by JULIA PANKO
This essay is part of a slow research series, What is Research?
Lately, I have been dreaming of archives. I have never visited the Harry Ransom Center in person, but I recently perused its finding aids and made a checklist for a future trip. Noting the items from the Virginia Woolf Collection that I want to study, I was reminded of Woolf’s essay “The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.” In it, Woolf wrote, “We like to feel . . . that other hands have been before us, smoothing the leather until the corners are rounded and blunt, turning the pages until they are yellow and dog’s-eared. We like to summon before us the ghosts of those old readers.” I daydream about examining the Ransom Center’s collection of books from Woolf’s personal library, summoning her ghost as I survey the physical traces left by her reading. [Read more…] about NOT SPEED READING: The slow pleasures of research