Wednesday, August 01, 2007



i was recently asked to write a text about collecting, that will be published in a few weeks. a few things came up, specifically a revisiting of walter benjamin's text on book collecting and translation, which i hadn't read since undergraduate school. i would highly recommend re-reading illuminations to anyone and everyone who reads this blog. i generally prefer the dentist to theory, but benjamin's writing is pretty darn sublime, and he absolutely nails the complexities of being a collector. i'll most likely post some quotes by him here at some point.

the other thing is that i remember the exact moment and the exact object that began my collecting trajectory through life. you can see it above. i'll post a link to the article when it runs; but suffice to say in 1972 i saw baseball cards for the first time, and became obsessed with this one. it wasn't the player, it was the picture, and i think the following quote by henry miller (about film!) sums up what i seek in objects (as well as the things that i make)...

"exhausted by longing, the spirit of man strives perpetually to surrender its burden through wonder... wonder expands the inner orb, making it wax like a golden moon. at the full, the darkest recesses of our soul are illuminated."

h. miller, art in cinema

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Blogger the art of memory said...

i agree about dentistry.
the benjamin essay is so amazing, isn't there the question, have you read all your books? and his response; do you eat off all your best plates?
he is such a great writer, esp. his travel writings, i would love to see your favourite quotes on here.

9:50 AM  
Blogger woolgathersome said...

I was looking for your older Gysin post, to share with a friend, and stumbled on this again... Plus, I was asking to be distracted from work right now... This quote by Miller - brought out to resemble our love of objects, places, "things" - is pretty incredible and so very true.

I don't think you ever did link to the text about collecting... though I may have missed it :-)

12:58 PM  

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