Tag Archives: books

Speed and writing

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The history of writing is many things, but it is also a history of raising the speed bar. From stone and wood to paper and digital, writing went faster and faster. New writing technologies superseded old ones not only because they made records more permanent and reliable, but because they saved time.

Parchment replaced papyrus for many reasons, but also because it made writing faster. Paper made it even faster. Scripts evolved against speed constraints. By the 13th century, the highly calligraphical Gothic scripts were restricted to high-profile books, whereas the greater proportion of functional books (government, legal, academic) began to be written against the clock in cursive hands – economy trumped aesthetics, time upstaged beauty.

When you write faster, you spend the rest of the time reading more and looking up more stuff. When you write faster, you write more. When everyone writes faster, a lot more gets written and a lot more writing becomes available. When scarcity plunges, more people have access to this resource, and it gets cheaper and easier to make the resource available. That creates more time, which in time creates more resources.

There is a growing body of evidence from the 12th century onwards which suggests that Western Europe went through a writing accelerator around that time. Writing speed records were being broken, books expanded, libraries grew. When the printing press came to the game, the race was already on. The speed record was broken once again.

 

Pre-print UX

Everything today is about user experience.

The standard ISO definition of user experience has it as ‘a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service’.

The earliest case of user experience has to do with books before the age of print. Readers’ engagement with manuscripts is the earliest evidence of what UX means.

Books are at the same time products, systems and services whose use has always been a question of user experience. Of reader experience.

Books have aroused strong emotions in users since the beginning of writing. Magic, affection, disgust, the books have been on the receiving end of most human reactions.

Script developed in part as a result of UX. Page layout evolved as a function of user response to the organisation of information and cultural requirements (education, religion, etc). Most typographical characters and practices from the pilcrow  to the rubric, column, heading, etc, is a result of UX before the printing press. The hyperlink is one of the most advanced editorial devices ever conceived and it was first systematically used in medieval glossed manuscripts to link up the main text on the page to that of other works.

The UX of books is constantly evolving. The way we engage with books is always being redefined. The UX of a papyrus roll is different from that of a vellum codex, and different from a paperback. Yet we cannot imagine the history of writing removed from that of user experience.

It is our experience and the projection of all future experiences that define the way we engage with the objects around us.

The book is an iPad which…

Just imagine for a second.

The book is an iPad which instead of a screen has paper leaves which may be turned, and contains no plastic.

The pen is an extension of your fingers which comes between you and your thumb.

Paper is a touch screen without the capacity for self-erasure.

The library is a website with very low page-loading speed.

A definition has two parts: the genus (family) and the differentia (specific difference). This type of definition is a given of logic and mathematics and it’s called intensional. It narrows down the identification as much as possible. It’s not the only type of definition, but it’s the most common.

Its structure does not shift. Families and differences do. The family tracks most of the cultural change, because the family is not just the closest category (proximate genus), but also the guiding notion, the most familiar bit of the concept under definition. The iPad is a tablet which. We know what a tablet is, phew. Then we can move to what sets it apart. We get ready for a new concept gradually, by starting from the familiar and moving into less familiar territory, until we’ve made it our own. Then we develop something new, and create a new definition.

So back to ‘the book is an iPad which’. It sounds funny now, but if books were to become obsolete, we’d have to reinvent them, and to find new definitions.

In defence of books and bookshops: 1993

Nearly 25 years ago, the French novelist Jean d’Ormesson reflected on the future of books and bookshops in a world invaded by television and new technologies. ‘Books’, he wrote, ‘are a great blessing in uncertain times.’ ‘The modern world was built through books. The Bible is a book. The Koran is a book. The Discourse on the Method is a book. The Capital is a book.’

Our times are no less certain, but 25 years later, books and bookshops are still among us, albeit more enfeebled than ever. The new media, not television, are now their most redoubtable enemy, and new battle-lines, retreats and shifts of strategy, often with loss of matter and soul, are being enacted. If books and bookshops were in need of a apologia a quarter of a century ago, they certainly need one today.

I am not going to offer one now, though, but I would refer you to d’Ormesson’s text, perhaps as applicable now as it was back in December 1993, when it appeared in Le Figaro Magazine (reprinted in Odeur du temps, (Éditions Héloïse d’Ormesson, 2007), pp. 873-75):

Vivent les libraires!

