There is a section in Susan Howe’s beautiful book (so beautiful!) Spontaneous Particulars: The Telepathy of Archives in which she describes the encounter one has with an object held safe in a collection. While such an object is usually ‘shut carefully away, outside an economy of use, inaccessible to touch’, in its being brought out it is ‘re-animated, re-collected (recollected) through an encounter with the mind of a curious reader, a researcher, an antiquarian, a bibliomaniac, a sub sub librarian, a poet.’
If you are here, reading this, then you must be at least one of these things, and no doubt others too. What we have gathered here, our collection, are things far newer than those to be found (sometimes found) in the stacks of New England universities. They are things to be made public, to be read and considered, written on or written against, or maybe even forgotten, for a while, right up until the moment when they are remembered once more because that is what the moment demands: the work’s recollection. Things have their moment, and they can make that moment, too.
To make something that makes a moment: how extraordinary that is, when one thinks of it, and yet it is what all of our students have here done, and in the most difficult of circumstances. Howe describes such an experience as ‘the granting of grace in an ordinary room, in a secular time.’ That room is yours, and the time, the time is now.
— Jeremy Millar, Acting Head of Programme
RCA2021 Symposium: watch here
Susan Howe Reading and In Conversation with Jeremy Millar: book here
ARC Symposium, 30th June: book here
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