Roger Caillois
The Writing of Stones

November 14 2013

Lately I discovered Widmanstätten patterns and I got really fascinated with the notion what secrets are enclosed in meteorites and minerals. This led me to Roger Caillois. His involvement with stones isn’t so much on a scientific level, he more created a philosophy around the inner worlds of the stones.

Here you find a great essay about his book The Writing of Stones (L’ecriture des pierres, 1970) by Marina Warner.

Who knows whether this tumult of triangles inscribed in stone, first brought about by nature and then by art, does not contain one of the secret cyphers of the universe?

I see the origin of the irresistible attraction of metaphor and analogy, the explanation of our strange and permanent need to find similarities in things. I can scarcely refrain from suspecting some ancient, diffused magnetism; a call from the center of things; a dim, almost lost memory, or perhaps a presentiment, pointless in so puny a being, of a universal syntax.
From The Writing of Stones — 1970