Les libraires, depuis quelques siècles, ont suffisamment servi les écrivains pour que les écrivains, à leur tour, dans des circonstances difficiles, viennent aider les libraires. C’est une affaire qui dépasse de loin le cercle restreint des libraires et des écrivains. Elle concerne un public immense : celui des lecteurs. Entre l’écrivain et le lecteur, le premier lien est constitué par l’éditeur. Chaque écrivain débutant connaît les affres de la recherche d’un éditeur. Parce que l’éditeur dispose du pouvoir immense de rendre réel l’imaginaire, les relations entre l’écrivain et son éditeur constituent tout un chapitre de l’histoire littéraire et les noms de Michel Levy, de Hertzel, de Poulet-Malassis, les noms de René Julliard, de Gallimard, de Grasset sont mêlés à ceux de Hugo, de Dumas, de Baudelaire, de Proust, de Morand, de tant d’autres parmi les morts ou parmi les vivants. Mais l’éditeur n’est pas seul entre l’écrivain et son public. L’éditeur donne sa chance à l’écrivain en le faisant sortir de la clandestinité et en fournissant un support à un monde qui n’existe pas encore. Ce support est le livre. Le livre est un objet parmi d’autres, mais chargé de puissance, d’énergie, de beauté aussi, de quelque chose de presque sacré qui peut bouleverser l’univers et changer le cours des choses. Le monde moderne a été construit par les livres. La Bible est un livre. Le Coran est un livre. Le Discours de la méthode est un livre. Le Capital est un livre. Ceux qui sont chargés de diffuser les livres et surtout les livres nouveaux et de leur ouvrir l’accès à un public qui n’existe pas d’avance s’appellent les libraires. Parce qu’ils prennent des risques souvent comparables à ceux des auteurs et des éditeurs, parce qu’ils servent de lien entre les écrivains et leur public à venir, ils ont joué et ils jouent un rôle capital dans la diffusion de la culture. Le commerce de la librairie remonte aux Grecs et aux Romains. À Athènes et à Rome, les librairies sont des lieux de réunion des auteurs et des lecteurs cultivés et l’on y donne des lectures publiques. Les volumes se répandent à Alexandrie, à Byzance, dans toute la Méditerranée et jusqu’en Gaule. Des libraires s’établissent à Marseille ou à Lyon. Au Moyen Âge, des règlements précisent les obligations des libraires établis autour des universités. Dès le x v C siècle, des foires se tiennent à Francfort ou à Leipzig. L’imprimerie bouleverse évidemment le commerce des livres et la censure devient un des thèmes principaux des rapports, souvent difficiles, entre pouvoir, écrivains et libraires. Le métier de libraire peut devenir presque dangereux. La Révolution garantit aux Français le droit d’écrire, d’imprimer et de publier librement. La République supprime le brevet de libraire et l’obligation du serment et du contrôle qui avaient été rétablis par l’Empire et la Restauration. Une double menace pèse aujourd’hui sur les milliers de libraires qui assurent la vente des livres. Ils souffrent, en tant que commerçants, de la crise qui frappe tous les secteurs de l’activité nationale et internationale. Et ils souffrent en tant que libraires, de la crise spécifique qui frappe les livres dans un monde où l’écrit est battu en brèche par la télévision et par l’électronique. Menacés par la dépression, menacés par la montée des images et par les grandes surfaces, les libraires ont le sentiment d’exercer une profession sur le point d’être sinistrée. La télévision joue à l’égard des livres un rôle apparemment ambigu et en vérité dévastateur. D’un côté — de moins en moins souvent —, elle aide leur diffusion et chacun connaît les noms des grandes émissions littéraires à la télévision ; de l’autre, elle n’a pas d’autres choix que de transformer la littérature en spectacle. Il peut

 

lui arriver de changer en vedettes des écrivains et des livres, mais sa nature est de mordre sur le temps de la lecture et de la dévaluer. Elle parle trop rarement de littérature et, sauf exceptions éclatantes, même quand elle en parle, elle l’aplatit, elle la déforme, elle la détruit presque aussi sûrement que par le silence. Les grandes surfaces, de leur côté, jouent un rôle important et légitime dans la diffusion des livres, mais elles ne peuvent pas remplacer le libraire dans le contact familier et confiant avec les oeuvres, dans ce rôle de conseiller et d’ami, presque de médecin et de confesseur, qui a si longtemps été le sien. Elles ne le remplacent pas, mais elles restreignent son domaine. Face à la crise, face à la télévision, face aux grandes surfaces, les libraires, aujourd’hui, sont dans un péril mortel. Tous ceux qui aiment les livres, tous ceux qui y trouvent un des plaisirs les plus délicieux qui soient et une consolation à tous les chagrins de la vie, doivent aider les libraires. Les fêtes approchent. Offrez les livres que vous aimez à ceux que vous aimez. Et si vous ne savez pas ce que vous aimez, votre libraire vous aidera. Il ne vous aidera peut-être pas à trouver des gens à aimer, mais il vous aidera, à coup sûr, à trouver des livres à aimer. C’est un grand bonheur dans les temps incertains.

Ten medieval ways to hold a book

The good thing with illuminated manuscripts of books of the Old Testament is that there is great scope for depicting scribes, books, scrolls, pens, desks, and other elements of the medieval culture of writing and book-making. Manuscript Engelberg 76, produced in the mid 12th century at the Benedictine Abbey of Engelberg in Switzerland , one of the highest-altitude monasteries of Western Europe (1,020 m ASL), offers a visual catalogue of authors holding their books. These are ten out of the 12 minor prophets of the Old Testament (Micah and Haggai are missing, while Jonah is surely hiding his book behind parts of the initial). The images are below.

The fashion of holding a book never quite went out of fashion. The book may be held with the right (Hosea) as well as with the left hand (Amos), or with both (Malachi) – some medieval volumes were too heavy for a human, and some, such as giant Bibles, were even bigger than toddlers; some may be held closer to the body (Nahum), or away from it (Amos); some may be held while protecting the covers with one’s tunic (Obadiah) or in a contorted fashion in one hand, while the other admonishes the crowd (Zephaniah). One may also brandish a club while holding a book (Amos), though oratorical and pacific stances are more common.

Contrary to popular opinion (and common sense), books may sometimes be held ostentatiously in order to highlight how their covers match one’s outfit (Obadiah), or occasionally even for contrast (Hosea).

There can be no doubt that the most fashionable way to hold a medieval book is in such a way that one’s beard strokes the book’s leaves, as Malachi aptly demonstrates.

Joel_23r

Joel, f. 23r

Amos_32r_

Amos, f. 32r

Abdias_48r

Obadiah, f. 48r

Ionas_51r

Jonah, f. 51r

Hanno_89r

Nahum, f. 89r

Abacue_75r

Habakkuk, f. 75r

Sophonias_82r

Zephaniah, f. 82r

Zacharias_94r

Zechariah, f. 94r

Onus_118r

Malachi, f. 118r.

The legends of medieval books

This blogpost is not about myths and legends, but about editorial legends, the written explanatory matter accompanying an illustration, map, chart, explaining how visuals are to be read and understood, or what they stand for.

Despite their widespread use, legends are not modern. Medieval scribes, scholars and the manuscript culture these worked in made good use of legends, filling that silent space between scribe and reader with insights into the modus legendi (how to read a text): ‘Dear reader, this means that…’.

Legends exist because some illustrations are not self-explanatory or that they might serve a purpose that is not self-explanatory either. Legends point to graphics which point to something else. I wish to briefly discuss these by looking at two examples: an early 12th-century ‘Bible reading plan’ from Glastonbury, England and a late 12th-century history-book browsing tool from London.

The first example comes from a collection of readings (lectiones)  from St John’s Gospel for the use of the monks of Glastonbury Abbey. The readings are grouped by chapters and numbered in red, as in the image below.

mense lector2

The list of pericope readings from St John’s Gospel in British Library, Harley MS 5958, f. 87v – this leaf was separated from BL, Harley MS 1916.

The initial usefulness of this text was enhanced by a later scribe who realised that some of the readings were also required weekly readings during Lent when the monks met for breakfast and lunch in the refectory (the Benedictine origin of watching TV while eating). Scholars remind us that ‘the monastic custom of reading during meals is described in some texts as an explicit literalising of the metaphor of consuming a book as one consumes food’.

As Tessa Weber explains, ‘since the sequence of gospel pericopes from John during Lent does not follow the ordo narrationis (i.e. the narrative sequence) of John’s Gospel, the reader in the refectory needed some assistance to find both the relevant homily and where to commence reading, should the pericope begin at a later verse than that with which the particular tractatus commenced.’

The instructions on how to find the relevant passage for any given week was entered at the bottom of the leaf, as in the image below. The modus legendi of this Lent reading plan links the chapter numbers, the relevant passages and an extra-textual reference into a system whereby the reader may find what passage ought to be read in any given week during Lent.

mense lector

British Library, Harley MS 5958, f. 87v showing the legend for the reading plan.

