To put your quill where your mouth is

Each one of us is an archeologist, a witness, active or passive, of the history of the material and immaterial culture around us. We don’t have to be academically-minded grave-diggers or shovel-wielding students of antiquity to exercise our archeological sense. An archeologist is someone who understands that he or she is surrounded by ghosts, and … Continue reading To put your quill where your mouth is

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 … Continue reading The book is an iPad which…

A petition for a public reading of Dante

When’s the last time a group of local residents petitioned the government to arrange for a public reading of Dante’s Commedia? The answer to that question is: the summer of 1373. In the summer of that year, a petition was presented to the Signoria of Florence, on behalf of a number of Florentine citizens, asking … Continue reading A petition for a public reading of Dante

King James I’s love of books

I knew sundry things about James I but not that he was a book-lover. Writing in his Anatomy of Melancholy, the Oxford scholar¬†Robert Burton (1577-1640) left us an unexpected portrait¬†of the king who contrasts the claustral office of the monarch with the freedom of the life of a scholar. Burton recalls that King James 1605, … Continue reading King James I’s love of books