BE MY GUEST is a venue for others to comment and share their ideas and art. Samuel de Leeuw, is a generous scholar, living in Amsterdam. From his library, he cites jams and knowledge. You are invited to read some of his thoughts concerning Alexandria’s library.The photographer is Tali Tabib Amitai, who knows libraries from within.
Alexandria’s library is situated just on the borderland between the presented and the absent and thereby offers a fertile stage for fantasy to exploit its unlimited potential.
The very concept of a library presents a metaphor for a whole culture and in that respect, the Library of Alexandria recalls the complete classical world, which in many ways conveys the dawn of philosophy, literature and science.
The names of Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Euripides, Pythagoras and Archimedes among countless others are all eternal icons not only of Greece or the greater classical world, but of the entire universal heritage. They all have written books and their books certainly made their way to the library to become its spiritual cornerstones.
With one of the most catastrophic fire in history, numerous gems of the pinnacle of human creativity were lost for ever. Disposed of these treasures, we now have at least the privilege to dream about them, to pretend that our intuitive unconscious never lost the vibrating strings of the fire eaten scripts.
Moreover, like everything that once existed but vanished for good, the burned down library of Alexandria (rather than say the library of congress, which still exists) license us to imagine our own ideas of what once was lying on the shelves for centuries before it was consummated by the flames — nobody may contradict us! — And so it is the very freedom to fancy unrestrained scenarios, which grant us plenty of fascination.
Can you imagine a mystery vaster than a certain spot in one city where the whole world culture is focused by the metaphor that is the library of Alexandria?
Samuel de Leeuw,
More about reviving Alexandria Library :
Upper image: Nona Orbach, Altered book of sad maps, 2009