Future Library opens secret archive of unseen texts in Oslo

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Future Library opens secret archive of unseen texts in Oslo

Jun 15 2022

Last Sunday the Future Library, a project dreamed up by the Scottish artist Katie Paterson, was opened to the public in Oslo. After eight years, manuscripts penned by some of the world’s most famous living authors were delivered to “The silent room” on the top floor of the Deichman library, where they will remain for the next 92 years.

Four of the Future Library’s eight authors travelled to personally slide their manuscripts into one of the 100 glass drawers in the room constructed from 100 layers of undulating carved wood. These works will not be read or published until 2114, when the Future Library will open its drawers to the world, and the books will be printed using paper from 1,000 trees that have been planted in a nearby forest as part of the project.

Until that day, only small groups of visitors may sit shoeless and in silent contemplation of the growing family tree of authors surrounding them, trying to imagine what Elif Shafak or Margaret Atwood might have written for their future readers. In 2014, Atwood became the first author to take part in the project, which asks authors to write a text of any length or genre, but not to reveal anything about it except the title. The eight works that have now been written have fabulously tantalising titles, from Scribbler Moon (Atwood) to The Last Taboo (Shafak). The other authors who have contributed works so far are David Mitchell, Sjón, Han Kang, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Karl Ove Knausgård, and Ocean Vuong.

Atwood compared the project with Sleeping Beauty, remarking “how strange it is to think of my own voice – silent by then for a long time – suddenly being awakened after 100 years”.

Source: The Guardian

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