However, if you’re happy with a clipped account of what the project is, and a boat load of excitement from me, then read on…
The Future Library Project is the latest project to be developed by award winning artist Katie Paterson. The aim of the project is simple: to produce a collection of literary works from popular writers over the next hundred years - enter my excitement - that won’t be made available to the reading public until 2114 - enter my disappointment! Over the next century, every year will see a new writer invited to contribute to this collection, with Margaret Atwood - insert girly, fan-girl squeal - providing the first piece of fiction that has been added to this amazing project.
Oh, and alongside this amazing collection of work, there is the promise that it will in fact be made into a paperback print - none of that electronic nonsense - thanks to a forest of 1,000 trees that were planted earlier in the year, specifically in aid of this project. The plan, at present, seems to be that these trees will eventually provide the paper on which copies of the collection will be printed.
Putting aside my utter disappointment that I won’t actually be around to read this collection, this project as a whole is definitely something to be excited over. If you’re a bookworm, at least; or, of course, if you’re a writer.
Atwood, in the aforementioned Guardian article, has provided deep insight on how this will be for her, as a writer, who is constructing something that she will never receive feedback for. With the experience being described as both intimidating and freeing, it seems that it really is offering something fresh for everyone who is involved - even those involved from afar, plagued by intrigue and excitement at potentially some of our favourite authors producing works of fiction that we will never actually get to read.
It’s essentially a literary time capsule that these artists are creating, and I think it’s absolutely bloody marvellous.
Although I have to admit that what I would love, even more than being able to read these stories themselves, is being able to hear the thoughts of the people who will actually get to read them. I can’t even imagine what changes literature will have evolved through by the time this fiction goes to print - in fact, will print be completely extinct by then? Will it be all about the electronic word? Until, of course, this collection pops up in a 100 years or so. And, if that’s the case, will this reignite our love of the real, ink-on-paper, printed word? The possibilities are endless in terms of what will go into this collection, who will go into this collection, and how this will collection will eventually be received when it finally reaches its audience in 100 years… whoever that audience may be.