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PALIMPSEST - One And The Other October 18 2018, 0 Comments

As a twin, I'm interested in duality in its many forms. The 'twin' being the obvious one, but there are so many other examples. One of the more interesting aspects of 'doubleness' is the palimpsest.

Palimpsest is a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing. It is something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

Lost ancient text recovered - Previously unknown classical Greek mythological and medical works, newly discovered classical scientific texts preserved only in Syriac translation, religious writings in extinct languages, an ancient Christian poem describing Old Testament figures in Homeric style and detailed illustrations of plants, buildings and people have been found.

The Sinai Palimpsests Project contains 74 palimpsests totaling some 6,800 pages in 10 languages and containing erased layers of writing from the fifth to the 12th centuries. They are accessible to students, scholars and the public at sinaipalimpsests.org

 

           

Ancient Manuscripts from Greece, Rome, Early Christianity, Medieval Europe, enrich our understanding of the past and reveal information which we thought was lost.

 

David Alesworth and Jim Dine

       

Many contemporary artists employ the concept of palimpsest to express their creativity using a variety of materials.

 


Two songs by Billie Holiday express in lyrical form the emotional palimpsest dwelling in her heart:  She's Painting the Town Red while  Ghost of Yesterday surrounds her.

Another expression of palimpsest is luminol used by forensic investigators to detect trace amounts of blood at crime scenes. When luminol is sprayed across an area, trace amounts of an activating oxidant make the luminol emit a blue glow that can be seen in a darkened room, revealing a hidden story underneath.

A dark expression of palimpsest appears when Alzheimer arrives, when an existing life is overwritten, and we watch as an original work of art begins to disappear, leaving only traces of the original.

 

Hasta luego amigos,

Val