Saturday, March 22, 2014

Genizah as Library

Atlas Obscura is an interesting site to follow for ideas for quirky places to visit and quirky places to fantasize about visiting. This week they ran a photograph of of a monument in a Jewish cemetery in Austria.

It is conceived of as a library but, I think, speaks to some of the questions about genizah practice in different communities, placing old worn out sacred books and implements in the cemetery as the proper disposal. The idea of genizah-as-archive that is sometimes bandied about is a flawed one because it misrepresents chaos as organized. Genizah-as-lending-library does something else in the space between life and death.


I'm ambivalent about posting this as a single, undeveloped thought because I think I want to write more about it, and I'm not sure if this is staking out the territory or scooping myself (or setting myself up to be scooped). I'm so sick of my book, and there's so much new I'd like to be working on already and I'm despairing of the fact that I won't get to do or think about anything else for at least another year still. I hate the pace of the academy. Deadly.

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