Zettelkasten Forum

Vladimir Nabokov and Robert Greene

Anyone ever looked into whether Nabokov or Greene were inspired by Luhmann or was Luhmann perhaps inspired by Nabokov? Both of these authors (N and G) made/make prolific use of not only notecards but also non-linear forms of writing their books, that is, jumping around and writing only what they feel like writing about at that time. At go time, they simply pull out their note cards, arrange them in specific orders that make sense and then add or remove bits here and there to produce their books.


  • That's pretty much the way that authors used a Zettelkasten since book-printing was a thing: to arrange movable text fragments and then hand the ordered result to a printer.

    I don't recall that Luhmann ever references any of this, maybe because it's supposedly such a commonplace technique (i.e. Luhmann maybe also didn't cite a text about how to outline, wouldn't surprise me)? That's just speculation, though.

    Nabokov was born way before Luhmann and died at the time when Luhmann was at an insignificant German University, doing niche sociology stuff, so I doubt there was an influence from L to N.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

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