Papering over the cracks

By Peter Bland In Books

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24th January, 2013
Because of its everyday presence, paper is an artefact taken for granted and without a popular history. Ian Sansom’s beautifully produced Paper: An Elegy is “an attempt to trace and recover some of its history in its many forms” – literature, packaging, advertising, maps, art, currency, etc. Sansom reminds us capitalism came into consciousness through paper. Since the 19th century, we have, in fact, been dominated by its many uses and in an increasingly electronic age we, ironically, use more of it, not less. The sad side of paper’s progress comes not just with the ...

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