I do not recall whether I’d heard the word before.  If I had, I certainly had never used it. But there it was, perhaps the best descriptor for what I’d been contemplating creating.

I stumbled upon the word not while searching for the appropriate term to describe the project I’ve been considering but, rather, I while reading about a thirteenth century Japanese Zen Master, the same one whose words form today’s Thoughts for the Day on this blog.

Now, to my fascicles. I have long considered compiling the things I have written over the years (primarily from my several blogs) into a series of sections, grouped according to topic or theme.

Dōgen Zenji’a Shōbōgenzō, I learned, is a collection of fascicles concerning Buddhist thought and practice. My compilation of thoughts expressed in my blogs will not be as focused, nor as impactful, as the Shōbōgenzō, but it will share a descriptive term, if it comes to fruition.

The sources of my fascicles may include Musings from Myopia, Brittle Road, and JohnSwinburn.com, as well as a rather large collection of material I’ve not published online.  I may dig back into some of the things I published in association magazines over the years, as well, assuming I find anything relevant there and can get copyright approval (the publishers, not I, hold copyright to the latter material).

It is a bit daunting to launch into the task of creating this potential series from what I have written, because I may not find enough substance in what I’ve written to justify the effort.  If nothing else, it may keep me occupied.  And, perhaps, I’ll learn new words along the way.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Fascicles

  1. John Swinburn says:

    This is interesting…far more extensive than in my dictionary…yours is probably OED, unabridged!

  2. Source of the word – which leads to Fascist via Mussolini’s favorite symbol.

    ‖ fasces, n. pl.


    [L. fascēs (sing. fascis bundle) in same sense.]

    1.1 A bundle of rods bound up with an axe in the middle and its blade projecting. These rods were carried by lictors before the superior magistrates at Rome as an emblem of their power.

       1598 R. Grenewey Tacitus’ Ann. i. iii. (1622) 5 The fasces or knitch of rods.    1713 Swift The Faggot, In history we never found The consuls’ fasces were unbound.    1879 Froude Cæsar xxiii. 401 The consular fasces, the emblem of the hated Roman authority.

    b.1.b Her. As a badge.

       1889 Elvin Dict. Her. s.v. Fascis, The Fasces are now frequently given to those who have held magisterial offices.

    2.2 transf. and fig. a.2.a The ensigns of authority or power, esp. in to take, lay down, resign the fasces, hence also, authority.

       1619 Beaum. & Fl. Valentinian v. v, He must take the fasces.    1666 Dryden Ann. Mirab. 199 The Duke‥shook aloft the Fasces of the Main.    1673–95 Wood Life (1848) 184 The senr. proctor‥laid down the fasces of his authority.    1797 Burke Let. Affairs Irel. Wks. 1812 V. *321 You must submit your fasces to theirs.    1792 S. Rogers Pleas. Mem. i. 292 Diocletian’s self-corrected mind The imperial fasces of a world resigned.    1827 Macaulay Machiav. Ess. (1854) 49/2 He pines for‥the fasces of Brutus.

    †b.2.b The punishments threatened by the fasces; flogging or beheading. Obs.

       1641 R. Brooke Eng. Episc. ii. vii. 109 That Tragedy, whose Epilogue was Flame and Fagot, or at least the Fasces to younger men.

    c.2.c humorously. The birch rod.

       1762 Foote Orator i. Wks. 1799 I. 197 The fescues and fasces‥have been‥consigned to one, or more matron in every village.

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