Future Library – fun, fad, fantasy or folly?

A thought-provoking look at how we value and define art.

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Future Library – fun, fad, fantasy or folly?

You might have spotted various articles recently concerning the project called Future Library. I’m not giving links because, for one thing, you can google as well as I can, and for another, I’m loathe to give the big websites any more traffic than they already get. Basically, the concept is this: authors have been approached to produce a book that after it’s been written and put into a form that will last, it will be sealed up for a hundred years. Various famous folks like David Mitchell (of Cloud Atlas and Bone Clocks fame), and Margaret Atwood ( The Handmaiden’s Tale) have already agreed and have written their books. Until the century is up, no one will know what they have written; none of us alive now will ever know.

There’s been a lot of discussion about this and there seems to…

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About Nya Rawlyns

Nya Rawlyns doesn’t write typical romance. She writes emotion as a contact sport, rough and often raw. It need not be pleasant, heart-warming or forever after. What she seeks is what lies beneath—a dance of extremes, the intersect of need and desire, and the compromises we make when pain and pleasure become indistinguishable. ***** She has lived in the country and on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, earned more than 1000 miles in competitive trail and endurance racing, taught Political Science to unwilling freshmen, and found an avocation in materials science. ***** When she isn’t tending to her garden or the horses, the cats, or three pervert parakeets, she can be found day dreaming and listening to the voices in her head.
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One Response to Future Library – fun, fad, fantasy or folly?

  1. When I first read the tagline, I thought you were referencing the libraries (or maybe there’s only the one for now) that are “bookless”; that is, they are more like computer labs, where people go to network and use the technology of today in a free, social setting, and learn about the technology of tomorrow. THAT is a concept I like and am wholly behind – although libraries as we know them need to stay around, too! The booklover in me winces at the notion of NO books being present in these “new” libraries (though I suppose even THAT isn’t true; almost everyone I know has an electronic reader of SOME sort now, and I think the segment to which I was listening mentioned e-readers, a phenomenon I am slow to embrace, personally) but to give technology to everyone, especially in a world that is quickly demanding that EVERYONE have access while simultaneously pricing out whole segments of the population from ever getting to have that access, is a good thing.

    What I think of these ‘time-capsule’ libraries is this – those who are jumping aboard are creating a legacy – even if their current books are long lost by the time that century rolls around, there will still be SOMETHING new that this next generation (many generations from now) hasn’t read. It sounds to me like it’s another shill, really; another way to ensure that the big names, with the money and Presence to undertake such a venture (and this sort of references my earlier point about pricing people out, does it not?) will always be remembered, regardless of what apocalypse may come. It’s just another -albeit weird – way to create some lasting impression of oneself. Not something for which I have any particular yen, really, but it might appeal to my wife, who likes the idea. She likes the idea of passing on what she knows to someone else, who will then pass it down the line to someone else, etc. Of leaving some mark behind to say “HEY, I WAS HERE AND I DID A THING!” That’s what this sounds like – a sort of overly expensive time capsule of the big authors of Now writing for the audiences -and generating royalty checks for the family – they’ll never meet.

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