Lesley Saunders' 'Ephemera'

This is the second reading from ‘Nominy Dominy’ Two rivers press, 2019.

I love this because it celebrates something I care about.

Whether you call it culture, or civilisation, it’s the result of a fragile paper trail, and it relies on the saints and scholars and scribes, and the anything but saintly students of the word, whether the word is Greek or Latin or Arabic, whether the religion is Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Bhuddist, whether sacred text or medical treatise, this thing called culture relies for its survival on the humans who often stuffed a book in their pocket or their bag before they ran, and on the men and women who spent lifetimes translating, copying, deciphering, who were curious and cared for something both precious and fragile in their own varied ways.

And despite the barbarians and their barbaric indifference, there have always been those who cared.

‘The infidel tribe of philologues’ doesn’t make the history books that often. But without them there are no books, and no history.

Saunders dedicated ‘Ephemera’ to Jo Balmer.