Ephemera | Fragments

I said I’d do it…

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What you see here is about one and a half days worth of things I’ve found in books. You’ve got your standard scraps of paper – half ripped and folded A4 pieces of scrap printer paper | unused postcards | post-it-notes | receipts – but then you have the more interesting pieces: visitor information pamphlets for Alcatraz | filled in postcards detailing a person (or persons) holiday | notes from publishers asking for reviews, additional materials, or expressing concerns over content | love messages | goodbyes | travel arrangements.

I found this tucked away in one book (I wish I’d remembered what book it was in, perhaps it would have helped me decode the curiously arranged ‘tables’):

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What I find particularly interesting about this is how the person has tried to map out the entirety of their future. We don’t just have Career Travel and Work, we have things like Spiritual, Self, Relationships, Creativity under such we find things like 5 reasons – delusion, up & down, 23 ladies(?) – agreement, 7 (somethings – Sepeus(?)) – evaluation, which, to me, makes very little sense (lets hope it made more sense to the author).

Then underneath, from what I can make out, we find potential points of conflict. How private clients will affect some or all of the larger circle above, or ICASA’s impact on the spirit | purpose, or/and a mapping out of history, as seen in the 2007/8 boxes.

Then we have that mysterious ‘Phoenix Therapy’ – which seems to be some sort of holistic therapy to assist with various things, I’m guessing something along the lines of: stress, joint function, and sleep or somesuch. The whole piece seems like an interesting way of working things out, of mapping yourself, but looking at it made me both tired and concerned. How can we map out our future? Or even our past? Surely, there is the danger of infinite regress – of going back so far, or of missing out what is really important | complications over repression and suppression | we don’t work like computers, things don’t connect in the same way, so then how can we map ourselves? Trace our development? What is development?


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‘As you will understand as you read, there are quite a few potential libel issues to sort out!’ Ouch! Well I guess that throws some light on the world of literary agents and publishing… I took the names out as point of courtesy, and I’m not going to mention the book I found it in, or whatnot (to be fair I can’t remember what book it was in, though I remember the cover). These little things are of particular interest to me, as I’d like to think that, someday, someone will be getting similar messages about something I’ve written – though, let us hope it has nothing to do with ‘libel issues’, and more like the Faber & Faber ‘plate sections’. On the right is a little Penguin review slip, which is pretty cute (awww).

There’s not much here to read into, I simply found them interesting because it’s the sort of thing you don’t see – it’s not private correspondence as such, but it’s something unusual, and insight into the insides of publishing, review, and literary agencies.

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And where would we be without the obligatory note from an eleven year old (eleven years, nine months and three days, to be precise) stuffed away in a lovely pink young adults book. She obviously enjoyed the books…

And I’ll leave you with this:

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Have a Luvly HolliDay my Lovly Darlings.


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