1,500-Year-Old Hidden Record Of Christ's Words
Sotheby's might want to send a bidding paddle to Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown. In its July 7 London manuscripts sale, the auction house is offering a 1,500-year-old biblical document that includes layers of text and meaning--in three languages. Known as the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, the piece was written over the span of three centuries and stowed in a sacred monastery until landing in the hands of a pair of British twins by way of local Egyptian dealers. Now an English college is cannibalizing its library and cashing out, to pay for some building renovations. The ancient manuscript could sell for close to $1 million, according to Sotheby's ( BID - news - people ) estimate.
A memory stick. A barn. So many ways of storing words...
In the world of pdf files and email attachments, the existence of words becomes increasingly virtual. I have a friend, for instance, whose new novel, due to be published in the autumn, exists at the moment exclusively on a memory stick. So is Gekoski's catalogue, you begin to wonder, a monument to an irretrievably lost world? The answer, I think, is yes - and no. More probably, this discreet inventory dramatically illustrates the parallel worlds of modern literature and creativity. Unlike Virginia Woolf or Dylan Thomas, inveterate scribblers, we no longer write hundreds of letters, but we still generate countless emails. Will a future Gekoski carefully catalogue bookish texts and tweets?
Michael Jackson, Fanboy
A huge comic book collector, Jackson was photographed in October 1998 at the Golden Apple comic book store. He brought his three children for a comic book shopping spree that resulted in piles of comic purchases. This spring, the auction of Jackson’s personal items included several fanboy items. Apparently Jackson was the proud owner of his very own Batman Suit, specially fitted just for him. He also owned several life sized Spider Man figures and a huge Superman Statue.These items are all pictured in the auction catalogue. The most telling connection to Jackson’s love of comics is his attempt to purchase Marvel comics in the late 1990s to help out Stan Lee, the creator of so many Marvel classic comics. Jackson retained counsel to work out the deal, but it never panned out. The story is detailed in The Comics Journal.
An Artist’s Treasures
In her recipe books, which turned up a few years ago at a reclusive collector’s home in Mexico City, Kahlo scribbled notes about which desserts and monkey brain dishes Rivera would eat “with great gluttony,” and how he would paw through tortillas on the table at Christmas and make them “simply disgusting.” She imagined a love potion that might tether him to her: concocted from wormseed twigs and ground-up toads, it would take effect after a “serenade during a night of an eternal moon.” Carlos and Leticia Noyola, antiques dealers in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, bought the Kahlo archive four years ago, along with suitcases and chipped lacquered boxes painted with Rivera and Kahlo’s names. The trove also contains Kahlo’s embroidered blouses, coral jewelry, lottery tickets, hotel receipts, taxidermied hummingbirds and a French medical textbook about amputation. “I am only a circus spectacle,” Kahlo wrote in the book’s margins, probably soon after her gangrenous lower right leg was removed in 1953.
A Manuscript, a Confrontation, a Shooting
Forty-one years later, Margo Feiden finally opened a folder containing a manuscript that had sat on her bookshelf since the day Andy Warhol was shot. She had put it there after spending three hours with Valerie Solanas, who was on the fringes of Warhol’s circle, she said. Ms. Solanas had written a play with an unprintable title and had shown up, uninvited, at Ms. Feiden’s apartment, unkempt and irrational, hoping to talk her into producing it. Ms. Feiden, who later became an art dealer and the agent for the caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, said in a recent interview that she told Ms. Solanas she would not stage it. She said Ms. Solanas countered, “Oh, yes you will, because I’m going to shoot Andy Warhol.” A few hours later, around 4 p.m. on June 3, 1968, she did.
Poet's manuscript lost at Spancilhill Horse Fair
The only copy of a new collection of work by internationally renowned Limerick poet Desmond O’Grady was lost at the Spancilhill Horse Fair in Clare this week. Limerick man Barney Sheehan (75), who had the copy in his possession, is appealing to people in Clare and beyond to return an unpublished manuscript. A reward of several hundred euros is also being offered for the return of the draft book. Entitled My Limerick City, the manuscript was due to be dropped off at the printers this weekend for publication.
Digital Age Provides Hope For Ancient Manuscripts
The case of ancient manuscripts being found missing or damaged at the Radyapustaka Museum in Solo, Central Java, has drawn world attention and prompted efforts to digitize the collection to help preserve it. Together with the British Library, Manusa, a nongovernmental organization working to preserve the ancient manuscripts, held a four-day workshop on document digitalization aimed at developing ways to save thousands of works that have been sitting in museums, libraries and private collections here and abroad gathering dust. The workshop will end today. Manusa chairman Oman Fathurrahman said that the surviving manuscripts were written in various languages and scripts, including Arabic, Malay, Javanese, Sundanese, Sasak, Balinese and the Wolio language of Buton Island.
Ethiopia - U.S. Embassy Provides Grants for Cultural Preservation in Harar
The second grant that was signed, from the U.S. Embassy, provides USD $ 35,150 to catalog and preserve the collection of Islamic manuscripts currently held at the Palace. This grant will provide the equipment and supplies needed to establish a Manuscript Presentation Center at the Palace. The Center will protect and conserve this important collection of Islamic manuscripts in Harar. The Embassy is also supporting an American Fulbright manuscript specialist to visit Harar later this summer to do an assessment of the manuscripts and develop a work plan for their preservation and presentation to visitors at the Palace.
Printer stresses craft's old ways
In some ways, this print shop is like any other, with lots of whirring and shuffling and stacks of paper. But the Weekend Printer is a far cry from your neighborhood FedEx Office branch. Instead of individual computer stations and pristine countertops, you get antique printing presses and boxes of lead and wooden type. Instead of name-tagged, uniformed staff, you get Dave Eckler. Eckler is a pressman. He fell in love with letterpress printing during ninth-grade shop class at Spry Junior High School, back in 1964.
Typography fans pick apart Microsoft Bing logo
Around the launch of Bing, members of the Typophile forums had a good time picking apart the logo design of Microsoft's new search engine. The logo was designed by Razorfish in Portland, Ore. Razorfish is owned by Microsoft. There has been considerable negative response to the Bing logo. But keep in mind this is the Internet, where skeptics and curmudgeons go to play. Here are some posts from across the Web: