The Glass Archive (2005)      

The Glass Archive is a collection of nearly one hundred novels brought together because the word ‘glass’ features in each of their titles. This collection assembled a vast array and breadth of references about glass, the inclusivity of the collection exposing a form of ‘common knowledge’ about this material; a collection of other peoples ideas of material.    

The books share the fact that their authors have employed the word ‘glass’ as a metaphor to establish or visualise the story that their book contains. Within this collection, a wide variety of ideas exist, from references to material qualities such as glasses fragility (Shattering Glass), transparency (The Glass Barrier), or the potential threat posed by the material (Walking on Glass).

 

Many references are repeated across the archive, different book titles employing the metaphor of glass in similar ways (The Glass Cage, The Glass Cell, or The Man in the Glass Booth), this repetition of similar ideas across the archive seems to confirm key characteristics of the material. But the archive also contains examples which make strange and seemingly incongruous connections, these expand notions of material away from the physical, towards the fantastical or mythological (The Glass Dragon, or Dreams of Glass).

© 2017  Jerome Harrington

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