Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The more things change

I took away a few impressions from the exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls I finally got to see last week:

2000-year-old papyrus looks really cool! I'd love to know more about how it was made.

It's astonishing, the clear and precise forms you can make on papyrus, which looks a little grainy, with a reed pen and some charcoal.

Also, how tiny some of those scribes were writing. Does it suggest the preciousness of the papyrus, or the acute focus of the scribe?

But mostly: 2000 years ago, people were just as worried about the end of the world and beset by disease and interpersonal cruelty and the need for legal documents around land use as we are today.

I'm not really sure whether to be saddened by that, or feel all heartwarmed, or not bother with either and just write some fiction already. Like I say, the more things change...

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