The journal form gives the appearance of something merely thrown together, but I suspect this is far from the truth. This "phenomenology of breathing" is also "a catalogue of sensory data." Its connections are sensual rather than logical. "Writing," he says near the very end of the book, "begins in the body, it is the music of the body." It is interesting that the one aspect of his life least often talked about in the book is his writing.
Driving snow and biting wind are as important in their own way as his novels and poetry. The maid's room without a bathroom in Paris overlooking the Louvre is as formative, if not more so, as the year in graduate school at Columbia. If a man is the sum of his experience, all that experience is significant.
There have been times when I have complained about the vanity of authors of all stripes with the temerity to think that their navel gazing is worth a reader's precious time. It is one thing for a biographer to decide that a subject's life is worthy of public attention; it is quite another for the subject himself to make that decision.
On the other hand, there is certainly something to be said for a book that tries to make an honest assessment of one's own life, "to examine what it has felt like to live inside" your body. This is especially true if the life we are talking about is the life of a sensitive, articulate human being who recognizes not only his own unique individuality, but the fact that his experience is the experience of us all.