The legend says:

While at the refectory table, the reader who wishes to know which passage he ought to read in this book during the whole period of Lent, he should look for the first letter of the alphabet written over the relevant feast day to the first week and from the next to the following and so on according to the letters and he should find the location of the reading.

Latin: Mense lector refectorii scire volens locum quo debeat legere per totam quadragesimam in hoc libro, querat primam litteram abcedarii supra quamlibet feriam scriptam ad primam ebdomadam, secundam ad secundam et sit ad singulas ebdomadas sequentes literas et inveniet loc[um] lectionis.

Simple capital letters explain which chapter should be read in which week in Lent. The legend accomplishes two things in this case: it clarifies the use of special symbols (letters) in the chapter list and confers a special function to this text.

Others went even further. Some legends can even introduce a system of iconographical symbols/icons that connect the text to what the icons signify. The 12th-century English historian Ralph of Diceto (died around 1202), a canon of St Paul’s, London, came up with an ingenious plan to create a thematic index for his chronicle Abbreviations of History.

He sets out by creating twelve thematic categories corresponding to the main historical areas of interest and political/ecclesiastical issues of the day, which he thought would comprise most of the information readers of his chronicle would be interested in. These are (see image below):

  1. The persecution of the Church (De persecutionibus ecclesie).
  2. Schismatics (De scismatibus).
  3. Church councils (De conciliis).
  4. Coronations of kings (De regum unctionibus).
  5. Privileges of the archbishopric of Canterbury (De privilegiis Cantuarie ecclesie).
  6. Elections of certain archbishops of Canterbury (De quarumdam archiepiscoporum Cantuariensium electionibus).
  7. Dukes of Normandy (De ducibus Normannorum).
  8. Dukes of Anjou (De comitibus Andegavorum).
  9. Controversies between kings and prelates (De controversiis inter regnum et sacerdotium).
  10. Relations between Kings of England and the dukes of Normandy (De regibus Anglorum et ducibus Normannorum).
  11. Relations between Kings of England, dukes of Normandy and counts of Anjou (De regibus Anglorum et ducibus Normannorum et comitibus Andegavorum).
  12. The conflict between Henry the Second and his three sons (De dissensione que fuit inter regem Henricum secundum et tres filios suos).
diceto2

British Library, Cotton MS Claudius E III, f. 1r showing the twelve topics and the corresponding icons.

Ralph then assigns a pictogram to each topic, either as an abbreviation (PS for persecutiones, SC for schismatici, CO for concilii), or a painted icon, ranging from a simple crown (no 3), staff (no. 6), cross (5), sword (7) and lance (no. 8) to a geminated C-monogram standing for ‘controversy’ (no. 9) and a crown pulled by two hands symbolising Henry II’s struggle with his sons (no. 12). The relationship between the text and the icons is that of an anacolouthon, a rhetorical trope whereby one word is substituted with another whose meaning is very close to the original, but in a non-reciprocal fashion. A crown pulled by two hands may be substituted for or reduced to Henry II’s conflict with his sons, but such an icon cannot, on its own, convey the same connotation.

Ralph hopes that his readers will find the information they want by locating these icons in his chronicle. The instructions on how to do it are as clear as the presentation of the twelve categories. He says:

Therefore, if you discover certain signs placed in the margin while diligently reading through the time of Grace (i. e. the years since the Birth of Christ), do not rush to criticize them as if they were useless.  For these signs are of no little use so that the memory might be more easily stimulated.  That there are twelve types of signs, you should also not think this is pointless. That is because, while the nature of chronicling always runs infinitely down [in time], and new developing crises and controversies require new entries to be made, if the condition of the entire (little) book doesn’t offer you anything complete, you may at least be able to find a little completeness in the chapters contained under the aforesaid number, and in the narration of the matters particularly relevant to the same number.

Latin: Itaque si, tempus gratie diligenter percurrens, quedam signa repereris in margine posita, non hoc statim quasi superfluum reprehendas. Ea namque sunt ad memoriam facilius excitandam non parum accommoda. Quod autem signorum varietas sub duodenario comprehenditur, nec hoc reputes otiosum; quoniam cum cronographie conditio semper in infinitum decurrat, et novis emergentibus tam causis quam casibus nove fieri soleant annotationes, si continentia totius libelli nichil tibi perfectum obtulerit, in capitulis saltem sub numero praedicto contentis, et in excursu rerum ad eundem numerum specialiter pertinentium, aliquantulum perfectionis poteris invenire.

diceto1

British Library, Cotton MS Claudius E III, f. 1r showing Ralph’s prologue in red.

