19 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. Walter Benjamin termed the book ‘an outdated mediationbetween two filing systems’

      reference for this quote? date?

      Walter Benjamin's fantastic re-definition of a book presaged the invention of the internet, though his instantiation was as a paper based machine.

  2. Jul 2022
    1. Famously, Luswig Wittgenstein organized his thoughts this way. Also famously, he never completed his 'big book' - almost all of his books (On Certainty, Philosophical Investigations, Zettel, etc.) were compiled by his students in the years after his death.

      I've not looked directly at Wittgenstein's note collection before, but it could be an interesting historical example.


      Might be worth collecting examples of what has happened to note collections after author's lives. Some obviously have been influential in scholarship, but generally they're subsumed by the broader category of a person's "papers" which are often archived at libraries, museums, and other institutions.

      Examples: - Vincentius Placcius' collection used by his students - Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten which is being heavily studied by Johannes F.K. Schmidt - Mortimer J. Adler - was his kept? where is it stored?

      Posthumously published note card collections - Ludwig Wittgenstein - Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project - Ronald Reagan's collection at his presidential library, though it is more of an commonplace book collection of quotes which was later published - Roland Barthes' Mourning Diary - Vladimir Nabokov's The Original of Laura - others...


      Just as note collections serve an autobiographical function, perhaps they may also serve as an intellectual autobiographical function? Wittgenstein never managed to complete his 'big book', but in some sense, doesn't his collection of note cards serve this function for those willing to explore it all?


      I'd previously suggested that Scott P. Scheper publish not only his book on note taking, but to actually publish his note cards as a stand-alone zettelkasten example to go with them. What if this sort of publishing practice were more commonplace? The modern day equivalent is more likely a person's blog or their wiki. Not enough people are publicly publishing their notes to see what this practice might look like for future generations.

  3. May 2022
    1. Thus, the sensitive seismographer of avant-garde develop-ments, Walter Benjamin, logically conceived of this scenario in 1928, of communicationwith card indices rather than books: “And even today, as the current scientific methodteaches us, the book is an archaic intermediate between two different card indexsystems. For everything substantial is found in the slip box of the researcher who wroteit and the scholar who studies in it, assimilated into its own card index.” 47
      1. Walter Benjamin, Einbahnstra ß e, in Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 4 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1928/1981), 98 – 140, at 103.

      Does Walter Benjamin prefigure the idea of card indexes conversing with themselves in a communicative method similar to that of Vannevar Bush's Memex?

      This definitely sounds like the sort of digital garden inter-communication afforded by the Anagora as suggested by @Flancian.

  4. Apr 2022
    1. The project's structure is idiosyncratic. The convolutes correspond to letters of the alphabet; the individual sections of text— sometimes individual lines, sometimes multi-paragraph analyses —are ordered with square brackets, starting from [A1,1]. This numbering system comes from the pieces of folded paper that Benjamin wrote on, with [A1a,1] denoting the third page of his 'folio.'[3] Additionally, Benjamin included cross-references at the end of some sections. These were denoted by small boxes enclosing the word (e.g., ■ Fashion ■).[4]

      It's worth look looking into the structure of Walter Benjamin's Arcade Project as the numbering system that he used on his zettels is very similar to that of both Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten as well as the street numbers of 1770 Vienna.

      link to - https://hypothes.is/a/4jtT0FqsEeyXFzP-AuDIAA - https://hypothes.is/a/lvGHJlNHEeyZnV-8psRNrA

    1. Such radical compositional approaches arecontemporaneous with the Surrealist use of montage, but predateBurrough’s cut-up-fold-in technique, and ‘put[...] the avant-gardeclaims of hyperfiction to shame’ (Krapp, 2006: 362).

      The compositional approaches mentioned here are those of Wittgenstein and Walter Benjamin.


      What was Burrough's cut-up-fold-in technique?

    2. Walter Benjamin employed a similar technique (Benjamin, 2006,2007).

      Walter Benjamin used a zettelkasten like note taking technique.

