Fragments in the Archive
"like souls, neither touching nor mingling, never composing a set, these positionless fragments depict the beauties of transition and isolation at once. Belonging to the chronology of the instant, a book of them would have to present them as a discontinuous series, a book from which each page could be taken out" (Martha L. Warner: Radical Scatters (electronic resource): Emily Dickinson's Fragments and Related Texts, 1870-1886. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1999-)
Nina Montenegro, Student,
written during Archive: Dance and Writing session in the University of Michigan Graduate Stacks:
Volumes and volumes
I am surrounded by all the knowledge in the world
Knowledge that is,
that can be captured into words and pages
Into bound volumes…
Bound to be forgotten
It would take a lifetime to touch all of these books,
To understand their innards an eternity.
The archive is stillness.
Sitting in a pile of dust on this glassy cold floor
It occurs to me- someone has written all of this
Could my story make a book this thick?
The density of the attempts to record experience.
How many voices and stories are beneath these laminated photos?
Characters in a language I don't understand bring me back to childhood illiteracy.
Oh, deteriorating, delicate pages,
Are you so set in stone that I cannot insert my own history between your lines?
Can I bridge my life to those contained in yours?
Outside of you, book,
There will always be more
More pages and books
More articles and volumes
More stacks and libraries