Friday, April 20, 2012

A Little Common Place Book

I had to have it: A Little Common Place Book. From the description at Amazon: "Reading is perhaps best understood as a peculiar form of writing, and vice versa. Renaissance thinkers took this paradox seriously, giving it concrete form in their "commonplace books," manuscript journals of passages copied from assorted texts and organized under various headings. The origins of the practice lay in the preparatory methods of classical oratory and medieval sermon composition, but commonplacing achieved the status of a true art among humanists like Erasmus and Montaigne, who used these notebooks to maintain command over an ever-expanding body of published texts, while culling material for their own correspondence, essays and literary compositions. The perfect gift for the itinerant thinker, this handsome volume is a facsimile of a notebook originally printed in 1797--the only remaining copy of which is held in the rare books collection of Princeton University--and reprints its introduction to the principles of commonplacing as practiced by the philosopher John Locke, as well as 144 blank pages for collecting and cataloguing your own thoughts."

The book is produced by Cabinet Books & Proteotypes.

1 comment:

phatbuster said...

Why oh why haven't I come across this before. Why didn't someone teach me this when I was at university?

Deep down, my attempts at keeping a plain-text notebook of information, were simply efforts at commonplacing without knowing what I was doing.

Thank you for making this known to me. I, too, am going to get that book!