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notebook Junho 16, 2014

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in Uncategorized.


Notebooks like to travel, first to new places, second to new ideas. There is a disquieting rhythm to my own notebooks. I keep them only when traveling, when engaged in what I think of as “fieldwork.” I do not and cannot keep a diary, journal, notebook—call it what you will—when at home, what I will call “home,” although that is a long way away, across a huge ocean of sea and memory. The editors of Walter Benjamin’s Archive note that Benjamin was frequently traveling and that he loved to write while on the move wherever he happened to find himself. This parallels an anthropologist’s notebook. “Could he have found a more faithful companion for all that than his notebooks?” they ask.15 And I in turn must ask what could more faithfully express the fetish quality of the notebook than its being described as a “faithful companion,” yet how sad, too, given the loneliness of its owner. Are we to assume that the notebook is an alter ego, that it is to this strange entity to whom you write in your notebook, making of it—this mere object of paper (and its smart leather cover)—a keenly receptive human being, thirsty for more?

Michael Taussig “Fieldwork Notebooks” in 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts / 100 Notizen – 100 Gedanken , dOCUMENTA (13), 9/6/2012 – 16/9/2012



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