Friday, June 12, 2009

Lessons from the archive

  • No matter how much a word looks like "podcast" in the author's handwriting, it is highly unlikely to be a word that the author would use.
  • It may be easier, on the whole, to be a tortured creative genius and fill notebooks with tiny handwriting in black ink than to decipher that handwriting years later.
  • No matter how much energy I think I have, it is never as much as that of an author who likes to write letters.


ArticulateDad said...

I remember those days, sitting in an archive in Central Europe, trying to decipher marginalia written in one foreign language in a book written in another, all the while trying to make sense of archaic spellings, and wondering if anyone 150 years later would be trying to decipher my notes.

Ink said...

Hope you're having a great trip! Do they listen very closely to you working? (Last time I was in a rare books library, they said that if they could hear the pages turning, it was too fast because the pages could rip...I was petrified and slow-motioned the whole time.)

undine said...

ArticulateDad, that's an even more challenging task than I've been working on here! Do you still have your notes, and can you still decipher them? Mine are mostly typed now, but I want to print them out when I get back, given my habit of losing files.

Ink, that would completely terrify me, if people were listening to me work! No, they do check up on us but not on our page speed, thank goodness.