Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Writers' archives

There's a fascinating article in the NY Times about the archive of John Updike which occupies 60 boxes in an aisle and a half of shelving at Harvard University. The article makes the point that, in future, such archives may become a rarity, as we move fully into a digital age, and therefore the chance to study a writer's technique and the way both he and his works develop will be lost to us. It's an interesting point. Later in the year, I'll be going to the McCarthy archive, where I want to look at the material that surrounds what McCarthy was writing, the marginal notes, the comments on sources etc, with a view to understanding better the final novels. It will be a great loss if such opportunities are lost to future generations.

1 comment:

Deidra said...

You make an interesting point. I write a lot by hand, but once I type it in, I throw the notes out. Perhaps I should be keeping them for posterity. :)

Thanks for the post. I'm interested to hear about your visit to the archives.