touching manuscripts

I’m reading Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book right now. It is alive with the stories that books tell, the narratives captured not just in text, but in the material artifact of the book itself. Archival research, Brooks’ main character reminds us, is not just cerebral work, but deeply sensual:

“As many times as I’ve worked on rare, beautiful things, that first touch is always a strange and powerful sensation. It’s a combination between brushing a live wire and stroking the back of a newborn baby’s head.” (13)

Ahhhh. Lausanne and my letters in June. I can’t wait.

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