The Birdcage Archives

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Judith Schalansky, Named the Future Library Project Contributing Writer For 2022

Hello Gentle Reader,
The German writer and book designer Judith Schalansky, the geographer of the loss; the recordkeeper of absence; the curator of extinction and memory. Judith Schalansky has now become the 9th contributing writer to the Future Library Project. In line with the projects goal, Schalansky’s work will not be published until 2114. Previous contributors include:
2014 – Margaret Atwood
2015 – David Mitchell
2016 – Sjon
2017 – Elif Shafak
2018 – Han Kang
2019 – Karl Ove Knausgård
2020 – Ocean Vuong  
2021 - Tsitsi Dangarembga
An overview of the writers listed above showcases a diverse and complex list of writers who vary in thematic concerns. Theirs the colossus of international literature Margaret Atwood, whose work and personal activism shows an inclined vigor and interest towards environmental concerns, which she has put her personal support and intellectual powers behind; mercurial shifting postmodernist David Mitchell; the equally subversive postmodernist Sjon; the exiled political activist and writer Elif Shafak; the psychologically astute and lyrically devasting Han Kang; the autobiographical chronicler of mammoth degree Karl Ove Knausgård; the minted popular American poet and casual novelist Ocean Vuong; the social and political critic, essayist, novelist, playwright and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Judith Schalansky is truly one of the most innovative and interesting writers currently writing. Her novels are hybrid creations playing with traditionally non-literary forms—maps, atlases, cartographs—and provides unique hybrid narratives describing the complexity and fleeting beauty of the world. Her novel “Atlas of Remote Islands,” is one such unique narrative, employing both an appreciation for cartographic detail and geography, while envisioning and documenting with anthropological curiosity the civilizations, people, and cultures which called these islands home, a truly enriched atlas of obscure curiosities. “An Inventory of Losses,” continues this trend, detailing 12 objects, paintings, animals, film, natural formations, and buildings which have been lost to history, though are now memorialized within this brief book, celebrating the transience of existence, the dispassion of time, and the certainty of oblivion.
Judith Schalansky’s literary preoccupations and unusual formatting puts her as a memorable and remarkable contributor to the Future Library Project, where her work may lament or recount the novelties, the grand, the magnificent and majestic mementos of the age and era, which in the coming century may be lost.
Congratulations to Judith Schalansky for becoming a contributing writer to the Future Library Project, I truly think she’ll be a natural fit to the project’s goals.
Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
M. Mary

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