Big and Small: Recent Developements in the World of Books

I love it when this sort of coincidence occurs …

Late last year, a miniature manuscript by the 14 year-old Charlotte Brontë was discovered and sold at auction for a record (ridiculous) sum of money.  At half the size of the average credit card, the text (reaching approximately 4000 words in its 19 insy little pages) needs to be read with a magnifying glass.

At approximately the same time in New Zealand, the update of the magnificent Earth Blue atlas was released; Earth Platinum.  The world’s largest atlas, it measures 6 feet by 9 feet, takes two people to turn a page, and is being sold for, once again, rather a ridiculous amount of money.

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Brontë’s manuscript is set in the fictional Glass Town, created by the sister’s for the entertainment of their younger brother.  The atlas is a document striving ever towards an accurate representation of the earth’s surface.  However, the two books can only move towards each other; the Brontë book, with its layers and complexities creating its fictional land of Glass Town, is a contradictory yet complimentary partner to the atlas, a representation of another land, its layers and complexities born of centuries of interpretations by the subjectivities and egos of man.


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