Tuesday, December 13, 2005



Gypsy Scholar quotes an unnamed wise philosopher:
He who quotes others lacks the ability to think for himself.
That is an apt and fair description of me and my blog. I have no original thoughts. This blog is a commonplace book, a substitute for the notebooks in which I used to write down quotations that struck my fancy. Anyone who looks for more here is looking in the wrong place.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his Journal (May 1849) said, "I hate quotation. Tell me what you know." I know nothing, Ralph. If I were restricted to uttering my own thoughts, I would be struck dumb.

I enjoy reading authors who quote a lot, such as Montaigne and Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy.

A reply:
I must object to your self-characterization in "Quotations." Laudator is nothing like a public commonplace book. You are an anthologist, a practitioner of the ancient & esteemed art of apposition. You appose sententiae in the same way that a mosaicist apposes tesserae. No one complains that the creator of a mosaic creates nothing because he uses or re-uses little squares of stone, yet you say "I have no originality" because you combine the words of others. Do you really think there is no art of composition here?
Another reply:
As one who also has a love of quotes, I couldn't disagree more. I find quotes not a substitute for thoughts but rather form given to my thoughts - whether it is to tickle my fancy or be a handy aphorism.

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