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, January 26, 2008

Review of People of the Book

Jeremy Dibbell, of PhiloBiblos, writes a beautiful review of Geraldine Brooks new novel, People of the Book (Viking, 2008). The novel features the 14th-century Sarajevo Haggadah, interweaving its history into the contemporary plot. Dibbell comments:

There's a message here for those of us who study books as artifacts - there are stories there, real people's stories, and although they may be impossible to get at really, we should think of them.

As Hanna is preparing her essay about the Haggadah to accompany the exhibition catalogue, Brooks has her say "I wanted to give a sense of the people of the book, the different hands that had made it, used it, protected it. I wanted it to be a gripping narrative, even suspenseful" (pp. 264-265).

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