I could cheat here and just write out the full title of this book and this task would have nearly wrote itself because it’s so long but I’ll shorten it, so here’s my review on my friendship with : Les forces de Europe, ou description des principales villes, avec leurs fortifications…
When we first got introduced to this exercise, I didn’t understand the idea of it at all, but now I can say that a lot of the value that lies in these tasks, are all the “places” my book took me to rather than its pure content.
When I first opened it and compared it with one of my friends, I was rather happy that it was full of drawings and texts I was able to understand instead of e.g. a Latin book where I wouldn’t have understood a single word. Because this allowed me to use the time, I had with it studying it and not just trying to get a sense of what I should do with it. The content was not even that strange to read as this analysis of the fortification of different cities has a certain contemporary aspect to it as well. Studying the force and the patterns of your enemies/neighbor’s fortifications and explaining their pros & cons seems like something some countries still do nowadays.
Using the library and e-rara tools, which I find some of the best aspects of this exercise got me excited to see how the book was made up and which materials its made of.
The simplicity in the content made it even more interesting to go see it in real life as it allowed me to spend more time with the book itself and not just its content, even though I believed for years that books like these are more like works of art and shouldn’t be touched at all or only by people who have to touch them. But I guess this was like meeting somebody for a meeting/date after texting with the person for a certain time via tinder/WhatsApp/Instagram.
I was rather disappointed with this task or with the OCR or with Nicolas de Fer when I realized that my book wasn’t readable by the OCR program due to the authors exaggerated yet beautiful handwriting. Maybe this is something to check before handing out the books – if they are eligible for all of these tasks or not. I know that this is part of the exercise as well but it’s just in the nature of humans to get along easier with people who talk the same language and help you fulfilling your tasks. I wasn’t really interested in making friends with Mr. Winckelmanns thoughts on Art, Architecture, or Archaeology as this book was too long to get friends with it and I kind of missed the hand drawn angels and soldiers that I had in my last book.
So, as a conclusion I liked this exercise as it’s a fun way to use a lot of the tools that will be needed in this degree course but I believe that everybody should have as much fun with his or her book as I had with mine.