Friday, November 22, 2013

De-accessioning things

I have been going through my husband's books in preparation for donating them to the Philosophy Program at the Graduate Center of CUNY. We met in the library there many years ago, when I was writing my dissertation. I was looking up something on Leibniz; Rick's interest was Newton, who stands on the shelves right next to Leibniz in the Library of Congress classification. He came up to me and asked me about my interest in Newton. The rest is history.

Among his books I found my ancient copy of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, which I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago. It is amazing what a pack rat I am, having toted that volume around all these many years. I must have thought I would get beyond that first sentence, and indeed I have pulled it from the books that will go the Graduate Center. So, perhaps in this lifetime ...

Rick's jahrzeit was November 2, though his actual date of death was November 26, just a few days from now. I can hardly believe that I have lived two years without him, have been without the special joy he brought to me life. The one thing that has kept me going during my grief has been my work. There was much struggle with the Bodmer essay, but finally it appeared. Also some book reviews and a couple of essays.

I have not been very good these past two years in clearing out Rick's things. It is heart-breaking to go through his clothes, but especially his many notebooks, which include, for instance, the many notes he took on Newton's optics and on German Romantic-period science, in preparation for a project we would one day undertake together. I have been very concerned, however, that my apartment might degenerate into the state it was in when I met Rick, during that dissertation phase, so I have been ever mindful these two years that I have to prevent that. Finally I am ready to let go of his books.

I have had a bookplate prepared to insert in the books, which indicates his interest in color theory.

Picture credit: Color System

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