Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Painted Rock to Printed Page

Hi there,

Day 2: Today I finished reading Painted Rock to Printed Page by Francis Rogers. I've selected a pastel painting of La Boca de la Verita (famous old sculpture in Rome) I did a couple of years ago, to illustrate my feelings for this book. It was very interesting to follow the process of discovery of a better and better writing system from the caves of Altamira, Spain, to the present day. We've been writing on rocks, then on clay, papyrus after that, wood covered with bees wax, pergamun, silk, and finally paper. And now...blogging on a keyboard. Did you know the Sumerians had pictures which stood for a sound? Did you know the Phoenicians wrote on wood tablets coated with bees wax writing with a sharp instrument, the stylus? Did you know that the word "history" comes from the Ionians (Greek) and that it means "inquiry": the search for truth and knowledge?

That's what Herodotus, from Ionia, did. Herodotus decided to see the world and write about it, searching truth and knowledge. He started out when he was 20 years old, taking notes about everything he saw and experienced. It must have been so hard to keep track of that information since he was limited to waxen wooden tablets and stylus, also probably papyrus and ink. Both materials are cumbersome, heavy, and also fragile. This story is dear to my heart, because I also travel and carry my writing and painting materials with me. The book is informative and extremely easy to read.

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