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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
April 15-16, 1839
It's an experiment in integrating past and present, perhaps with a little redemption along the way. :
The simple knot of Now & Then will give an immeasureable value to any sort of catalogue or journal kept with common sense for a year or two. See in the Merchant's compting room for his peddling of cotton & indigo, the value that comes to be attached to any Blotting book or Leger; and if your aims & deeds are superior, how can any record of yours (suppose, of the books you wish to read, of the pictures you would see, of the facts you would scrutinize) -- any record that you are genuinely moved to begin & continue -- not have a value proportionately superior? It converts the heights you have reached into table land. That book or literary fact which had the whole emphasis of attention a month ago stands here along with one which was as important in preceding months, and with that of yesterday; & next month, there will be another. Here they all occupy but four lines & I cannot read these together without juster views of each than when I read them singly.
A god's-eye view of the plateau?

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elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: March 30th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

long thoughts and slipping pronouns

It's strange--I see not just a knot of Now & Then here but this roped and splaying bit of Now/Then/When or Now/Then/Yet.

I mean if one writes in a Now of the books you wish to read, of the pictures you would see, of the facts you would scrutinize, you're writing of a hypothetical future (hence aims hence wishes). And looking back (from another Now) at the Now that's now a Then, well you're seeing something like a past record of a projected future and what does this say about an idea of presence, of presentness, of the stake and state of Now(s)?

You see that past/future play from a position/POV that's neither. God's eye? Maybe. Or maybe sometimes that's the aim or wish. But from my professed detachment am I in a position of mastery over history or a position where I have to see how I have or have not moved from Then to Now as I might have wished? Does my journaling my future make it happen? Do I try by my journaling to make myself a god, to text my way to immortality?

I am also thinking, incidentally, of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, how he really thought by texting his discipline over himself in the Now the future could come to be expected. But predictive power...?
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