Reading my way through ‘Apollo and Pegasus’ monographs and articles and working on an exposé of the two U.v.A. bindings. To clear my thoughts also reorganizing my bookcases, and came across the following definition of the essence of good writing by Malcolm Bradbury, a.o. the ‘father’ of creative writing: ‘It comes from a love of language, a depth of experience, perhaps above all a crucial and lifetime theme which we can feel the writer developing.’ (Bradbury 2007. p.142). Even though this is part of a six page lamentation on the decline of the novel, Bradbury’s criteria for good writing are as important for recording research as for writing fiction. The outcome of research should be more than a series of facts and figures and does not inspire without the depth of experience and development. Lot descriptions in a catalogue can read like a detective story if they are well written. A monograph in which the author also records and conveys his enjoyment and internalization of the the subject, has less chance of dissapearing onto bookshelves unread. The nightmares of many a researcher may contain existential doubts such as, why am I spending so much time on this research? Who is going to want to read the outcome? But also and maybe most importantly, how creative may I write?
With Bradbury’s point of view in mind, Michel Wittock’s article on the Apollo and Pegasus bindings is highly recommended. A combination of thorough research into the facts about the research on the Apollo and Pegasus bindings with the author’s voice never far away. Intelligible writing that captivates attention.
Malcolm Bradbury, Liar’s Landscape. Collected Writing from a Storyteller’s Life. Edited by and with a Foreword by Dominic Bradbury. Afterword by David Lodge. London: Picador, 2007.
Michel Wittock, ‘À propos des reliures, vraies ou frelatées, au médaillon d’Apollon et Pégase. Une enquète à travers les sources bibliographiques.’ In: Bulletin du bibliophile. Paris: 1998. No. 1. p.330-366.