Darkness Lit With Sheets Of Fire

Jenny Uglow writes about Oxford’s new Bodleian Weston Library: ‘The curators at the Bodleian brought out its treasures and raided the archives of Oxford colleges for “Volcanoes: Encounters through the Ages.” The show opened with a fragment of a scroll carbonized in the great eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii two thousand years ago. It’s extraordinary to stand before this, an apt symbol for a library, murmuring of the frailty of the written word in the face of elemental forces. The whole exhibition tingled with this contrast, as we follow the

struggle of men and women to comprehend, explain in words, depict in pictures, the pulsing red-hot power beneath the earth.’

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