My Homepage

Homepage

De Quincey, Thomas

"The Palimpsest of the Human Brain" Suspiria de Profundis. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1871. 10-22.

". . . A palimpsest, then, is a membrane or roll cleansed of its manuscript by reiterated successions. [. . .] What else than a natural and mighty palimpsest is the human brain? Such a palimpsest is my brain; such a palimpsest, oh reader! is yours. Everlasting layers of ideas, images, feelings, have fallen upon your brain softly as light. Each succession has seemed to bury all that went before. And yet, in reality, not one has been extinguished. And if, in the vellum palimpsest, lying amongst the other diplomata of human archives or libraries, there is any fantasticor which moves to laughter, as oftentimes there is in the grostesque collisions of those successive themes, having no natural connection, which by pure accident have consecutively occupied the roll, yet, in our own heaven-created palimpsest, the deep memorial palimpsest of the brain, there are not and cannot be such incoherencies. The fleeting accidents of a man's life, and tis external shows, may indeed be irrelate and incongruous; but the organising principles which fuse into harmony, and gather about fixed predetermined centres, whatever heterogeneous elements life may have accumulated from without, will not permit the grandeur of human unity greatly to be violated, or its ultimate repose to be troubles, in the retrospect from dying moments, or from other great convulsions.[ . . .]

*** addendum *** Might the absurd or irrational person, who is the "fantastico" be nothing like the "fantasticor", whose agency proceeds from the fabulous, the imaginary, and the unreal; or, 'mere imagination', or phantasy, which was once defined by the student in the field of psychology as the "mental apprehension of an object of perception, or the faculty by which this is performed!"
 
Both a poetic and prosodic, as well as a prosaic palimpsest, is covered when under duress, an author who erases both poetically and prosodically, as well as prosaicly, with respect to primas facia; and then, replaces those impressions with subsequent impressions that through revisions governed by the rules of poetry and prose render the new primas facia in every book that is binding
.

To read revisions governed by the rules of poetry of poetic and prosodic palimpsests that are uncovered and under duress that erase the poetical and prosodical primas facia of three romantic poets and replace them with subsequent impressions that through revisions governed by the rules of poetry render the new primas facia in a book that is not yet binding - source a few romantics.

To read a revision governed by the rules of poetry of a poetic and prosodic palimpsest that is uncovered and under duress that erases the poetical and prosodical prima facie of the First Book of George Crabbe's poem, The Village, and leaves traces of it with an impression that through revisions governed by the rules of poetry renders a new prima facie in a book that is not yet binding - find The City.

To read a revision governed by the rules of prose of a prosaic palimpsest that is uncovered and under duress that erases the prosaic prima facie of the first chapter of Ann Radcliffe's novel, A Sicillian Romance, and leaves traces of it wth an impression that through revisions governed by the rules of prose renders a new prima facie in a book that is not yet binding - source Ann Radcliffe.

To read a revision governed by the rules of poetry that is uncovered and under duress in an impression that renders a prima facie in a book that is not yet binding - find Hymns to Athena.

There is, however, a catch to this delight!

Please comment, and do be a pest!

Or, be a guest.