At Forgotten Bookmarks, a visit to This Old Paper prompts this post pondering old paper:
Looking though their site, I wonder what it is about these old things that fascinates us. Why are we drawn to a simple note, a single sentence, just because it was written 100 years ago? We come across words that old all the time, and choose to ignore them. Often, we ignore them because they are old words, tired words (I’m looking at you, Charles Dickens). No, it must be the intimacy of the words, the moment. I like to think we are part-time anthropologists, dreaming up the birth and death of of these old things, the wheres and the whys; imagining the postcard dropped in box in 1910, the candlelight flickering across the parchment as a tired father reaches across the miles with his words to his family back home, a bored student passing the time in his 1951 Latin class by doodling the teacher with a monkey’s butt…
I have conjured up all these things and more, and I am just starting to realize that I prefer my version of history to anything that might have really happened. I am sure their lives were nearly as droll as ours.
I think it’s this and more, such as the tactile lending transcendence (the power of the objects) and the fact that life — and its intimate moments are the real stuff of history (more than the dates & events memorized)… But the post is an eloquent & excellent start.
This also serves as a reminder to submit your articles, posts, ponderings (or those you’ve enjoyed) to the next — and forthcoming — editions of the History Is Ephemeral carnival.