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The Watchful Clothier$
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Matthew Kadane

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169614

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169614.001.0001

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. “My Character & Conduct”

. “My Character & Conduct”

(p.15) 2. “My Character & Conduct”
The Watchful Clothier

Matthew Kadane

Yale University Press

This chapter, which focuses on the character and conduct of Joseph Ryder, states that one practical outcome of Ryder's obscurity is that, despite his prolixity, much of his biography is unwritable. Outside of his diary, his equally obscure trade notebook, his will, and a posthumous ad in the newspaper for his real estate, he appears in the archives only on the day he was born, the day he was married, and the day he was buried. Almost all of the allusions in the diary to the personal affairs of Ryder's unnoticed life are referenced nowhere else, and this may be one of the longest diaries ever written that so frequently says something about, for all practical purposes, nothing. The chapter also reveals that Ryder wrote a massive amount of words which were, at least in part, intended to be about him.

Keywords:   Joseph Ryder, obscurity, prolixity, biography, allusions, trade notebook

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