Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Toilets, papers, and writing

Victor Mair on Language Log posts the following picture, with translation and commentary:

He translates: “Use of Party newspapers and magazines as toilet paper is strictly forbidden.”
And comments: "It is evident that some types of paper with writing on it are more precious than other kinds. In old China, one was not to wrap fish or wipe oneself with any paper that had writing on it, because writing itself was to be respected, no matter what the content or who the author was."
(h/t to Ayse Tuzlak)

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