Welcome to the Commonplace Book

 of David F. Duncan

A commonplace book is "a collection of literary passages, quotations, ideas, and observations that an author collects for personal use and, occasionally, publication" -- The New York Times literary Companion, edited by Anne Skillion (New York: The Free Press, 2001, p. 636). In this usage, the word commonplace does not mean ordinary but instead means something of universal application Another word for a commonplace book is a chrestomachy, but that usually implies that the excerpts are all from the writings of one author.

In this online commonplace book, I will not limit myself to selections from literary sources but will cast a wider net. Also, I will include not only excerpts and quotations, but also comments on and reviews of selected literary, artistic, and scientific works. The content of this site will be an entirely idiosyncratic reflection of my interests. I can only hope that you, the visitor, will find something here that is of interest.