    3. What Iam alluding to here is well drawn out in Walter Benjamin’s reflectionin his Moscow Diary on how we ‘grasp’ a visual image. ‘One does notin any way enter into its space’, he writes. Rather, ‘It opens up to usin corners and angles in which we believe we can localise crucialexperiences of the past; there is something inexplicably familiarabout these spots’ (Benjamin, 1985: 42).
  5. Oct 2021
  6. Jul 2021
    1. Dafür spricht das Credo des Literaten Walter Benjamin: Und heute schon ist das Buch, wie die aktuelle wissenschaftliche Produktionsweise lehrt, eine veraltete Vermittlung zwischen zwei verschiedenen Kartotheksystemen. Denn alles Wesentliche findet sich im Zettelkasten des Forschers, der's verfaßte, und der Gelehrte, der darin studiert, assimiliert es seiner eigenen Kartothek.

      The credo of the writer Walter Benjamin speaks for this:

      And today, as the current scientific method of production teaches, the book is an outdated mediation between two different card index systems. Because everything essential is to be found in the slip box of the researcher who wrote it, and the scholar who studies it assimilates it in his own card index.

      Here's an early instantiation of thoughts being put down into data which can be copied from one card to the next as a means of creation.

      A similar idea was held in the commonplace book tradition, in general, but this feels much more specific in the lead up to the idea of the Memex.

  7. May 2021
    1. Not to sound like an English professor or anything, but as a professor of English, I can’t help thinking of Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Benjamin suggests that fascistic governments aim to maintain the status quo by providing citizens with the means to express themselves aesthetically without reforming their lives materially.
  8. Apr 2020
    1. La naturaleza de esta tristeza se esclarece cuando se pregunta con quién empatiza el historiador historicista. La respuesta resulta inevitable: con el vencedor. Y quienes dominan en cada caso son los herederos de todos aquellos que vencieron alguna vez. Por consiguiente, la empatía con el vencedor resulta en cada caso favorable para el dominador del momento. El materialista histórico tiene suficiente con esto. Todos aquellos que se hicieron de la victoria hasta nuestros días marchan en el cortejo triunfal de los dominadores de hoy, que avanza por encima de aquellos que hoy yacen en el suelo

      La historia la cuentan los vencedores.

  9. Jan 2019
    1. The hupomnemata contribute one of the means by which one detaches the soul from concern for the future and redirects it toward contemplation of the past.

      I'm reminded here of Walter Benjamin's note on the "Angelus Novus" illustration: "His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees on single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurts it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the peril of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress" (Theses on the Philosophy of History).

  10. May 2017
    1. In the ebb and flow of its changing rhythms—additions, revisions, reformulations and retrievals—Benjamin's Arcades Project provides an extraordinary case study in the labour of conceptual construction via the configuration and reconfiguration of archival materials. The voluminous ‘Notes and Materials’ that make up the Arcades as it has come down to us remained unpublished until 1982, finally appearing in English only in 1999 (GS V; AP). Only since their publication has it been possible to get a clear sense of the overall trajectory of Benjamin's thought during this period—rendering redundant, or at least displacing, many of the polemics associated with previous cycles of reception. The notes and materials are organized into twenty-six alphabetically designated ‘convolutes’ (literally ‘bundles’) or folders, thematically defined by various objects (arcades, catacombs, barricades, iron constructions, mirrors, modes of lighting…), topics (fashion, boredom, theory of knowledge, theory of progress, painting, conspiracies…), figures (the collector, the flaneur, the automaton…), authors (Baudelaire, Fourier, Jung, Marx, Saint-Simon…) and their combinations.
    2. The Arcades was a vast and ambitious project, not simply in terms of the mass and breadth of its archival sources (sought out by Benjamin in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris), but also—indeed, primarily—with respect to its philosophical and historical intent, and the methodological and representational challenges it posed. Its sprawling, yet minutely investigated historical object was to act as the point of entry into the philosophically comprehended experience of metropolitan capitalism—not some past experience, or the experience of a past phase of capitalist development, but the experience of the capitalist metropolis in Benjamin's own day—through the construction of a specific series of relations between its elements ‘then’ and ‘now’. The practice of research, conceptual organization and presentation that it involved was self-consciously conceived as a working model for a new, philosophically oriented, materialist historiography with political intent.
    3. One-Way Street, a quasi-constructivist collection of fragments written between 1923–1926 and dedicated to Lacis on its publication in 1928, and the unfinished Arcades Project, begun in the late 1920s, both exhibit a modernist experimentation with form that can in part be attributed to Lacis' influence