweb
publisher=New York Times
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/us/29shields.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin
title=Robert Shields, Wordy Diarist, Dies at 89
last=Martin
first=Douglas
date=2007-10-29
accessdate=2007-11-26
] was a former Minister and high school English teacher who lived in Dayton, Washington,cite web
publisher=NPR
url=http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/transcript.php3
title=Robert Shields, World's Longest Diary
last=Isay
first=David
date=1994-01-27
accessdate=2007-11-26
] USA, who, after his death, left behind a diary of 37.5 million wordsciteweb
publisher=NotMuch.com
url=http://www.notmuch.com/Features/Interview/2000/05.06.html
title=Michael Interviewed... Robert Shields Diarist and former Reverend
last=Feldman
first=Michael
date=2000-05-06
accessdate=2007-12-01
] chronicling every 5 minutes of his life from 1972 until a stroke disabled him in 1997. Shields's diary was longer than those kept by the journalist Edward Robb Ellis (21 million words), the poet Arthur Crew Inman (17 million words), and perhaps the most famous diarist of all, Samuel Pepys (1.25 million words).citeweb
publisher=New York Times
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/us/29shields.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin
title=Robert Shields, Wordy Diarist, Dies at 89
last=Martin
first=Douglas
date=2007-10-29
accessdate=2007-11-26
]

Believing that discontinuing his diary would be like "turning off my life",cite web
publisher=NPR
url=http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/transcript.php3
title=Robert Shields, World's Longest Diary
last=Isay
first=David
date=1994-01-27
accessdate=2007-11-26
] he spent four hours a day in the office on his back porch, in his underwear, recording his body temperature, blood pressure, medications, describing his urination, and slept for only two hours at a time so he could describe his dreams.citeweb
publisher=Daily Mail
url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=490674&in_page_id=1811
title=Discovered: The world's longest diary - all 3.75 million words of it
date=2007-10-30
accessdate=2007-11-26
] It is believed that Shields suffered from hypergraphia. He once said "Maybe by looking into someone's life at that depth, every minute of every day, they will find out something about all people."citeweb
publisher=Daily Mail
url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=490674&in_page_id=1811
title=Discovered: The world's longest diary - all 3.75 million words of it
date=2007-10-30
accessdate=2007-11-26
] He also left behind samples of his nose hair for future study.citeweb
publisher=New York Times
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/us/29shields.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin
title=Robert Shields, Wordy Diarist, Dies at 89
last=Martin
first=Douglas
date=2007-10-29
accessdate=2007-11-26
]

Shields's self-described "uninhibited", "spontaneous" work was astonishing in its mundaneness, and now fills 94 cartonsciteweb
publisher=Washington State University
url=http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/Holland/MASC/MSAccessions.htm
title=Manuscript Accession List
date=updated August 2007
accessdate=2007-12-01
] in the collections of Washington State University, to whom he donated the work in 1999.citeweb
publisher=Daily Mail
url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=490674&in_page_id=1811
title=Discovered: The world's longest diary - all 3.75 million words of it
date=2007-10-30
accessdate=2007-11-26
] In a May 2000 interview he said "I've written 1200 poems and at least five of 'em are good."citeweb
publisher=NotMuch.com
url=http://www.notmuch.com/Features/Interview/2000/05.06.html
title=Michael Interviewed... Robert Shields Diarist and former Reverend
last=Feldman
first=Michael
date=2000-05-06
accessdate=2007-12-01
] . He also claimed to have written the story base for Elvis Presley's film "Love Me Tender" based on the Reno Gang of Seymour, Indiana where Robert William Shields was born. Copies of the manuscript are at the Kansas State Historical Society, E P Lamborn collection. Shields based his manuscript on John Reno's 1879 autobiography.

Excerpts

Under the terms of the donation of his diary to Washington State University, the diary may not be read or subjected to an exact word count for 50 years from his death.citeweb
publisher=Boston Globe
url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/10/30/robert_w_shields_89_a_preacher_who_kept_a_375_million_word_diary/
title=Robert W. Shields, 89, a preacher who kept a 37.5 million-word diary
last=Martin
first=Douglas
date=2007-10-30
accessdate=2007-11-26
] However, many excerpts have appeared, including the following:cite web
publisher=New Zealand Herald
url=http://www.nzherald.co.nz/column/story.cfm?c_id=702&objectid=10477089
title=Sideswipe
last=Samways
first=Ana
date=2007-11-20
accessdate=2007-11-26
] ;July 25, 1993 :7 am: "I cleaned out the tub and scraped my feet with my fingernails to remove layers of dead skin.":7.05 am: "Passed a large, firm stool, and a pint of urine. Used five sheets of paper.";April 18, 1994 :6:30-6:35: "I put in the oven two Stouffer's macaroni and cheese at 350°.:6:35-6:50: "I was at the keyboard of the IBM Wheelwriter making entries for the diary.:6.50-7.30: "I ate the Stouffer's macaroni and cheese and Cornelia ate the other one. Grace decided she didn't want one.:7.30-7.35: "We changed the light over the back stoop since the bulb had burnt out.;August 13, 1995 :8.45 am: "I shaved twice with the Gillette Sensor blade " [and] " shaved my neck behind both ears, and crossways of my cheeks, too."

External links

* Scanned pages from the April 1994 diary: [http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/diary_entry1.gifPage 1] , [http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/diary_entry2.gif2] , [http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/diary_entry3.gif3] , [http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/diary_entry4.gif4] , [http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/diary_entry5.gif5] , [http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/worlds_longest_diary/diary_entry6.gif6] . NPR Sound Portraits
* [http://www.notmuch.com/Features/Interview/2000/05.06.html Radio interview] (RealAudio format) on Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?, May 6 2000.

References

Persondata
NAME=Shields, Robert William
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Diarist
DATE OF BIRTH=May 17, 1918
PLACE OF BIRTH=Seymour, Indiana
DATE OF DEATH=October 15, 2007
PLACE OF DEATH=Dayton, Washington


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