14 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
  2. Oct 2022
    1. Bouttes contributedfrequently to Barthes’s seminar and gave an unusual paper at thecolloque de Cerisy called ‘Le diamantfoudre’ (‘The diamond-lightning’). He was darkly dazzling, strange, sombre, unexpected.Barthes thought he had something of Des Esseintes about him,witness an anecdote noted in his card index diary: ‘J.L.: in a phasewhere, in the restaurant, he deconstructs the menus, greatlyshocking the waiters. The other evening, at Prunier’s, oysters andoyster gratin, yesterday, at Le Balzar, oeuf en gelée and oysters,coffee ice cream and ice cream.’59
      1. BNF, NAF 28630, ‘Grand fichier’, 3 January 1975.

      Roland Barthes' biographer Tiphaine Samoyault quotes portions of what he calls Barthes' card index diary.

      This can also be seen in the published cards which comprise Barthes' Mourning Diary about the period following his mother's death.

      Are there other people who've used their card index as a diary the way that some use it for productivity?

      syndication link

    1. Examining the cards, it becomes clear that the index constitutes not a mythic totalhistory but a specific set of facts and data that piqued Deutsch’s interest and whichreflected his personal research priorities (see Figure 2).

      Zettelkasten, if nothing else, are a close reflection of the interests of the author who collected them.

      link: Ahrens mentions this

    1. A personal file is thesocial organization of the individual's memory; it in-creases the continuity between life and work, and it per-mits a continuity in the work itself, and the planning of thework; it is a crossroads of life experience, professionalactivities, and way of work. In this file the intellectualcraftsman tries to integrate what he is doing intellectuallyand what he is experiencing as a person.

      Again he uses the idea of a "file" which I read and understand as similar to the concepts of zettelkasten or commonplace book. Unlike others writing about these concepts though, he seems to be taking a more holistic and integrative (life) approach to having and maintaining such system.

      Perhaps a more extreme statement of this might be written as "zettelkasten is life" or the even more extreme "life is zettelkasten"?

      Is his grounding in sociology responsible for framing it as a "social organization" of one's memory?


      It's not explicit, but this statement could be used as underpinning or informing the idea of using a card index as autobiography.

      How does this compare to other examples of this as a function?

  3. 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.

  4. Jun 2022
    1. There are separate boxes for everything I’ve ever done. If you want a glimpseinto how I think and work, you could do worse than to start with my boxes.
  5. Apr 2022
    1. The day after his mother's death in October 1977, the influential philosopher Roland Barthes began a diary of mourning. Taking notes on index cards as was his habit, he reflected on a new solitude, on the ebb and flow of sadness, and on modern society's dismissal of grief. These 330 cards, published here for the first time, prove a skeleton key to the themes he tackled throughout his work.

      Published on October 12, 2010, Mourning Diary is a collection published for the first time from Roland Barthes' 330 index cards focusing on his mourning following the death of his mother in 1977.

      Was it truly created as a "diary" from the start? Or was it just a portion of his regular note taking collection excerpted and called a diary after-the-fact? There is nothing resembling a "traditional" diary in many portions of the collection, but rather a collection of notes relating to the passing of his mother. Was the moniker "diary" added as a promotional or sales tool?

    1. To read through my life, even as an incomplete picture, fits the permanence I’m envisioning for the site.

      If one thinks of a personal website as a performance, what is really being performed by the author?

      Links and cross links, well done, within a website can provide a garden of forking paths by which a particular reader might explore a blog despite the fact that there is often a chronological time order imposed upon it.

      Link this to the idea of using a zettelkasten as a biography of a writer, but one with thousands of crisscrossing links.

    2. https://intothebook.net/does-chronology-have-meaning-in-a-virtual-space/

      Example of a blog in the wild describing itself as an autobiography.

      This is somewhat related to the idea of a card index as autobiography, though in the piece they talk about time ordered chronology of posts on a blog.

    1. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/barthess-hand

      Interesting use of a card index as a diary.

      Cross reference: Review of Mourning Diaries: Wallowing in Grief Over Maman by Dwight Garner, New York Times, Oct. 14, 2010 https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/books/15book.html

    2. I was fortunate enough to see—and now share with you—a handful of these diaries from 1977 in their original, hand-written form. (A collection of more than three hundred entries, entitled “Mourning Diary,” will be published by Hill and Wang next month.)

      Hill and Wang published Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes on October 12, 2010. It is a collection of 330 entries which he wrote following the death of his mother Henriette in 1977.

      Kristina Budelis indicates that she saw them in person and reproduced four of them as index card-like notes in The New Yorker (September 2010).

    1. Roland Barthes par Roland Barthes. This time, the index cards werealready there. One of the pages of illustrations of the volume reproduces three ofthem in facsimile. The text doesn’t comment on them, doesn’t even allude tothem. There is just a caption: “Reversal: of scholarly origin, the index card endsup following the twists and turns of the drive.”

      In his book Roland Barthes par (by) Roland Barthes, Barthes reproduces three of his index cards in facsimile. The text doesn't comment or even allude to them, they're presented only with the captions "Reversal: of scholarly origin, the note follows the various twists and turns of movement." "...outside...", and "...or at a desk".

      In this setting, the card index proves itself the most direct co-author as it physically appears in Barthes' autobiography!

    2. The 1931–33 Dakar-Djibouti anthropologicalexpedition had been for him an intensive training ground for the systematic tech-nique of note-card filing. While in the process of becoming a professionalethnographer and of setting the stage for the dual exploration of autobiographyand ethnography that will inform his further work for more than fifty years, thisalmost-manual (artisanal) aspect of his professional training will soon lead him toopen a sort of autobiographical account, a kind of safe into which he will depositentries cut out (i.e., copied out) from his diary, before drawing from this frequentlyreshuffled and augmented portfolio of memories, anecdotes, ideas, and feelings,small and big, to feed his continuous self-portrait. 13 The result is a secondary, indi-rect autobiography, originating not from the subject’s innermost self, but from thestack of index cards (the autobiographical shards) in the little box on the author’sdesk. A self built on stilts, on “pilotis,” relying not on direct, live memories (as inProust’s involuntary memory), but on archival documentation, on paper work, aself that relates to himself indirectly, by means of quotation, of self-compilation.

      I like the idea here that a collection of index card notes combined and recombined might create an autobiography.

      Link to Henry Korn's cards.