"A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation." - Jonathan Swift, "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Hello to my few but greatly loved readers!

You may have noticed a few changes around here. First, most importantly, I got tired of "A Writer Under Construction," which was the name I chose when I began this blog for an academic project - an attempt at connecting it to the work I was doing, sponsored by the writing department of my college. Now that this blog is in no way academic and that I've had a chance to figure out to some extent what kinds of things I want to post here, I decided it was time for a name change.

The new name (and url) are inspired by my learning about the tradition of commonplace books or commonplacing, which stretches way back. I'm still just learning about it, but these books are basically repositories for quotations, excerpts, and ideas gleaned from the commonplacer's readings and their everyday life - and for their own commentaries on those nuggets of interesting thought. Other definitions include things like recipes in the sphere of what one can put in a commonplace book.

This struck me as perfectly expressing what I want to do here - except with the added pleasure of sharing it with you. The connection between blogging and commonplacing has already been made, as I discovered when I found that the name commonplacebook.blogspot.com had already been taken. But when in doubt, turn to a cat (that's an old proverb I just made up...), and I wanted to keep my little illustration, so I came up with the alliterative name Commonplace Cat. Don't think too hard about it, it doesn't make perfect sense. But names are ever so difficult, and once I found one, I thought I'd stick with it.

Anyway, that's the big change. I've also added a blog roll and some other stuff in the side bar. Think of it as spring cleaning.

Thanks for sticking with me if you're still reading this. And a happy Saint Valentine's Day to you!

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