On the 19th of May I went to the book launch of Pulp: A Short History of the Banished Book by Shubigi Rao at Books Actually here in Singapore.
… a ten-year long film, book, visual art, and exhaustive research project about the history of book destruction, censorship and cultural genocide, as well as the book as symbol and resistance. Travelling and filming solo across the world, collecting fragments, ephemera, anecdotes, and buried secrets, she visits public and private collections, libraries and archives, institutions and individuals that have served as flashpoints in history.
This is the first book in a series of five, and as such holds the undiluted joy of loving books, and furious anger and sorrow at their destruction.
“If our history is anything to go by, all books are predestined ashes, whether burning, flying like confetti at a fascist parade, or pulped, dissolved, rendered into nothing more than fragments, scraps of phrases in the living memory of its ageing readers. This book (like all books) is about what it means to be human and build fictions, and also how human it is to burn them.” [x]
Shubigi didn’t really talk a lot, I WISHED SHE DID!! I wanted to hear her talk more about books as a whole and the written and printed word and whatever she was thinking to be honest. But I did take some notes!!