In silence between writer and reader
A memory of words and hands takes form.
The Booksellers, directed by D.W. Young, is a documentary about a group of established antiquarian book dealers in New York City. The documentary ends with a beautiful, eloquent ode to the book, a poem written and spoken by Henry Wessells, from his short book of poems titled The Private Life of Books. The voice of the titular poem is that of a book reflecting on the history of books and their relations with readers. It works through the figure of handling. It ends:
Lost, forgotten, thumbed, split : we bear the scars
Of patient decades and centuries’ dreams.
Whose hands will next hold me I do not know —
The book, too, reads its readers in real time.
Reading as a form of touching and being touched and activated and activating.
And so for day 3004