The Quiet Volume

I went with friends to a Push Festival event at the library last week, called The Quiet Volume. Two at a time, we donned headphones and were led to a table on the third floor, in the midst of sleeping students and eccentric researchers and one man devouring something from a paper bag. (When I described this to Min, he asked if they were actors. But no, they were the regular library denizens.)

I have to admit, I was partly impressed by the work and partly frustrated by it. The voice whispering/echoing in my ears kept instructing me to read enticing little parts of various books, before wrenching my attention to something new. At times, it read aloud to me from my page. At times, I would glance to the side to find it was reading my companion’s page instead of mine!

It wasn’t until the hours and days afterwards that I grew REALLY impressed. Because the experience raised all sorts of questions about how much control one has as a writer, and how many different experiences are possible as a reader.

As for those few tantalizing pages, I snapped a shot of the book covers, just so I could track them down and read them in their entirety!

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3 thoughts on “The Quiet Volume

  1. hi. The photo book is by Gabrielle Basilico. Strange if not fun fact: since we started making the piece, they have all died, in the order that you read the books, except for Ishiguro (the last one). Saramago first, while we were creating it.
    best, Ant Hampton

  2. What a sad and strange thing! But interesting that you’ve taken their art and given it life in a new way. As a writer, that has to be one of the best legacies one can hope for. Thanks for stopping by, Ant, and thanks for creating such a thought-provoking piece.

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