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How much of history is lost to illegible handwriting; and how much of the rest is reliably transcribed? Scholars of the Eldarin languages must endure the uncertainties of Tolkien’s occasional scrawl. Peter Gast was reputedly the only one who could interpret Nietzsche’s hand once the latter’s vision had deteriorated. To learn to read Goebbels’ handwriting is reportedly a multi-year task; one imagines generations of scholar-monks schooling their apprentices in the esoteric art.

In certain moods, perhaps occasioned by having marked exam scripts, I idly dream of assembling a library of the illegible, an archive of unreadability, distinguishable from an art collection of asemic writing by its unintentional opacity. There the order of the library catalogue will meet the chaos of the scribbled shopping list.

...once the reader opens to the first page... tightly condensed and frantic scribbles inundate you with an overwhelming feeling of sensory overload...

I doubt that there will ever be a large and flourishing market in such works, however; the barriers to entry are just too low...

R.F.J. Seddon’s Log :: Unwritten and Unreadable

Illegible handwriting may be commonplace, but one normally thinks of asemic writing, and of pseudobiblia, as exotic and maturely experimental…

Sunday 7th October, 2012 3:14 pm

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