7 Why quotes?
Since the beginning of our project we have been creating ‘quotes’ by selecting and ‘carving out’ sentences from texts we have been reading. It is a bit like the way that a specific block of stone is removed from the quarry. In each case the feeling of a fragment disappears.
The quarried block or quote assumes an independence. Either one might suggest a further step or become the source of a new beginning. The fragment in isolation seems more complete than it did in its original context. Quotes launched into the world become autonomous, with an identity that is not determined by its place of origin. Quotes become relational in a different sense, changing according to context.
"Between the end of the Jurassic and the beginning of the Tertiary era a great amount of chalk was formed. It was such a striking episode that the whole period has been called the Cretaceous Age. Minute an innumerable oceanic animals, called foraminifera, floating about near the surface of the sea, sunk to the bottom when dead, and then accumulated in a slowly solidifying ooze. We call the resultant accumulation Chalk. If we examine a handful of it under a microscope we find that it consists of the casing of the foraminifera - really shells of the most delicate and beautiful design, six thousand to a square inch. In view of the fact that such deposits are only found today at a depth of about twelve thousand feet, it would seem that this Dorset hill was once in the abysses of the sea whose surface flowed where the low flying clouds float now."
John Stewart Collis, The Worm Forgives the Plough
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