Ralph’s legend, both as the prose instruction and the explanation of the twelve symbols, ensures that a reader interested in any of the twelve topics will find the relevant matter in the text of the chronicle.

It is clear from the two examples that medieval scribes and scholars did not lack the conceptual framework to devise semiotic and referential apparati in their works. In fact, the transfer of meaning on which legends of this kind depend was the underlying principle of allegory (not to mention all the other tropes of substitution), which the medieval mind – geared towards poetry or theology – easily lent itself to. To think of something instead of something else was as natural for the medieval thinker as it is for us to read music, charts and code. It is fascinating, nevertheless, that the application of allegory, metonymy, metalepsis, anacolouthon, etc, to a structured text enhanced its readability by making it easier for the reader to find information in it – and also memorise it.

How to write and publish in the Middle Ages: Eadmer and St Anselm

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Unknown, Eadmer of Canterbury (English, about 1055 – 1124) De Vita et Conversatione Anselmi Cantuariensis, 1140 to 1150, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

We moderns easily forget that the medieval texts we read in manuscript or in print are the result of a complex process of composition; that writers didn’t just ‘pen’ words and sentences as they came to them; that we are not the only ones to struggle on the agonising road from ‘idea’ to ‘final draft’. As Mary Carruthers pointed out long ago, textual composition in the Middle Ages was a function of memory (not to be reduced to memorisation), cogitation and collation. Composition was independent from writing. The latter merely fixed and ‘authorised’ the author’s ‘text’, by making in known publicly.

One of the most fascinating descriptions of a medieval author at work is Eadmer of Canterbury’s account of St Anselm’s (1033-1109) difficult composition and publication of his short tract Proslogion in the late 1070s, sometimes translated into English as Discourse on the Existence of God. Eadmer was Anselm’s biographer, and he’s given us one of the best glimpses into the life of a 11th-century writer. Eadmer describes how Anselm struggled with the work’s ‘subject matter’ – something we may liken to the modern ‘writer’s block’; how devising the text kept one so focused that it caused disruptions to one’s lifestyle; that backing up one’s drafts was as important in the 11th century as it is today; that one has a responsibility to respond to reviews, especially when they are negative.

Most importantly, Eadmer’s story shows the importance of memory as an organic library of information and the fragility of a text’s existence before it is committed to parchment.

Eadmeri Vita Sancti Anselmi. The Life of St Anselm by Eadmer, ed. by Richard W. Southern (London: Thomas Nelson, 1962), pp. 29-31:

For the Latin text, go to the end of this post.[1]

He [Anselm] also composed another small book, which he called the Monologion because in this he alone spoke and argued with himself. Here, putting aside all authority of Holy Scripture, he enquired into and discovered by reason alone what God is, and proved by invincible reason that God’s nature is what the true faith holds it to be, and that it could not be other than it is. Afterwards it came into his mind to try to prove by one single and short argument the things which are believed and preached about God, that he is eternal, unchangeable, omnipotent, omnipresent, incomprehensible, just, righteous, merciful, true, as well as truth, goodness, justice and so on; and to show how all these qualities are united in him. And this, as he himself would say, gave him great trouble, partly because thinking about it took away his desire for food, drink and sleep, and partly—and this was more grievous to him—because it disturbed the attention which he ought to have paid to matins and to Divine service at other times. When he was aware of this, and still could not entirely lay hold on what he sought, he supposed that this line of thought was a temptation of the devil and he tried to banish it from his mind. But the more vehemently he tried to do this, the more this thought pursued him. Then suddenly one night during matins the grace of God illuminated his heart, the whole matter became clear to his mind, and a great joy and exultation filled his inmost being. Thinking therefore that others also would be glad to know what he had found, he immediately and ungrudgingly wrote it on writing tablets and gave them to one of the brethren of the monastery for safe-keeping. After a few days he asked the monk who had charge of them for the tablets. The place where they had been laid was searched, but they were not found. The brethren were asked in case anyone had taken them, but in vain. And to this day no-one has been found who has confessed that he knew anything about them. Anselm wrote another draft on the same subject on other tablets, and handed them over to the same monk for more careful keeping. He placed them once more by his bed, in a more secret place, and the next day—having no suspicion of any mischance he found them scattered on the floor beside his bed and the wax which was on them strewn about in small pieces. After the tablets had been picked up and the wax collected together, they were taken to Anselm. He pieced together the wax and recovered the writing, though with difficulty. Fearing now that by some carelessness it might be altogether lost, he ordered it, in the name of the Lord, to be copied onto parchment. From this, therefore, he composed a volume, small in size but full of weighty discourse and most subtle speculation, which he called the Proslogion, because in this work he speaks either to himself or to God. This work came into the hands of someone who found fault with one of the arguments in it, judging it to be unsound. In an attempt to refute it he wrote a treatise against it and attached this to the end of Anselm’s work. A friend sent this to Anselm who read it with pleasure, expressed his thanks to his critic and wrote his reply to the criticism. He had this reply attached to the treatise which had been sent to him, and returned it to the friend from whom it had come, desiring him and others who might deign to have his little book to write out at the end of it the criticism of his argument and his own reply to the criticism.

