Tilt Republic. Johannesburg. New York. Cape Town. London.

on notebooks


Intellectual exhibitionists are just as bizarre as physical ones. At some point, where the export of that mind and all its workings has turned itself on itself, in pursuit of progression, the value of broadcasting has to surely ebb. It seems counter intuitive, that a mind bent on convincing others of its significance, will not eventually transcend the need for affirmation. It’s why I imagine most of the world’s brilliance is not in libraries, but in locked desks. Ideas scratched in leather bound notebooks and stray pieces of paper.


Of course the evidence isn’t there, we can’t know for sure. Like the logical wit of Carr points to statistics that cover the unreported, how can anyone know that?


I imagine there are many thinkers, self conscious perhaps with terrible PR abilities, who have tombs of significance wrapped up in their personal belongings. Living in a backpackers, above a bar, has afforded me a sociological vantage point I’ve never had before. Hundreds of faces, travellers, day drunks, artists and so on hustle in and out of this beautiful piece of madcap bohemia in search of oblivion and premises and sex. Those that sleep here leave things; books, food, chunks of tequila soaked falafel in the carpet and sometimes notebooks.

These are my absolute favourite treasures. Little anthologies of unashamed streaming consciousness, filled with scribbles, drawings, clippings and mementos. Uninhibited. A little publication with a print of one.


They are always the first to capture my attention when I scan the bookshelves and the lounge for something new. When I find evidence of the unintended publishing scheme my lingering in these quasi lodgings offer I do a little boogie. This vantage point is good.


I can’t help but think about all the lost notebooks all over the world, unpublished manuscripts left in dusty corners raw and brash and brimming with authenticity. There is a possibility that these were not intentionally unpublished. They were created for their own sake. A private affair, for a private life. Emerson bangs on about it eternally, the private man, the private man.


It’s this beautiful idea that overlaps with unscripted comedy. Just like a writer scribbling for one, a comedian, unscripted, plays to the room. No repeats, no extra copies, a momentarily present (and forever lost after that) thing.


This all backs onto the cherished notion of seeing the possibility in moments and valuing work for its own sake. A terribly beautiful state of consciousness, I often slip more out of than into. But these notebooks are testimony to the fact that creativity, insight and creative excess are rewards within themselves.


In my time, I’ve come across masterpieces, that must taken hundreds of hours to curate. Reverie after idea after response chasing that live long edge, that when found, makes everything click.