Book hospitals closing

He Fixes Cracked Spines, Without an Understudy,” Kirk Johnson, The New York Times (Jan. 6, 2017): “[T]he humble word ‘to mend,’ which derives from a French term for atonement, or ‘to put right,’ is dropping out of circulation…”

How times have changed. Here is an image of a c14th manuscript mended, or “put right,” with silk thread:

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Uppsala University Library, MS C 371

(Follow the links into the weird and wonderful world of book bloggers.)

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2 thoughts on “Book hospitals closing

  1. always_already_ryan says:

    This phenomenon serves the medieval master-metaphor of “the book of the heart” well. Both the language of ‘mending’ and choice of red/purple thread make it look as though it was a biological wound that has received medical attention. The best phrase I can think of to describe my reaction to these images is “quiet repulsion.”

    Like

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