Friday, March 25, 2011

memory, reason, imagination

I love books.
I love to read.
I am fascinated by words (like lubricious) and how we use them to communicate. I read voraciously and am teased and thrilled as much by dexterous word usage as by great plots, schemes, and stories.
today while I was waiting for my car tires to be replaced, I read a chapter or two of the man who loved books too much. written by allison hoover bartlett, this is a real life story about a book thief and the man who helped catch him. the story itself is interesting, but what I'm enjoying more are all the facts I'm learning about the world of rare books, and the extraneous tidbits that decorate the story.
my favorite, so far, is the description of how thomas jefferson arranged his library. the three major classifications were taken from francis bacon's understanding of knowledge: memory, imagination, and reason.
I love this!
silly as it is, to think of classifying books into these three romantically labeled categories makes my heart swell.
memory, things we hold only in our heads, things from the past, everything that has already happened.
imagination, things that are conceivable, imaginable.
reason, ah, philosophy and its myriad arguments: everything that can actually or theoretically occur.

some day, perhaps, when the skies peel open and unleash a torrent upon us and I am relegated to indoor pursuits, I may just take it upon myself to organize my own personal library. I can only imagine the arguments I would have with myself about which books belong where. yes, but would be heard over and over again as I stood with book in hand, wavering between this shelf and that.

perhaps instead I could just keep the idea of this organizational method within. and start classifying my thoughts as I ride my bike, ah is this memory, is it reason, is it imagination . . .
I fear I don't take in enough oxygen to start classifying my thoughts as I ride.
I think I can just keep it simple, knowing that just about everything I ponder as I ride can fit into the category called imagination.

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