Eadmeri Vita Sancti Anselmi. The Life of St Anselm by Eadmer, ed. by Richard W. Southern (London: Thomas Nelson, 1962), pp. 29-31:

Fecit quoque libellum unum quem Monologion appellavit. Solus enim in eo et secum loquitur, ac tacita omni auctoritate divinae scripturae quid Deus sit sola ratione quaerit et invenit, et quod vera fides de Deo sentit, invincibili ratione sic nec aliter esse posse probat et astruit. Post haec incidit sibi in mentem investigare utrum uno solo et brevi argumento probari posset id quod de Deo creditur et praedicatur, videlicet quod sit aeternus, incommutabilis, omnipotens, ubique totus, incompraehensibilis, justus, pius, misericors, verax, veritas, bonitas, justitia, et nonnulla alia, et quomodo haec omnia in ipso unum sint.3 Quae res. sicut ipse referebat magnam sibi peperit difficultatem. Nam haec cogitatio partim illi cibum, potum et somnum tollebat, partim et quod magis eum gravabat intentionem ejus qua matutinis et alii servitio Dei intendere debebat perturbabat. Quod ipse animadvertens, nec adhuc quod quaerebat ad plenum capere valens. ratus est hujusmodi cogitationem diaboli esse temptationem, nisusque est eam procul repellere a sua intentione. Verum quanto plus in hoc desudabat. tanto illum ipsa cogitatio magis ac magis infestabat. Et ecce quadam nocte inter nocturnas vigilias Dei gratia illuxit in corde ejus, et res patuit intellectui ejus, immensoque gaudio et jubilatione replevit omnia intima ejus. Reputans ergo apud se hoc ipsum et aliis si sciretur posse placere. livore carens rem ilico scripsit in tabulis, easque sollicitius custodiendas uni ex monasterii fratribus tradidit. Post dies aliquot tabulas repetit a custode. Quaeruntur in loco ubi repositae fuerant, nec inveniuntur. Requiruntur a fratribus ne forte aliquis eas acceperit, sed nequiquam. Nec enim hucusque inventus est, qui recognoverit se quicquam inde scivisse. Reparat Anselmus aliud de eadem materia dictamen in aliis tabulis, et illas eidem sub cautiori custodia tradit custodi. Ille in secretiori parte lectuli sui tabulas reponit, et sequenti die nil sinistri suspicatus. easdem in pavimento sparsas ante lectum repperit, cera quas in ipsis erat hac illae frustatim dispersa. Levantur tabulas, cera colligitur, et pariter Anselmo reportantur. Adunat ipse ceram, et licet vix. scripturam recuperat. Verens autem ne qua incuria penitus perditum eat; eam in nomine Domini pergamenas jubet tradi. Composuit ergo inde volumen parvulum, sed sententiarum ac subtilissimas contemplationis pondere magnum, quod Proslogion nominavit. Alloquitur etenim in eo opere aut seipsum aut Deum. Quod opus cum in manus cujusdam venisset, et is in quadam ipsius operis argumentatione non parum offendisset. Ratus est eandem argumentationem ratam non esse. Quam refellere gestiens; quoddam contra illam scriptum composuit, et illud fini ejusdem operis scriptum apposuit. Quod cum sibi ab uno amicorum suorum transmissum Anselmus considerasset; gavisus est, et repraehensori suo gratias agens, suam ad hoc responsionem edidit, eamque libello sibi directo subscriptam, sub uno ei qui miserat amico remisit, hoc ab eo et ab aliis qui libellum illum habere dignantur petitum iri desiderans, quatinus in fine ipsius suae argumentationis repraehensio, et repraehensioni sua responsio subscribatur.