You Can Quote Us

While Theatre isn’t just about words, those things that characters say usually matter a great deal both to the group presenting them and to the audience experiencing them. Unsurprisingly, a theater company with the name of Knowledge Workings does pay special attention to the words of others. Hence this post including a link to our commonplace book, a rather extensive list of quotations. T.J. Elliott began this commonplace book in 1990 and continues to add to its quotations. What is a commonplace book? According to the Oxford English dictionary, it is “a book in which ‘commonplaces’ or passages important for reference were collected, usually under general heads; hence, a book in which one records passages or matters to be especially remembered or referred to, with or without arrangement”.

The version that you have through this link is on a Google drive. If you are looking for that killer saying or just ‘le mot juste’, perhaps you will find this collection, which generally captures quotes that are not found in the usual collections, to be of some value. To draw upon just one of our thousands of quotes in the word document, Sextus Empiricus in Fragment 2, as quoted in Against the Mathematicians reminds us that, Though wisdom is common, yet the many live as if they had a wisdom of their own.”

A commonplace book acknowledges that wisdom is common if we only take the time to look to those who offered it in the past and even those sharing it in our present. For for those of us at Knowledge Workings Theater, our work begins with the text, but there is no illusion that whatever text we create is completely original, lacks connections to all of the many texts we have read and heard. One way into the creation of theater is to swim in the words of others, refreshed and challenged, submerged and afloat, until you reach your own spot, your own place where what you think and feel merges with what others have offered. As Tom Stoppard once wrote, “Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”
Nudge nudge!
Enjoy!

One thought on “You Can Quote Us”

  1. T.J.

    The quote you cite from Alice in Wonderland « Which way do you want to go from here. I don’t know. Then it doesn’t matter which way you go, » was used in the Manhattan College Yearbook for 1973, and was the suggestion of my father.

    Gerard Robinson

    >

    Like

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