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What do you think about quotations in Zettelkasten?

Yesterday I've read this article:

https://seanlawson.net/2021/08/save-quotations-zettelkasten-method/

I've tried searching in the forum, but haven't found a suitable topic about.

I find some of the point make sense, althought in my practice I'm almost always rewriting things on my own, making very rarely quotes in my notes and tend to revisit my own writes rather than original sources more than one time.

I'd like to hear your position about, and if and how you use quotes, and how you balance advantages and drawbacks of using/not using quotes in your notes.

Comments

  • @andang76 said:

    I'd like to hear your position about, and if and how you use quotes, and how you balance advantages and drawbacks of using/not using quotes in your notes.

    I normally follow the practice you describe, of creating a zettel by "re-writing" an idea (if I'm working off an article or book by someone else). My goal is to express the idea in a concise form and in my own words.

    But sometimes the way the original author has stated something is already concise and/or well-written and/or appealing in some way, and I will include a short quote. Typically, I write my version of the concept first and then add the quote from the author.

    I do this perhaps in 25% or so of my zettels (a guess; I haven't actually counted). I'm trying to reduce the number of quotes in my zettels but we'll see if that happens. As with so much else in writing zettels, you have to find a practice that suits your way of thinking and using your ZK. One thing for sure - if a quote is good enough to read or use again, I want it in my ZK and don't want to go looking for it later on.

  • edited January 4

    @andang76 Here is an example of one of my zettels, which contains what I consider to be an excessive quotation that I just could not bring myself to shorten or omit, I liked it so much. I share this zettel as an example of including quotes. While it obviously reflects some of my own values, you do not have to agree with what is stated :smile: I did not share the zettel so that its content could be critiqued, but only to show the relative value of including or excluding quotes.

    Note that in its entirety, the zettel is 315 words long. Remove the quote and it is just over half that length.

    In the Arena

    [[202211131521]]
    11-13-2022 03:21 PM
    tags: #Courage #Discipleship #Endurance #Valiant #Stoicism #Virtue

    I love this quote from Teddy Roosevelt (from a talk “Citizenship in a Republic” [source at end]):

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    One might approach this philosophy, as did Roosevelt, with a gusto for life and all it's experiences. I believe it can be equally applied to the way in which we follow Jesus Christ and become true disciples. It requires us to get "in the arena", stuggle with the challenges of discipleship, and struggle to develop Christ-like characteristics and attributes. I believe it can also be applied in the way we develop and practice virtue, and the way in which we develop wisdom.

    The above quote has a very Stoic quality to it.


    internal links:
    [[202006082330]] You - lead the way!
    [[202211121918]] Becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ
    [[202010041747]] Life experiences, persistent effort and making changes
    [[202010252140]] Proving and pressing forward
    external links:
    Citizenship in a Republic (text of talk) : https://theodoreroosevelt.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=991271&module_id=339364

  • This is a topic with some history. Anyway, I partly do what @GeoEng51 does with quotes. I'm probably more liberal with keeping quotes with my notes. We are sure to cite the references correctly. Sometimes the author's phrasing is unsurpassable, and sometimes it's lyrical. From a recent literary criticism class, I've learned that I want to "introduce" every quote and not present it naked. As I introduce a quote, I can give context, paraphrase all or parts, question the author's premise, and add any commentary that helps with understanding or connection. Introducing a quote is a skill that is learned by doing. Some people can do this smoothly and effortlessly. Not me. I'm a beginner and practicing this skill with what feels like some success.

    With my review circuit, I tend to refactor older notes with quotes, either rephrasing them or extracting the ideas discarding the author's verbalization. This reduces or eliminates quotes. But it is a mixed bag, some notes are primarily a quote, and some contain no whiff of a quote.

    Will Simpson
    The quality of our thinking is directly proportional to the quality of our reading. To think better, we must read better. - Rohan
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @Will said:
    This is a topic with some history. Anyway, I partly do what @GeoEng51 does with quotes. I'm probably more liberal with keeping quotes with my notes. We are sure to cite the references correctly. Sometimes the author's phrasing is unsurpassable, and sometimes it's lyrical. From a recent literary criticism class, I've learned that I want to "introduce" every quote and not present it naked. As I introduce a quote, I can give context, paraphrase all or parts, question the author's premise, and add any commentary that helps with understanding or connection. Introducing a quote is a skill that is learned by doing. Some people can do this smoothly and effortlessly. Not me. I'm a beginner and practicing this skill with what feels like some success.

    With my review circuit, I tend to refactor older notes with quotes, either rephrasing them or extracting the ideas discarding the author's verbalization. This reduces or eliminates quotes. But it is a mixed bag, some notes are primarily a quote, and some contain no whiff of a quote.

    Oh, this is a good point. I haven't realized this concept until I've read on your post.

    I think that I'll create a note in my system, "You would create a context around your quote", quoting your message :-))

  • Thanks for the reference to the article about handling quotes. So enamored by the ideas the article stimulated, I created a note with a couple of quotes I used as examples. In a web of knowledge, "memoing" was mentioned, and like Alice, I fell down the rabbit hole. Hopefully, this is a good example of how quotes can be used.

    I'm in the process of creating a second note titled "Memoing." This seems to be a formalized practice used to process interviews in research projects. I've heard of "coding an interview" in the context of research interviews, but this is the first time I've heard "memoing" used.

    Will Simpson
    The quality of our thinking is directly proportional to the quality of our reading. To think better, we must read better. - Rohan
    kestrelcreek.com

  • I've learned that I want to "introduce" every quote and not present it naked.

    I liked the way you put this, @Will, and found notes from 2012--2014 that I overhauled a bit to make room for a quote :)

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

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