Book | The Writing of Stones

images via 50 Watts

Rocks and Minerals have been a huge fascination of mine since childhood.  I wanted so badly to be an archeologist, and I would go on excursion digs in the backyard to see what sort of treasures I could discover and dissect with my trusty hammer and gardening hand shovel. (I’m sure my mother was thrilled.)  This book, The Writing of Stones, reminds me of those times and I still to this day am awe of this beautiful form nature takes in the world.  The author, Roger Caillois (French literary and anthologist among many things), wrote beautiful entries examining his observations of the stones relative and significant to all life and objectivity within the universe.  He believed: “Philosophers have not hesitated to identify the real and the rational. I am persuaded that a different bold step … would lead to discover the grid of basic analogies and hidden connections which constitute the logic of the imaginary.”

An excerpt from The Writing of Stones:

“Meanwhile the tree of life goes on putting out branches. A multitude of new inscriptions is added to the writing in stones. Images of fishes swim among dendrites of manganese as though among clumps of moss. A sea lily sways on its stem in the heart of a piece of slate. A phantom shrimp can no longer feel the air with its broken antennae. The scrolls and laces of ferns are imprinted in coal. Ammonites of all sizes, from a lentil to a millwheel, flaunt their cosmic spirals everywhere. A fossil trunk, turned jasper and opal like a frozen fire, clothes itself in scarlet, purple, violet. Dinosaurs’ bones change their petit-point tapestries into ivory, gleaming pink or blue like sugared almonds.”


x Lauren Demith Chung