Saturday, February 25, 2012

Extraordinary Discourse 057

Indirections To A Better World

The Zibaldone, or by full title Zibaldone of thoughts, is a personal journal which contains a large amount of notes written between 1817 and 1832 by Giacomo Leopardi.

The title comes from the characteristic of literary composition, as a mixture of thoughts, like the namesake Emilian dish that consists of an amalgam of many different ingredients, and sometimes the term is used to describe a confused heap of people. Although the term was known even before, after the composition of Leopardi the term is used for annotation of notebooks or diaries of random thoughts. "Zibaldone" can also be used disparagingly for speeches or writings without logic, messy, made of heterogeneous ideas.

In this original sense, commonplace books were collections of such sayings, such as John Milton's commonplace book. Scholars have expanded this usage to include any manuscript that collects material along a common theme by an individual.