Margaret Atwood is participating in a project she’ll never live to see. None of us reading this today will, actually. Scottish artist Katie Paterson came up with the idea to create a piece of ongoing art that will be celebrated 100 years from now. She’s calling it the Future Library Project, and each year, one new famous author will contribute a text to the work, beginning this year with Margaret Atwood.
In Oslo this past summer, 100 trees were planted in preparation for the book which will come out in 2114. Then, the trees will be cut down in order to make paper for the project. Will there even be paper books available in 2114? No one knows, of course, so Paterson and the rest of the people that make up the literary trust decided to make it simple for those who will publish the book next century.
Of course, this means none of Atwood’s fans–or fans of any of the other writers who are asked to contribute–will be able to read the story she’s written for the work. And Atwood is fine with this. She cautions that some of the language might not even be used 100 years from now, and the whole book might need some “translation” for future readers. It’s also exciting to her to think that many of the authors who will contribute might not even be born yet.
You can read the entire article here to find out more about the selection process for the compilation, and see how they’re going to move the project forward, considering most of the people involved in its creation will not be alive when it comes time to publish.