Thursday, May 18, 2006

Palimpsests for everyone!

"Palimpsest" is Dictionary.com's word of the day for today:

palimpsest \PAL-imp-sest\, noun:
1. A manuscript, usually of papyrus or parchment, on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible.
2. An object or place whose older layers or aspects are apparent beneath its surface.

The manuscript is a palimpsest consisting of vellum leaves from which the "fluent and assured script" of the original Archimedes text and 55 diagrams had been washed or scraped off so that the surface could be used for new writings.
-- Roger Highfield, "Eureka! Archimedes text is to be sold at auction", Daily Telegraph, October 3, 1998

Each is a palimpsest, one improvisation partly burying another but leaving hints of it behind.
-- Robert Hughes, "Delight for Its Own Sake", Time, January 22, 1996

It's a mysterious many-layered palimpsest of a metropolis where generations of natives and visitors have left their mark, from Boadicea and the Romans, through the Middle Ages and the Elizabethan era to the present.
-- Philip French, "Jack the knife", The Observer, February 10, 2002

What a great word to describe a blog, if you think about it.

If I hadn't already picked an obscure Japanese literary in-joke to name my blog, I would definitely name my blog "Palimpsest Central." Definitely.
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