"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

"An obsessive corrector, Gorky would sit for hours with a blue pencil annotating manuscripts -- his own and everyone else's. Finishing a newspaper, he would cover the pages with additions and alterations, then throw it away. A conservative group once sent him a rope noose and a threatening note. He threw out the noose and corrected the note in blue pencil, so that the rabid ideas remained but were expressed more clearly."

[Gorky, editing: Alexander Nemser, The New Republic, "Low Truths," July 30 2008]

Posted by Daniel on 07.19.2008

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