Skip to content


Hypergraphia I

It is not so unusual for writers to dream of libraries, where endless mahogany shelves are weighted with tomes and pamphlets; where the air is thick with the scent of resin, ink, and the vanilla of old paper. A type of heaven for us, perhaps.

I dream not of a library – but of a reading room. Maybe it is just one adjunct in that word house of the mind; a cubby-nook with rounded, comfortable chairs and aging afternoon light from the simple window. A lamp. A side-table. A rug on the floor. I never needed much.

In here, some wise custodian has preserved all the things we might forget; the private languages of lovers now separated; the baby-talk, the jokes that can never be understood by another. In the pages of this little room are words that are inimically bounded by time; and the stories of singular days, of hours, of moments.

All the things we might forget.

First Impression(s): Interesting to this escriteur owing to its origins, being the first printed sheet from a printing press. Considering the laborious work of setting movable type (wood block or metal type characters), the first ‘virgin’ sheet of paper was the final test to see whether the typesetter and inker had done their job correctly (hence why first impressions are so important).

nb. I’m fascinated how terminology functions like dialect given time. There are many examples like Knock on wood, Bodge, Shoddy that escape into the wider lexical environment.

double-nb. There’s evidence to suggest that a large amount of grammatical rules we use today – everything from commas to quotation marks – actually comes from a printers need to regulate movable type in a limited space. So that means that language itself; communication, conversation, and the way that sentences and thoughts are constructed owes some of their current usage to the physical process of reproduction – not just the realm of personal emotional expression as we might have thought… I don’t know what that points to; that humans and their objects are involved in a process of co-creation of each other?

triple-nb. One of the earliest recorded forms of the printing press was the Mesopotamian stone cylinder, used on wet clay circa 3500BC!


Get the latest posts delivered to your email: