Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Invisible Library is a blog that simply notes the names and authors of imaginary books - books that are mentioned in fiction, some times in passing and sometimes centrally to their plots. It's sorted by the last name of the fictional author, not the real one, which gives the whole site a meta, surreal quality to it - here the imaginary is more important than the true.

(I added my own suggestion to the blog in the comments:

McENROY, Bree - Dark Ages
-from Tanya Egan Gibson's How to Buy a Love of Reading (a new first novel that's Gossip Girl goes Gatsby))

The British illustration collective INK has created a show of real, bound books based on these imaginary titles and authors. They've created cover art and invited participants to write the texts collaboratively. The imaginary will be made real.

What's amazing about this is the depth and richness of the remix. It's easy to think about open culture as a digital phenomenon (The Grey Album, The Phantom Edit), but this is a textual, tactile, handcrafted remix. Open culture, or at least a freer and more generous understanding of fair use, is vital to creating vibrant art with deep cultural resonance both on and off line.

Plus an Invisible Library is much easier to shelve this way.

(Thanks to John at Crooked Timber for the link.)

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Libri & Libertas: Books & Freedom in a Web 2.0 World by Laura H. Wimberley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.