Glimmer aroused by 6 x 11 cm of short meditations (Gardini, Il book is that thing): the book brought from the library home is a promise, but the one “waiting, waiting for us” and, winking, whispering “yet to be read,” is a reproach. Borges (The Library of Babel) imagines a fantastic universe full of books and Canetti (Auto da fé) that the bibliophile comes to eliminate the windows to give them more space! Our unread books, the anti library (Taleb, The Black Swan), are a pulsating organism of desires.
“Reading is an art, not far removed from poetic inspiration” (Gardini): For the reader-artist it is not only moving the eyes from one sign to another, but to enter the words, to dive deep to catch revelations. On books have a life of their own, they interweave stories, Deledda talks to Deleuze, Marcus Aurelius with Marx, Socrates, displaced from his assigned place, finds himself discussing with Socrates, displaced from his assigned place, finds himself arguing with Spengler, who leans on Spinoza, and Jong questions Jung’s Red Book. Who knows what entanglements in the ancient world among the thousands of tablets engraved in cuneiform characters in the libraries of Nineveh, Mesopotamia (VII century BC), and among the 500,000 volumen, papyrus scrolls, in that of Alexandria, Egypt.
From clay to manuscripts, the book, a precious source with Middle Ages, with silk, silver and gold bindings and covers encrusted with precious stones, and becomes beauty in opposition to Nazi barbarism in the “degenerate” creations of “degenerate” creations of Matisse (Jazz).
Mixing disconcertment and pleasure to think, the futurists transform the book into an object of visual art, like Depero’s Bolted Book. Since then, the book invades the territories of conceptual art, loaded with extra-textual communication, from Duchamp’s Tactile Book to Munari’s Unreadable Books, from Books, pierced by nails, by Fanna Roncoroni to the erased Books by Isgrò, and to the Books sewn by Maria Lai, which embroider plots of threads on warps of incommunicability.
There are books that you can eat, in case you get lost in the desert with the survival guide (Land Rover) of potato starch. “Worth the trip” is the village in Wales, Hay on Wye, just over 1,500 inhabitants, forty bookstores and open-air shelves full of volumes “already read” available to those who want to browse them or buy them for a coin, delight of the connoisseurs, with a Spring Festival renamed the “Woodstock of the mind.”
B. Bartók, Romanian Folk Dances, 1917;
M. Nyman, Prosperous’books, 1991;
L. Einaudi, White Clouds, 2004.