commonplace book — late spring 2023

“happy as always in the faculty of finding infinity round the corner of any street, within five minutes of anywhere”

— Arthur Machen, The London Adventure (1924)

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On Defining Genre

The problem with defining a genre — science fiction, for example, or fantasy — is that once you’ve declared what it is, you’ve also declared what it can’t be. And if it can’t be anything but what it has already been, it’s of no interest to any serious artist.

— Michael Swanwick, Brief Essays on Genre (2023)

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“de la doctrine des hommes comme de l’eau, qui n’est iamais plus belle, plus claire & plus nette qu’à sa source”

— Gabriel Naudé, Advis pour dresser une bibliothèque (1627)

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“But I knew that I always enjoyed looking back on things more than actually doing them.”

— George Sims, The Terrible Door (1964)