A map of my planet. Yes, that’ll do nicely.

Authors like E.M. Forster and W.H. Auden published commonplace books, Forster after maintaining one for more than 40 years. Auden called his “a sort of autobiography,” a “map of my planet.” Forster quickly abandoned any attempt at organizing his entries, despite an effort to proceed systematically at first, conceding he would “not know what they are about until they are finished.” Like Kierkegaard, he instinctively understood that “Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.” – A Commonplace Book, Beyond The Margins

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