March 27, 2012

Writing is Excessive Drudgery

Illuminated manuscripts. Some of the finest examples of human work of the middle ages. And yet...what did the monks writing them really think of the laborious and painstaking repetition of line after line of text?  The most recent issue of Lapham's Quarterly (which looks pretty neat, of brainy types) has a list of translated notes from the margins of Medieval manuscripts. Image from The Book of Kells(Thanks, DF!)

Writing is excessive drudgery. It crooks your back, it dims your sight, it twists your stomach and your sides.

Thank God it will soon be dark.

Now I've written the whole thing...give me a drink.

New parchment, bad ink; I say nothing more.

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