The first year is coming to an end and so is our friendship with an old book. It has been a great experience to work with and to get to know an incredibly old book. I have even had the pleasure to get to know two books! This was due to the absence of the first book in the Werner Oechslin library, so they quickly pulled out a different one from the same author. So I got to know « La perspective avec la raison des ombres et miroirs » by Salomon de Caus. It was published in 1612 in London. It is a handbook on how to draw different objects in perspective.
At first, I was very sceptical about this whole concept of becoming friends with a book without having to read it, as well as the fact that some had books in a language, they were not able to understand. Even though these obstacles existed, I began to realize that one can indeed get to know a book pleasantly well and like it. That is not to say that I could draw anything that the author is trying to describe to us. To do so, much more time would be required with the book.
The highlight of this whole exercise to me was the actual physical contact with the book. Knowing that the book in front of you is more than 400 years old, is surprisingly cool. Furthermore, you can see how big the book is, how well the old pages are in shape, how heavy it is, how it smells, etc. My book was somewhat special, because it had illustrations that could be unfolded which let you see some perspective concepts. I did not expect this when I looked through the PDF of the book.
The “Lineage” task was a rather frustrating task for me, as I could not make out any translations, reprints, later editions etc. of my book after many hours of combing through libraries, the internet and the material provided by the gta-team.
But this inconvenience did not have an impact on my big picture of the FWAOB-exercise. I have enjoyed the structure of it. To me, the time, we had between the tasks, has been of good length. I have enjoyed the experience of slowly understanding a book (not in depth, but nevertheless) without having to read it. I think to an extent it has also taught me strategies on doing research on literature, something which I am not as fond of.