Margaret Atwood And The Time Capsule Forest
Time capsules, Margaret Atwood, secret manuscripts and ambitious art projects. This story has it all, people.
Margaret Atwood announced the publication date for her newest manuscript as being 2114. Yes, that's 2114, as in 100 years from now. Atwood's completed manuscript is part of the Future Library Project, an art project conceived by Katie Paterson.
Here's how it works:
Step 1: A forest is planted in Norway.
Step 2: Margaret Atwood writes a manuscript. These steps seem pretty disconnected, but wait for it.
Step 3: Atwood's manuscript is stored in The Deichmanske public library under lock and key. It will remain unread and unavailable for 100 years.
Step 4: At the 100-year mark, aka in The Future, parts of the forest will be cut down (told you it would come back around!), the wood will be used to make paper, and Atwood's book will be printed on that paper.
Over the next 100 years, one author per year will be selected to write a manuscript that will undergo the same process.
It's such an elegant and thoughtful idea. The manuscripts will await their date with a printing press in a specially-designed room lined with wood from the forest, and on that wood will be printed the author names and the titles of their manuscripts. They've also commissioned a printing press, which will be on hand just in case it's difficult to find a way to print on paper in 100 years.
The written word, the natural world, and the fun of a good time capsule. This project's got it all.
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