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Old 09-08-2014, 05:09 AM   #1
CharredScribe
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Margaret Atwood's new work will not be published until 2114

http://www.theguardian.com/books/201...future-library

Margaret Atwood is the first contributor to the Future Library, which will compile 100 texts for publication in 2114.

First few paragraphs of the story, via the Guardian:

Quote:
Depending on perspective, it is an author's dream – or nightmare: Margaret Atwood will never know what readers think of the piece of fiction she is currently working on, because the unpublished, unread manuscript from the Man Booker prize-winning novelist will be locked away for the next 100 years.

Atwood has just been named as the first contributor to an astonishing new public artwork. The Future Library project, conceived by the award-winning young Scottish artist Katie Paterson, began, quietly, this summer, with the planting of a forest of 1,000 trees in Nordmarka, just outside Oslo. It will slowly unfold over the next century. Every year until 2114, one writer will be invited to contribute a new text to the collection, and in 2114, the trees will be cut down to provide the paper for the texts to be printed – and, finally, read.

"It is the kind of thing you either immediately say yes or no to. You don't think about it for very long," said Atwood, speaking from Copenhagen. "I think it goes right back to that phase of our childhood when we used to bury little things in the backyard, hoping that someone would dig them up, long in the future, and say, 'How interesting, this rusty old piece of tin, this little sack of marbles is. I wonder who put it there?'"

The award-winning author said she was unbothered by the fact that, during her lifetime at least, no one but her will ever read the story she has already started writing. "What a pleasure," she said. "You don't have to be around for the part when if it's a good review the publisher takes credit for it and if it's a bad review it's all your fault. And why would I believe them anyway?"

Author of novels including The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin, Atwood said "when you write any book you do not know who's going to read it, and you do not know when they're going to read it. You don't know who they will be, you don't know their age, or gender, or nationality, or anything else about them. So books, anyway, really are like the message in the bottle."

She predicted that the readers of 2114 might need "a paleo-anthropologist to translate some of it for them", because "language of course will have changed over those 100 years. Maybe not so much as it changed between say 1400 and now, but it will have changed somewhat".
Sounds exciting, but it also makes me said that I will not be able to read those works.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:31 AM   #2
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Hmm. I don't know that I've ever read any of her works, but one thing is clear even if I do read her other works now I may have changed my tastes in reading material by time this one is available.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:49 AM   #3
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Unhappy

First thing that came to my mind when I heard about this project: "Please, don't let Margaret Atwood contribute!" And then...

As a project, it sure makes you reflect about time, transcience and mortality, but as a reader and a fan I just want to cry
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:09 AM   #4
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Hmm. I don't know that I've ever read any of her works, but one thing is clear even if I do read her other works now I may have changed my tastes in reading material by time this one is available.
Her most well-known work is probably "The Handmaid's Tale", which won the Arthur C. Clarke award in 1987.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:23 AM   #5
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Growing trees to print the books in a hundred years - what a boring short-term project. I think they should start by breeding the mussels which the authors must live on while they compose their stories and whose shells will eventually become the marble the texts will be chiselled in.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:23 AM   #6
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It's kind of my thing to think about mortality and the inaccessible art of the future, and I never get tired of experiencing longing and resignation for what will never be mine to experience. What happens after life? Everything happens, only you're not there, you're dead.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
Hmm. I don't know that I've ever read any of her works, but one thing is clear even if I do read her other works now I may have changed my tastes in reading material by time this one is available.
What I like about her work is that she spans across different genres: sci-fi, dystopian speculative fiction, historical fiction, drama, mystery. She also writes poetry and non-fiction, and she is a compelling speaker.

LucyOne
Quote:
As a project, it sure makes you reflect about time, transcience and mortality, but as a reader and a fan I just want to cry
I know what you mean. That there will exist Atwood literature that I will never read is very distressing. But I do find it a pretty awesome idea.

I find the whole idea of time capsules fascinating - I find it interesting to read books written a hundred years ago, and things were pretty different then, so I imagine that our world may be unfamiliar or strange to future generations.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CharredScribe View Post
...

Margaret Atwood is the first contributor to the Future Library, which will compile 100 texts for publication in 2114.

...
George R.R. Martin is the second, with the last book of A Song of Ice and Fire.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:16 AM   #9
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A lot can happen. In might be illegal to cut down trees in Oslo in 100 years. Do they ever have forest fires there? The texts will get leaked on the internet long before then anyway.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:14 AM   #10
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A lot can happen. In might be illegal to cut down trees in Oslo in 100 years. Do they ever have forest fires there? The texts will get leaked on the internet long before then anyway.
True. I remember when J.K. Rowling was still working on the Harry Potter books all sorts of things happened. Attempts at stealing books and such. And no doubt such happens with movies often as well. Rough cuts of the film and copies of the script make their way onto the net somehow or other. What I wonder is how can the author be sure the publisher will fulfill the contract? And there is the issue of royalties. Do they get paid in advance or do their heirs have to wait to collect them? And if they get paid in advance what happens if the books don't earn out?
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:31 AM   #11
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I find the whole thing a little odd, myself. Buy hey... whatever works for you. *shrug*

Quote:
Atwood's work will be stored in a specially designed room in the Deichmanske public library, opening in 2018 in Bjørvika, Oslo. The room will be lined with wood from the forest, with the names of the authors and the titles of their work on display – but none of the manuscripts available to read.
Names and titles on display for 96 years in a wood-paneled museum room? I think they may have overestimated such a thing's drawing power.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:49 AM   #12
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100 years?
I don't think Skynet will let the stunt run that long.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:58 AM   #13
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I find the whole thing a little odd, myself. Buy hey... whatever works for you. *shrug*
Well, I am a little odd...

But seriously, I have no idea if it would actually work or if the texts will appear too soon, in this lifetime, but I like the idea of mysterious texts buried underground to be discovered and read by future generations, and which reflect something about the ideas and writing of present-day authors. It's kind of strange and mysterious, which just about sums up a lot of what I love about good literature.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:08 AM   #14
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I dislike the artificiality of the 100 year term. A stand of pine forest takes about 30 years to be ready for harvest, not 100 years.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:26 AM   #15
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I dislike the artificiality of the 100 year term. A stand of pine forest takes about 30 years to be ready for harvest, not 100 years.
30 years... 100 years...
Makes no difference.
Books are for reading so if nobody can read the manuscript it might as well not exist.

Besides, given the fate of many "literary" works acclaimed by the establishment a century ago, odds are that the next century will say "Margaret who?" and move on to the new, September 2114, release from James Patterson.
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