Most often we privilege the chronological time order because that’s how we ourselves live them, write them, and how much of our audience experiences them.
But consider looking at someone’s note collections or zettelkasten after they’re gone? One wouldn’t necessarily read them in physical order or even attempt to recreate them into time-based order. Instead they’d find an interesting topical heading, delve in and start following links around.
I’ve been thinking about this idea of “card index (or zettelkasten) as autobiography” for a bit now, though I’m yet to come to any final conclusions. (References and examples see also: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22card+index+as+autobiography%22).
I’ve also been looking at Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project which is based on a chunk of his (unfinished) zettelkasten notes which editors have gone through and published as books. There were many paths an editor could have taken to write such a book, and many of them that Benjamin himself may not have taken, but there it is at the end of the day, a book ostensibly similar to what Benjamin would have written because there it is in his own writing in his card index.
After his death, editors excerpted 330 index cards of Roland Barthes’ collection of 12,000+ about his reactions to the passing of his mother and published them in book form as a perceived “diary”. What if someone were to do this with your Tweets or status updates after your death?
Does this perspective change your ideas on time ordering, taxonomies, etc. and how people will think about what we wrote?
I’ll come back perhaps after I’ve read Barthes’ The Death of the Author…
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