Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for July 5th, 2014

The verbal slips of Jonathan Edwards

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Jonathan Edwards

[Edwards’s] usual diversion in summer, was riding on horseback, and walking; and in his solitary rides and walks, he appears to have decided, before leaving home, on what subjects to meditate…In solitary rides of considerable length, he adopted a kind of artificial memory. Having pursued a given subject of thought, to its proper results, he would pin a small piece of paper on a given spot in his coat, and charge his mind to associate the subject and the piece of paper. He would then repeat the same process with a second subject of thought, fastening the token in a different place, and then a third, and a fourth, as the time might provide. From a ride of several days, he would usually bring home a considerable number of these remembrancers; and, on going to his study, would take them off, one by one, in regular order, and write down the train of thought, of which each was intended to remind him.

Sereno E. Dwight, Memoir of Jonathan Edwards

Written by nevalalee

July 5, 2014 at 9:00 am

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