‘The Unicorn & The Fencing Mouse’ is the title of a recent exhibition of marginalia, annotations and doodles at the Marsh’s Library in Dublin and one of my favourite to date. Who thought you would find unicorns in a book next to the works by Aristotle, Shakespeare and Newton to name just a few?
There are many charming and random doodles on the exhibition, as well as annotations, marginalia, examples of a censorship and even an example of practising writing the letters of the alphabet. It’s fascinating to see that a few centuries ago people were not that different after all. They were inspired, intrigued and enlightened by the books they were reading, even if occasionally disrupted by daydreaming about unicorns:-)
As much as these doodles and annotations are inspiring on their own rights, the main message of the exhibition, also amusingly highlighted at the launch, is that the books are ‘living’ objects to enjoy, use and even abuse as seen in the exhibition. I’m not recommending to make any additions to the books you borrow from the libraries, but if you get that spark of inspiration to write down your thoughts, doodle a unicorn or a fencing mouse – do! Even in your book – someone in 500 years time might really enjoy it! This message also appears in the catalogue from the exhibition, which includes blank pages for you to… yes, doodle!
Don’t miss! This exhibition will run until March 2016.