It’s Not a Gun, It’s Art

March 13, 2010

Drivel Inc. has a very nice piece on collecting antique weaponry. Go here.


March 4, 2010

I once read this anecdote in a book. Actually, to be quite honest I can’t remember the specific details — but since you have no way of checking, I am just going to make something up. It was a book collector telling about the most wonderful fellow collector that he had ever come across, a guy who collected books on interesting gum diseases from all around the world. He had been collecting these books for years — and asked (obviously) how many he had so far, he said “3”.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Size matters — but not when it comes to being a collector. In regard to collectors only dedication and seriousness matter. Three books on gum diseases can be a collection, just as five carefully selected dildos can, or seven dog drawings, all made by different left handed artists.

So … Are you a collector? If so, please take a minute to answer these few questions. Please just post your answers as a comment.


Where are you from?

What do you collect?

How long have you been a collector?

What is the most cherished object in your collection – and why?

What are you currently looking for?

Do you share your interest with others? Are you for instance a member of a collectors’ club, or do you communicate with other collectors online?


If you would perhaps like to give an interview for this blog, please make sure to leave your contact info. If you do not feel comfortable stating your e-mail address or web site in a public blog, drop me an e-mail.

Walter Benjamin on collecting

March 4, 2010

This blog isn’t so much about specific collections as it is about collectors and collecting. The single most famous text on collecting ever written is perhaps Walter Benjamin‘s only 10 pages long essay “Unpacking my library”, published in “Illuminations” — in which Benjamin talks about collecting books and what it means to be a collector.

“Every passion,” Benjamin says, “borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories.” He describes collectors as “physiognomists of the world of objects” that by acquiring objects locks them within a magic circle, the private collection, and as “interpreters of fate” — because the true collector not only sees a plain material object, be it a book or otherwise. He or she sees an object with a past. He or she sees a history. This book or this painting has had previous owners, it has traveled through time and space — and it has now been renewed by becoming part of the collection.

Within the collector’s magic circle an old and for most people worthless postcard stops being just and old and worthless postcard. For instance. Or an old doll. Or a stone, or a movie poster. It is infused with new life — being a cherished possession.

In this blog I hope to be able to interview collectors from all around, and I hope to be able to bring essays on different aspects of collecting. If you are a collector yourself, and if you would like to contribute, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Welcome to The Boat

February 8, 2009

What is collecting? What is a collection? What does it mean to be a collector?

In this blog I will be interviewing people from all walks of life on the subject of collecting. I will ask them to share their personal experiences and opinions.

Some of the interviews will be transcribed from real life meetings, and some will be e-mail interviews, or pasted from Live Messenger. Some of them will be in English, and some of them will be in Danish.

The name of the blog was inspired by a poem by Gary Snyder, “Boat of a Million Years” from the collection “Mountains and Rivers Without End”.


My name is Bo Gorzelak Pedersen. I was born in 1971, and I currently live in Randers, Denmark. I graduated in History of Ideas from The University of Aarhus in 2000. My personal interests include the poetry of American poet Charles Olson, the music of Richard Wagner, and the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Also, I am a Marquis de Sade collector.


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