Homepage History note | clivejames.com
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Homepage History note, 2007

Reachable through the links attached to this page, various bits and pieces which originally introduced parts of the site will be stored after their active life is over, just in case a contemporary press reporter or some future cyber-scholar might think them useful points of reference.

Another word for "stored" could be "junked", but as a lifelong squirrel I have always disliked the idea of making a clean sweep. If any sweep needs to be done, I would prefer that the detritus were pushed into a back room, where I could lock the door on it and always keep the key. Museums work from the same impulse Philip Larkin called it the impulse to preserve and the urge is a true one even for the museum of technology, where exhibits really are superseded and obsolete, instead of (like, say, paintings and sculpture) just old. One of my favourite museums of technology is the al fresco rocket park at Cape Kennedy. All the missiles and space vehicles standing in that otherwise empty acre were once so up to date that small boys cut their pictures out of magazines. Now, powerless, there they still are, the outrun, outdistanced but unforgotten ancestors of Apollo.

They contributed to an evolution, and the thing that evolved left them behind. On a very much smaller scale, but in a similar line of work, the same is true for the paragraphs here. I wish I had had the sense to be more precise about dating them when they started their life, and dating them again after I replaced them: but I promise, as of April 2007, to be more attentive to such seeming trivia from now on, in keeping with my growing conviction that a sense of history is essential to a construction like this, and precisely because it is so defiant of chronology, of the lapse of time and of the endlessly capacious elasticity of space. There should always be access for the browser, even into the caverns of forgetfulness that Virgil, top blogger of his time, called the empty regions, well knowing that they were essential to the total story.

Painting (detail) by Ophelia Redpath.