From the webpage:
In the most general sense, a commonplace book contains a collection of significant or well-known passages that have been copied and organized in some way, often under topical or thematic headings, in order to serve as a memory aid or reference for the compiler. Commonplace books serve as a means of storing information, so that it may be retrieved and used by the compiler, often in his or her own work.
The commonplace book has its origins in antiquity in the idea of loci communes, or “common places,” under which ideas or arguments could be located in order to be used in different situations. The florilegium, or “gathering of flowers,” of the Middle Ages and early modern era, collected excerpts primarily on religious and theological themes. Commonplace books flourished during the Renaissance and early modern period: students and scholars were encouraged to keep commonplace books for study, and printed commonplace books offered models for organizing and arranging excerpts. In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries printed commonplace books, such as John Locke’s A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books (1706), continued to offer new models of arrangement. The practice of commonplacing continued to thrive in the modern era, as writers appropriated the form for compiling passages on various topics, including the law, science, alchemy, ballads, and theology. The manuscript commonplace books in this collection demonstrate varying degrees and diverse methods of organization, reflecting the idiosyncratic interests and practices of individual readers.
A great collection of selections from commonplace books!
I am rather “lite” on posts for the day because I tried to chase down John Locke’s publication of A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books in French, circa 1686/87.
Unfortunately, the scanned version of Bibliotheque Universelle et Historique I was using, listed “volumes” when they were actually four (4) issues per year and the issue containing Locke’s earlier publication is missing. A translation that appears in John Locke, The Works of John Locke in Nine Volumes, (London: Rivington, 1824 12th ed.). Vol. 2 gives this reference:
Translated out of the French from the second volume of Bibliotheque Universelle.
You can view an image of the work at: http://lf-oll.s3.amazonaws.com/titles/762/0128-02df_Bk.pdf on page 441.
Someone who could not read Roman numerals gave varying dates for the “volumes” of Bibliotheque Universelle et Historique which didn’t improve my humor. I will try to find a complete scanned set tomorrow and try to chase down the earlier version of A New Method of Making Common-Place-Books. My concern is the graphic that appears in the translation and what appears to be examples at the end. I wanted to confirm that both appear in the original French version.
PS: I know, this isn’t as “practical” as functional programming, writing Pig or Cuda code, but on the other hand, understanding where you are going is at least as important as getting there quickly. Yes?