I got the idea for this site from Cyril Connolly's The Unquiet Grave, A Word Cycle by Palinurus. It's a wonderful mélange of autobiography, philosophy and literature, all in short paragraphs. It was written during World War II by a Briton in love with French culture, disconsolate at being kept out of his beloved France by the Nazi occupation. He refers to a number of other philosophical books written in short sections of prose:

  • Pascal's Pensées
  • La Rochefoucauld's Maximes
  • La Bruyère's Les Caractères
  • Alain's Propos

I should also mention the Practical Cogitator as an influence upon this work. It's a compilation with a philosophical bent of short sections from favorite authors by two men who wanted the perfect book to carry with them into the trenches of World War I.
     Another impetus for Cogito came from the short paragraphs I accumulated while working on Millennium. My idea at the time was to save them as material for full-length essays, but many of them never found a home. When I read The Unquiet Grave, I realized that pithy short paragraphs in sequence could make up a satisfying text.

This is a work in progress.

Copyright © 2001-2005 by Dean Wallraff. All rights reserved.