What the heck is a Zibaldone?

As you’ve seen, Ana and I have tumbled headlong into the world of journaling. So I was tickled to see an item in Austin Kleon’s Friday Newsletter giving me a whole new perspective!

Austin referenced an article about the Zibaldone,  a type of commonplace book that dates back to the 13th century. (Zibaldone is the Italian word for “heap of things”). If you ever wanted to see the inner minds and stream of consciousness of folks like Walt Whitman or Lewis Carroll or Thomas Jefferson, the article above shows fabulous shots of their books. A zibaldone was sort of a 14th century tumblr?

A page from the Zibaldone da Venice, a 14th-century hodgepodge. (Image: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)


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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I have two zibaldone’s and label them as such at all times. One at home and one at work, so I don’t have to carry them in my bag.

  2. Giacomo Leopardi, considered one of Italy’s greatest poets, wrote a massive zibaldone – it is translated into English and has been republished. I happen to have it right now from my local public library, and I when I saw your post I was charmed at the synchronicity! Fascinating to thumb through.

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