Originally posted on Progressive Geographies: As the last update on this book said, I was able to make a trip to Paris over reading week. I spent most of the time at the BNF working on archival materials related to The Archaeology of Knowledge. There is a manuscript on philosophical discourse, probably written in 1966, which seems to be an…The Archaeology of Foucault update 12: archival work in Paris on drafts of The Archaeology of Knowledge and Foucault’s notebooks — Foucault News
‘But as his friend Jaime Sabartes recalled, his trusty pocket notebook remained his companion:
“Picasso was endeavoring to recapture the simplicity of our life as young men, despite the manifold and profound changes in us and around us. He wanted to return to a bygone period in our lives. He neither painted nor sketched and never went up to his studio except when it was absolutely necessary, and even then he put it off from day to day, no matter how urgent. In order to occupy his imagination, he wrote-with a pen if he found one handy, or a small stub of pencil-in a little notebook which he carried about with him in his pocket. He wrote everywhere.” ’
As quoted in ‘The Pocket Notebooks of 20 Famous Men’ in The Art of Manliness as found at: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/the-pocket-notebooks-of-20-famous-men/
Can you discuss your work process? When do you sit down to write, and what do you do to warm up?
Oh, it’s very tormented. I try to write in the morning, and I write in longhand, and I write in very beautiful notebooks [White displays a couple of hardbound notebooks filled with thick, hand-laid paper] and with very beautiful pens. I just write away, and then . . . This is a first go at it, and then I start crossing out, and it gets crazier and crazier, with inserts and so on. Finally, two or three years of this go by and then one day I call in a typist. I dictate the entire book to her or him. The typist is a sort of editor in that he or she will tell me what is really terrible and what’s good, or what’s inconsistent and doesn’t make sense. I get together a whole version this way and then I stew over it some more. Eventually my editor reads it, and then he tells me to change things, and it goes on like that. If I write a page a day, I’m lucky. But I write less. And months go by without my writing at all, and I get very crazy when I write! Sick, physically.
Edmund White, The Art of Fiction No. 105, as Interviewed by Jordan Elgrably in The Paris Review No. 108, Fall 1988.
Writer’s Notebook – Dedicated to Blaise Cendrars
Image Marcus D. Niski © 2020
As writers, we often find ourselves collecting notebooks in an attempt to fill them. Just as often, the ratio of empty notebooks to full starts to lean heavy on the “empty” side, but our compulsion to surround ourselves with empty pages is real. Curious that, for many of us, the empty page is a source […]Six notebooks that guarantee you will get some writing done today, probably — B.W. McDermott
I don’t feel guilt at being unsociable, though I may sometimes regret it because my loneliness is painful. But when I move into the world, it feels like a moral fall–like seeking love in a whorehouse.
— Susan Sontag, As Consciousness Is Harnessed To Flesh: Journals & Notebooks, 1964 – 1980 (FSG, 2012)
I am too often continuously lonely, having nothing to articulate, defend, expose, or even occasionally justify.
— Albert Camus, Notebooks 1951-1959 (Ivan R. Dee Publisher, 2008; first published 1989)
Les petits carnets Je regarde mon portable. 6:07. Mes yeux me piquent un peu. Le Tgv pour Paris est presque vide. J’ai deux heures pour écrire. Autour de moi quelques hommes, attaché-case posé sur le siège d’à côté, se mettent à travailler. D’autres dorment, la veste en guise de couverture et moi, comme à mon habitude je commence mon voyage en farfouillant mon sac.
I take a lot of crap about my note-taking. Constant scribbling is so central to my persona, in fact, that one colleague recently expressed concern during a meeting when I wasn’t taking notes. “I forgot my pen,” I shrugged. Here’s the thing: I have a terrible memory — so if I don’t write it down […]
[MN] 24 August 2018