rock collector

Caillois ... called stones l’orée du songe—the shore of dreaming—and he amassed a wonderful collection, which he left to the Museum of National History in Paris where you can go and look at them; he also wrote two luminous books about stones. These are not about precious stones such as diamonds and rubies but about dendrites, agates, Chinese scholars’ stones—pebbles and rocks that look like nothing much at first but can open up wonders under contemplation ... They lead him to understanding the physical make-up of the world, its 'algebra, vertigo, and order.' He exults in their inscrutability and their lack of affect, their silence, their sheer stoniness. 

This essay is crammed with good things — right now (maybe as always) I am drawn to the idea that magic is not something nebulous or other; it is grounded in the world, in the miracle of rocks and trees and clouds and waves and stars. 

Bookmarked for further reading: the idea of re-enchantment.


Caillois' stones are part of the collections on display in The Keepermy favorite stone in Caillois' collection, originally posted back in 2013.

Images found at but does it float; more at 50 Watts.